Prior to using Yellow in business, you need to understand the traits and qualities of the colour to decide if it will create the right message for your target market. Yellow is a warm and happy colour, the colour of sunshine, which creates a sense of cheerfulness and playfulness.

Psychologically, it is optimistic, uplifting and illuminating, brightening people’s spirits. Yellow stimulates the logical side of the brain and mental clarity. It promotes wisdom and academic proficiency. It inspires original thinking and creative ideas. It increases the analytical processes and our logical reasoning, helping with decision-making.

In heraldry, yellow indicates honour and loyalty. Yellow is often associated with food. Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter, which is why taxicabs in the USA and the AA vans in the UK are this colour. Yellow is seen before other colours when placed against black; this combination is often used to issue a warning. Light yellow tends to disappear into white, so it usually needs a dark colour to highlight it. Too much yellow can cause anxiety, nervousness, apprehension, agitation and confrontation particularly in people who are already stressed. It can motivate people to become overly critical and judgmental, as well as deceitful.

Use yellow to evoke pleasant, cheerful feelings. You can choose yellow to promote children’s products and items related to leisure. Yellow is very effective for attracting attention, so use it to highlight the most important elements of your design. Men usually perceive yellow as a lighthearted colour, so it is not recommended to use it when selling prestigious, expensive products to men. Yellow is an unstable and spontaneous colour, so avoid using it if you want to suggest stability and safety.

Dull (dingy) yellow represents caution, decay, sickness, and jealousy.
Light yellow is associated with intellect, freshness, and joy.

Positive Colour Meanings:

  • cheerful, happy, playful, fun
  • optimistic, uplifting, illuminating
  • logical, mental clarity, aids decision-making
  • confidence, originality, creativity
  • challenging, academic and analytical
  • wisdom and logic
  • communication of new ideas

Negative Colour Meanings:

  • critical and judgmental, overly analytical
  • impatient and impulsive
  • egotistical, pessimistic, an inferiority complex
  • spiteful, cowardly, deceitful
  • non-emotional and lacking compassion

What’s the most recognisable yellow logo?

A fine example of a super strong yellow logo is the famous ‘GOLDEN ARCHES’. Yes you know exactly what I mean when I say that right? It puts a smile on your face I’m sure. Learn more on how McDonald’s Iconic Golden Arches Ensure The Brand Is Recognisable by reading the article on DesignRush.


Next up – shall we go multi-coloured?