Geek Trivia

The Golden Gate Bridge Was Originally Slated To Be Painted What Color?

Neon Green
Black and Yellow
Sky Blue
The Term "Personal Space" Was Injected Into The English Language By?

Answer: Black and Yellow

In the mid-1930s, when San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge was in the planning phase, the U.S. Navy pushed hard for a color scheme that would have definitely altered the whole feel of the massive landmark. Concerned that the bridge would pose a visibility hazard to ships, the Navy wanted the entire 8,980 foot bridge and its 746 foot towers painted in bright yellow with high-contrast black stripes in a color scheme highly reminiscent of industrial hazard tape.

As you can imagine, visibility concerns or otherwise, no one outside the Navy was on board with the idea of building the (then) world’s largest suspension bridge and painting it like a massive warning sign. Instead, architect Irving Morrow opted to use “International Orange”, which he felt was a compromise between visibility (International Orange had long been used to help objects stand out in shipping lanes and the like) and aesthetic (despite the brighter color, the shade of orange was complimentary to the sweeping views of the bay and surrounding landscapes).

If all this talk about the Golden Gate Bridge has you suddenly inspired to use the iconic orange in a design project of your own, you can replicate the color by giving your local paint store the CMYK formula (0/69/100/6) or, for an off-the-shelf solution, you can purchase a gallon of Sherman Williams “Fireweed”, color code SW 6328, which is the closest color available from Sherman Williams (the current official paint supplier for the bridge).