Yellow at a Crossroads
Time was, no one gave much thought to yellow. It was regarded as neutral and benign, the Switzerland of colors. But just as recent events have cast aspersions on the Swiss, so too is yellow's good name in peril. This summer, yellow has been at the forefront of two public relations disasters. It is one of two colors featured in the logo of Burger King, whose recent tainted-meat fiasco caused millions of carnivorous Americans to endure Whaler fish sandwiches. And most prominently, yellow showed its darker, more
orangy side as the signature color of the post-literate, hyper-cynical advertising campaign of ABC TV. This may be a good time to remember that yellow is also the signal for caution at traffic lights. Yellow, ask not for whom the light blinks. It blinks for thee.
In a 1991 editorial titled "Color Me Stupid," this space wrongly scolded cable magnate Ted Turner for colorizing classic movies filmed originally in black and white. The Times regrets the error.