I’ve always been attracted to the combination of black and yellow. I think it started because my high school’s colors were black and gold. It felt good to put on one of our uniforms because the black and gold colors together looked so striking and powerful. Currently black and yellow seems to be having quite the fashion moment, but this particular color combination also has quite the history as well as a couple of interesting and famous fans.
I, of course, am not the only one to notice the striking effect yielded by a black and yellow color combination. Famous typographer Jan Tschichold noted in his book The Principles of the New Typography that, in typography and graphic design, pure yellow is one of only a few colors that should be used with black because of the “intensity” that the colors create together. (Tschichold, p. 120) Of course, the notion of only using a few colors in combination with black is pretty extreme, but, if you’ve read anything from or about Tschichold you’ll realize that a lot of his ideas were pretty extreme. Still, his thought that yellow and black together create one of the most intense color combinations does apply here.
Musician Jack White also enjoys a good yellow and black color combo. Formerly of the White Stripes and currently of the Dead Weather, White owns his own record label called Third Man Records. The colors of the label are yellow and black. Although I can’t find the source now (of course), I read somewhere that it’s because White believes that yellow and black, as well as red, are the most powerful colors in existence. …maybe he’s been reading a little Tschichold.
While the black and yellow color combination could be described as bold, striking, powerful, and intense, it can also have a soft side when the yellow is more muted. See the two outfits below.
So, which black and yellow is your style? Bold and striking? Or muted and sophisticated? Will you be participating in this fashion moment?
…While I do love a pop of yellow every once in a while, the muted yellow is more my everyday style. Right now, I’m wishing both of the above outfits were hanging in my closet. I would wear the leather vest number for casual weekend days and the pinstriped pants outfit for work. It would be killer! Maybe I’ll let these outfits be my inspiration for my next shopping adventure.