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Question: Why are most forklifts painted either yellow or orange?
Colors play an important role in any business.
Thanks to the psychology of colors, the color of your corporate logo can subconsciously communicate subliminal feelings and emotions to your customers. The color blue, for example, means trustworthy, loyal, strong and dependable.
Perhaps that’s why technology companies like Facebook, Twitter, Dell, Skype, IBM, HP and even LinkedIn use blue in their corporate logos: They want their customers to feel as if they can trust them with their most important information and critical data.
Red, on the other hand, communicates passion and emotion. That’s reinforced in many of the products that use the color in their logo and branding: Coca-Cola, CNN, Levi’s, and Nintendo, to name a few. These companies promote products they want their customers to be passionate about.
Green means safety, security and health. That’s probably why companies like John Deere, BP, and Starbucks use this color in their logos.
More than Just Emotions
But besides sending subliminal messages and appealing to customer’s emotions, some colors also have a practical benefit.
Remember the color spectrum from your school days? Roy G. Biv (Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet).
Colors that are high in the middle of the visible light spectrum — orange and yellow — are the most easily seen by the human eye. If you think back to your high school biology class, you may remember that retinas contain microscopic rods and cones that filter and receive light. The easiest type of light to see are the ones that fall into top part of the middle color spectrum: Namely, bright yellows and oranges.
If you think back to your high school biology class, you may remember that retinas located on the back walls of the eyeball contain microscopic rods and cones that filter and receive light. This little anatomy lesson tells us that the easiest type of light for humans to see are the ones that fall into top part of the middle section of the natural color spectrum: Namely, bright yellows and oranges.
Highest Natural Visibility
That makes these particular colors ideal for use when high visibility is important, such as with forklifts and other industrial equipment.
Painting forklifts bright colors like yellow and orange make them more visible to pedestrians and other operators, increasing the likelihood that they will be noticed. This reduces the risk of collisions and other accidents that can cause damage to property or injuries to people.
The Difficulty of Dark Forklifts
If forklift colors were darker, harder to see colors like navy blue, black or deep purple, they would pose a higher risk to workers. The ability to see danger from a distance offers the highest amount of instinctive defensiveness to avoid it.
As a result, most forklift companies will paint their forklifts and other industrial machinery bright shades of yellow and orange.