The year is 1883 and Reuben H. Donnelley is busy printing a telephone directory in Cheyenne, Wyoming. At some point during the production, the supply of white paper runs out. Knowing that a new shipment will take weeks to be delivered, Reuben opts to finish the job using the only other stock available in the shop – and it’s yellow.
People reacted positively to the colour, commenting on how easy it was to spot a yellow directory amongst all of the white-papered publications. Subsequent studies proved that black type atop yellow paper is easier on the eyes than white paper. Three years later Donnelley creates the first official Yellow Pages directory and it is an immediate hit. Editions of the Yellow Pages start popping up throughout the world.
The Yellow Pages made sourcing businesses an easy task and their catchy slogan “Let your fingers do the walking,” introduced in 1964, became a common catchphrase. The internet has seen the gradual decline of the once popular directory, with fewer and fewer being printed each year. It was recently announced, after 51 years of connecting people to services, the United Kingdom Yellow Pages will say goodbye.