Is it just branding, decoration, or is there an actual human-centered reason for it?

enter image description here

  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it not investigating a specific usability concern or concept. Commented May 6, 2015 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


In U.S. English a "bagger" is the person who bags your groceries at the store. According to Google, other options are either a type of motorcycle, or construction equipment like a dredger or backhoe.

Assuming you mean something like this: enter image description here

...the answer is that they are not all yellow. In Japan, they're often gray & purple. Some are green, or orange, or white, depending on the company.

Those that are yellow are painted that way to enhance visibility and to serve as a warning to people nearby. Yellow is easy to see, making it a good choice for vehicles that want to alert people of danger or to pay attention. Examples include construction equipment, school buses, or even taxis. The combination of yellow + black is a common indicator in nature and elsewhere used to mean "Danger" or "Caution" (think bees & wasps). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow#The_color_of_visibility_and_caution

Und, die erklärung "Gelb-Schwarz" aus Deutsch Wikipedia, weil "Bagger" offensichtlich Deutsch ist:

Gelb in Kombination mit Schwarz (sozusagen kein Gelb) ist in der Natur eine Warnfarbe, was wohl auf dem Kontrast zwischen „Hell“ und „Nicht-Hell“ beruht. Für giftige Tiere ist diese Färbung typisch – sie signalisiert potentiellen Fressfeinden: „keine brauchbare Beute“. Beispiele sind Bienen, Hummeln, Wespen oder der Feuersalamander. Schwebfliegen oder Hornissenschwärmer nutzen die Warnfarbe zur Mimikry, ohne selbst giftig zu sein.

Diese Signalwirkung betrifft auch den Menschen: In Kombination mit Schwarz wird allgemein die größtmögliche Signalwirkung zweier Farben erreicht, wobei das stark wirkende Gelb besonders geeignet ist. Verwendet wird diese Farbkombination daher zum Beispiel für Warnzeichen vor Gefahren (wie Hochspannung) und das Blindenzeichen.

  • Plus of course the ubiquous yellow hi visibility jacket. And in nature wasps and bees use the same warning colour scheme as the digger.
    – PhillipW
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 18:43
  • True - bees & wasps are mentioned in the German quote for OP, but I added a brief note to the English as well. Thanks :)
    – mc01
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 18:57
  • I would guess that it traces back, at least in part, to the trademarked "Caterpillar yellow" used by that large maker of construction equipment. Other companies have, or once had, their own trademark color schemes, but it seems that they are all gradually converging on yellow.
    – jamesqf
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 19:02
  • Putting 'warrning signs' into google shows that there is a marked existing pattern for the use primarily of yellow and black (and to a lesser extent red) in warning signage. google.co.uk/…
    – PhillipW
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 8:44

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