Color Diaries: Yellow
I've been obsessed with colors for probably my whole life. They inspire me creatively and I nerd out when it comes to the meanings behind each hue. That is why I am excited to embark on this new passion project to study a color each month and explore how I can incorporate into my work. Remember colors are subjective, so inevitably there will be people who view colors differently because of memories or experiences that they have had. The information I will provide will be a broad overview of the feelings and meanings associated with each color.
The first thought that comes to mind when thinking about the color yellow is the sun. You feel that sense of warmth and happiness, like the joy you get when you think of a sunny day. It is an energizing color and it is one you can't ignore.
Interestingly, yellow is the easiest color for the human eye to process and it is why it captures our attention so quickly. This is why you see it used in marketing and on signage where you want your message to be noticed immediately.
Happy, optimistic, cheerful, warm, pleasing, energetic, nourishing, self-confident, innovative, welcoming, joy, summer, idealism, friendly, sunny, light, vitality, curiosity, radiant, comfort and lively
Hazards, anxious, dishonesty, jealousy, sickness, caution and cowardice
Psychology of Yellow in Branding
Yellow grabs your attention and stimulates your mind. It shows that you are a bold, optimistic and confident brand. If you have a happy brand than yellow is the perfect brand color.
The Care Crates brand design by Spruce Rd is a great example of how to use yellow. It is a bright and happy design. I love the brand pattern and how it includes the phrase “spread sunshine together” – makes the use of yellow as a brand color even better.
All the details in this brand design make me smile – between the yellow stripe pattern, the scalloped edges and the playful lettering this design is brimming with happiness. The use of yellow really helps with making The Oyster Inn brand feel like a happy brand.
Using yellow for the Positive Energy brand by Fuzzco was a smart choice. Yellow exudes positivity and what better way to subtly enforce that feeling than using this optimistic color. It helps the brand stand out in a field that is filled with green brand colors.
Luna Bee Children’s Boutique
I created this fictitious brand to show how you can use different hues and tones of the color yellow to invoke a different feeling. Yellow is a common color used in children's brands, because of its association of being a happy and positive color. Knowing the psychology behind colors helps to create a powerful brand color palette. Since Luna Bee is a high-end children's boutique, I wanted it to feel still happy and playful but use more muted tones instead of a traditional bright yellow. Using the mustard color as the primary color with Tuscany yellow and the neutral colors gives it a more elegant and luxurious feel.
View more of the brand design here.
Changing A Color Palette
Color plays a huge role in how a design is perceived. With that in mind, I wanted to take one of my existing pattern collections – Jungle Bloom – and see how changing it to a yellow color palette would make it feel different. Let's compare:
The biggest thing I noticed is that the blue versions feel more playful and happy, which is interesting since yellow is known as one of the most joyous colors. I think since I used more mustard and brown hues it doesn't come across as cheerful. The yellow palette is warmer, and these colors are more typical when depicting safari type scenes. They are so different from each other they would attract different audiences.
Playing with yellow in my own designs. I’ll be adding more throughout the month.