Diana Eng's journey into an abandoned sulfur mine in a dormant volcano to view this season's most popular yellow color

My friend Diana Eng is a fashion designer. She says:

A couple of years ago trend forecasters at Premiere Vision said a highlighter neon yellow would be a big color for Fall/Winter 2012. I’ve been seeing this color for a while at American Apparel which didn’t mean much since they cater to hipsters. But when I walked into the Gap this holiday season and saw neon yellow everywhere I knew that the self-fulfilling trend forecast had come true! How much do I love this type of yellow?

I visited an abandoned sulfur mine situated in the center of a dormant volcano on White Island to view a super concentrated neon yellow, sulfur. Yes, I like to stare at colors and vacation to spots of geological interest.

Seeing this color in real life is kind of surreal, because it’s so vibrant, it looks unreal


  1. Is there something wrong with me? Most of those things look green to me, not yellow :( The exception is the last shot of the sulfur mine. Also the hardhat looks yellow. But those shorts and that shirt honestly look green to me.

    1. Neon yellow is definitely a cool yellow, not a warm one. IE it leans in the green direction; most organic yellows lean in the orange direction.

      I’m perfectly happy calling it “a kind of yellow with green-like qualities”, but I do understand why people see it and try to call it green.

      It doesn’t look very green once you put neon green next to it though. Anything less…. intense doesn’t have the power to provide the right contrast.

      I hated the 80s. I was a child in the 80s, people kept trying to dress me in these hideous colours.

      1. Yeah, when I think of a “neon” yellow in pigment or dye I tend to think more of nickel yellow (which I actually like). Strangely the yellow color of actual neon signs is much warmer!

    2. Having just been shopping with teenaged girls today — kill me now — I can tell you that the color IRL is slightly more yellow than chartreuse.

      In other words, yes, it’s a greenish yellow/yellowish green.  Not a pure yellow at all.

    3. Like hearing, taste and the sense of smell, sight is basically a relative thing. My wife and I recently moved into a place with a new color scheme and some new furniture. What was red to her was “maroon” to me – and what ws gray was dark green. A lot of this comes down to semantics – – green, light green, dark green, OFF-green, PARROT-green…one might as well be arguing politics

      I’m getting the feeling that Ms Eng might be experiencing a mild form of “synaethesia” a pleasant malady wherein a person “hears” or “smells” colors – as I say, possibly a mild form

      Sly Stone covered all this color stuff in one of his songs:

      “There is a yellow one that won’t 
      Accept the black one
      That won’t accept the red one
      That won’t accept the white one”

      1. “Cold-hearted orb that rules the night,
        Removes the colors from our sight.
        Red is grey and yellow white,
        But we decide which is right
        And which is an illusion.”

      2. Charge it
        What is that?
        A blue one?
        I don’t have a blue one!
        A red one?
        I don’t have a red one!
        Oh, just that gold one
        I don’t know, do they come in platinum?


      3. Men and women actually have slightly different eyes, and we do actually see colours slightly differently. I think if more people knew this, there would be fewer fights about redecorating

          1.  But how do you walk down the street if you’re constantly looking at each other?? It must get complicated!

        1.  Also “teal” in men’s clothing really is a very different color than “teal” for women.

          1.  Not to mention that size L for some clothing brands is very similar to XL in other brands!

            So yeah, if men are used to Teal meaning one thing, and women get Teal clothing as a different shade, it’s going to make it even Harder to agree!

      1. I also thought ‘bright chartreuse’ when I saw it, not yellow. I don’t think it’s the monitor either as the sulfur picture looks a lot less green.

    4. If you have a problem, then I do also.  The ladies’ tops appear to be a luminous green (green with yellowish tints, perhaps?) to me.  The hardhats do appear to be truly yellow.  The background yellows are golden or moderately dark, with occasional greenish tints, except for a spot to the right of the redhead, which almost matches her shirt, and the areas above that, behind her shoulder, which are pale green.

  2. “Highlighter neon yellow”? My yellow highlight isn’t the same color as those clothes, my GREEN one is.

    1. I’ve definitely noticed two different flavors of yellow highlighters.  More recently the ones I’ve used (like the Sharpie Accent Highlighter I have on my desk today) look bright greenish-yellow, much like the shorts.  But I used to see more yellow highlighters (probably different brands) that had more of a school-bus orangish-yellow vibe to them.  I don’t see them as often, but they occasionally turn up in my office.

      Those older ones don’t seem nearly as fluorescent, or “neon yellow.”

  3. Maybe it’s the brimstone messing with my eyes but the woman on the left looks like she was assembled from parts. Poorly.

    1. Those neon shorts and head/body proportions do make her look like a bad Photoshop job. 

      Plus the fact that she was clearly photoshopped on top of a picture of a sulfur spewing hot spring.

          1. She disturbs me a bit.  The pose and her back look pretty va-va-voom to my lecherous eye if I cover her face and front with my hand, but otherwise yeah, she looks so frighteningly underage that I want someone to send her to the vice principal’s office.

            Actually, it’s me that should be sent to the v.p.’s office, come to think of it.

          2. Lot of strange racism going on on boing boing about this girl.  Finding all these things wrong, etc.  People are disturbed?  The disturbance is within you, there’s nothing wrong with the girl.  Unless we’re doing the dentist-fires-assistant-because-he’s-disturbed thing.  

          3. xlr7 I’m a hetero woman. I’m not attracted to her. Not sure what’s racist about finding child like models non-sexy though. Maybe you should drop psychotherapy as a hobby.

          4. Unnatural! Just like volcanic hot springs! And gay giraffes! Someone need to start calling nature out on its unnatural habits.

  4. This color looks bad on most people, and especially anyone with olive or ivory in their skin tone.  I predict it will not do as well as other colors-of-the-season have done.  But it looks great in a sulphur mine!

    1. Target is showing it next to clothes in a pinkish maroon and dark teal, which makes it look even worse.  Imagine my surprise to see it all over the post-Christmas 30% off clearance racks…  It was horrible in the 80s and it’s horrible now.  I’d like to smack whoever decided this was “in.”

    2. The one thing is to consider is multi ethnic mixtures. I have what looks like olive skin, I look “Greek”, and this color looks fantastic on me, so does orange. Wouldn’t think it would work, but that’s what’s unexpected when you have lots of people mixing together.

      1. Trust me, I am considering multi-ethnic mixtures.  In our family, we all have different skin tones (and appear to be different ethnicities) but none of us can wear this color.

        It should be used instead of orange for prison jumpsuits, for the really hardcore violent offenders.

  5. self-fulfilling trend forecast is exactly right…  duh, if every clothing manufacturer follows the projected “trends,” then everything in stores will be those colors…  groundbreaking visionaries indeed…

  6. American Apparel vs. Pantone. Pantone’s color of 2013 is Emerald [http://www.pantone.com/pages/index.aspx?pg=21055], which is thankfully less eye piercing. But, I guess American Apparel’s ‘projections were for Fall/Winter 2012. So, maybe just an excuse for sulfur pictures?

  7. Is there anything about the colour of sulphur that’s hard to reproduce in a fabric? (I understand why computer monitors could have trouble) It’s not actually fluorescent, is it? It looks muddy under a black light, as I recall.  

  8. Visited White Island last week, there’s also an awesome dilapidated heat exchanger behind the stargate.

  9. White Island isn’t a dormant volcano, it’s a very active volcano which is known to erupt with very little warning. Right now it appears to be pushing a spine of highly viscous lava out of the vent, which is never a good sign.

    Visiting White Island is very risky indeed and there could be a tragedy there any day.

  10. The 80’s/early 90’s colour palette can go jump into an active volcano as far as I’m concerned. It’s vulgar – there’s no better word for it.

  11. My favorite “point of geological interest” is the Dakota hogback between Morrison and Boulder…

  12. The color of the shorts of the model on the left is actually not a bad one to have for your cycling gear. 

  13. It’s not such a hard “prediction” to make.  There actualyl _is_ something called the Style Council, and they meet once a season (spring/fall of each year) to decide on “fashion colors” about 18 months into the future.  There’s a very practical reason for this: the lead time in clothing production.  Raw cottons, wools, and synthetics must be manufactured in India, China, or Bangladesh.  Cloth is then sent to Italy, Europe, London, Tokyo, New York, where designers do their thing.  Designs are decided, patterns set, and then sent electronically to factories in China, where (meanwhile) thousands of bolts of cloth have been sent ahead in preparation.  Clothes made, shipped to some premier markets, tested, patterns refined, and then released to the masses.

    All in all, this takes about 18-24 months.  Depending on where you shop and the magazines you read, you can get a heads up on what’s coming in a few months, what’s here now, or what’s being cleaned out with excess inventory.

    Knowing all this (from a job in fashion retail) kinda kills the fun of shopping, but it’s made me very practical and functional in my clothing choices.

    1. Wait, wasn’t the Style Council just the Jam after they quit punk and went all blue-eyed soul?

  14. The girl on the left looks horribly photoshopped. The shape of her body and her body’s size relative to her head size seem very, very wrong.

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