Much has been said and done about color theory, color psychology, and how different colors evoke different emotions in us. For example, it has been known for years that red is considered to be the color of winners, black represents death, and while white represents peace. Color is almost like a universal language with no words. What about more specific color choices, like yellow for taxis or dark blue for police uniforms? For the wonderers who wonder why things are the way they are, this article is especially for you.
Why Is Bureaucratic Torture Known As Red Tape?
Civil War veterans' records were bound in red tape. Back then, the process of claiming pensions was so Kafkaesque and bureaucratic that cutting through the red tape became a metaphor for going through bureaucratic hell. It is interesting to note, though, that important governmental and royal documents were marked by a red twill ribbon as early as the 16th century. This was because red was both costly and eye-catching, emphasizing the importance of some documents.
Why Are Hotels Linens Always White?
The bottom line is, this is a quick and effective way to communicate cleanliness and good hygiene to customers. This color also reflects light the most effectively, essentially lighting up the room. From a practical standpoint, there's also the benefit of easy laundering - there's no need to separate colors. But how do they manage to keep them so white? We all know this isn't an easy task. Hotels use ultrasonic washing machines, and their linens go through multiple washing cycles.
Why Are There No Green Stars?
To answer this one, let's adopt a scientific approach. Stars DO shine in other colors than white, namely blue, red, and yellow. The shade depends on the temperature, just like with fire. The coolest stars appear red, and the hottest ones seem blue. But what about the white ones? Well, these are the ones that emit green. Every star emits a variety of colors through light wavelengths. We just see the most dominant ones.
Since the wavelength of green is pretty medium and close to yellow and other colors, our eyes decipher all these flying colors as... well, white. This is also true for purple stars. The purple will always be overshadowed by the closest dominant color - blue - and so, we will always see purple stars as blue.
Why Are Taxis Yellow?
John Hertz’s Yellow Cab Company started in Chicago in 1915. He picked the color yellow thanks to research that found that yellow with a touch of red is the color combination that stands out over far distances. At the time, there were many cab companies, and each fleet had a different color altogether. He quickly expanded to other cities.
The medallion system was established in 1937 in New York, and it limited the number of licensed taxis in the city. Only licensed cabs could pick up passengers on the street, and the rest had to be pre-arranged by passengers. But in 1968, to protect the rights of licensed taxis and help passengers distinguish them from others, a law was passed that only licensed taxis were allowed to be yellow.
Why Are Police Uniforms Dark Blue?
This one is pretty straightforward. The first-ever police force was established in London in 1829. They chose blue for their uniforms to distinguish the officers from soldiers, who wore red and white. In the US, the first police force established was in New York in 1845. They took after this tradition. Today, the dark navy color helps officers blend in at night. As simple as that!