COLOR PALETTE: YELLOW

It’s a primary color, easy to find in nature and in history (also in FILA history, of course): today we discover the many curiosities related to yellow.

20 June 2024

This primary colour is present in nature and throughout history – including FILA’s. Today we are going to discover countless curious facts about yellow. So far in this series of blog posts we have talked about colours that are widely used and available to everyone. But what happens when certain shades are off limits because they form part of registered trademarks? Simply said, we cannot use them.

In the case of yellow, this has happened on several occasions. One of the most famous is the case of the canary yellow of Post-It notes. Today, these famous, sticky bits of paper come in 28 colour variants. But the best-known and most widely spread is protected by copyright. A strange fact when you consider that this particular yellow colour was chosen randomly in 1974 by the US-based 3M company when it was testing glued strips on paper.

Together with cyan blue and magenta red, yellow is the third primary colour. Its warm character (and association with the sun and light) brings it close to the ideal states of well-being, positivity and happiness. By nature, it is associated with gold, which introduces an element of preciousness. In classical literature and lore, the Golden Age is a legendary and prosperous time when men and women lived happily and liberally.

The perception of the colour changed in the Middle Ages – a time when yellow was associated with gastric fluids and stomach bile connected to envy and anger. It is ‘yellow’ that lies and double-crosses. In the famous frescoes of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (1303 – 1305) the painter Giotto depicted Judas wearing a golden cape that leaves no room for confusion. This attitude towards yellow survived at least until the Great Plague of 1665-66, at the end of which people reclaimed their will to live by wearing yellow robes.

Yellow as ‘rebirth’ was also witnessed in modern arts, particularly the pre-war avant-garde movements such as the Nabis, the Fauvists, the Cubists, and the Expressionists whose canvases were bright and often times explosive. This trend was anticipated with some excellent examples, such as Paul Gauguin’s The Yellow Christ (1889) and the works of his frenemy Vincent van Gogh. He loved the colour so much that he made it the protagonist of his masterworks The Sunflowers and The Yellow House. Moving forward, it would be remiss not to mention Olafur Eliasson’s The Weather Project (2003): An installation for the Turbine Hall of London’s Tate Modern that presented an artificial sun capable of radiating new light in an often grey city.

Yellow also recurs in FILA’s best-known sportswear and looks. In the 1970s the American tennis player Andrea Jaeger was nicknamed ‘the bee’ because of the very modern yellow uniforms she wore on the courts. In 1978, the skier Ingemar Stenmark stepped onto the podium wearing a padded SNOW TIME jacket inspired by the blue and yellow of the flag of his native Sweden. Finally, on 16 February 1999, Italian sailor Giovanni Soldini made history on the third leg of the ‘Around Alone’ race when he saved the life of his French colleague Isabelle Autissier in the South Pacific. At that historic moment he was wearing a FILA sailing jacket Thanks to his courage, the item – with its bright yellow colour – now shines like a beacon in our museum.

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Born in Biella in the foothills of the ltalian Alps, WONNIE is a ski-loving white bear. Because he is from the snow­covered Alps, he is vulnerable to hot weather, and despite his size he has timid personality so he is always blushing. WONNIE is a gentle bear with heart of gold who easily find faults with himself even with small things but never blames others.