Invention Geek – Yellow Freight Logo?

Question from John M.:

Hello Invention Geek,

Every time I am on the highway, I see a Yellow Freight truck. It has always bothered me that part of the truck and the logo are orange. Why is the Yellow logo orange?

John M.

Hi John,

yellowlogoThe Yellow Transit Company was formed in 1924 by an Oklahoma City taxi driver, A.J. Harrell. In the 1930’s, Harrell became concerned with safety because the streets were getting more crowded. Harrell wanted to paint his fleet the safest color on the road to protect his drivers.

He commissioned DuPont chemists to create such a color for him. DuPont made and tested hundreds of colors before deciding on the orange. Swamp Holly Orange was the color that was determined to be the easy to see from a great distance.

The color of the berries on the Swamp Holly shrub quickly became the color for the Yellow trucks and logos. To this day, the color is used even though it often confuses passing motorists.

– TG

Ask the Geek, Get a Free Patent Mug

That’s right, if your question is chosen to be featured in our weekly “Invention Geek” column, we’ll send you a free one-of-a-kind patent mug custom pressed with a picture from your invention and the title of Honorary Invention Geek.

Got a pressing question about innovation history? Jump over to Ask the Invention Geek for details & an easy entry form!