Color Psychology: The Color Yellow

As one of the three primary colors, yellow is an incredibly vital hue to get to know. Today, we’re talking all about the color’s history, perceptions, trends, and more. Head over to our @StoriesEdit IG feed to see our IGTV video all about the color yellow! Stay tuned for more blog posts covering other important colors you should know in the future. Let’s dive in!

“As one of the
three primary colors,
yellow is an incredibly
vital hue to get to know.”


Tweet this.

History

The color yellow can be traced back to some of the oldest paintings in history; in fact, traces of this color have been found in prehistoric cave paintings. In particular, the color yellow is a prominent color in the painting of a horse in the cave Lascaux, which is approximately 17,300 years old.

This color has deep religious ties since it’s often the shade utilized to represent the sun, which is considered one of humanity’s most significant and important symbols. In Ancient Greece and Rome, several of the gods were often depicted to have yellow or golden-colored hair.

Perception

Did you know that yellow is often referred to as the most visible color of the spectrum? The reason for this is that the human eye is said to process the color yellow first. This has naturally made the color yellow the “go-to” color for all things that need to demand attention quickly, such as road signs, ambulances, taxis, hazard signs, and more.

Like any other color, yellow can be perceived in a variety of ways depending on the shade and culture in which it’s being seen in. For example, in several western cultures, it’s associated with words such as cheeriness, warmth, caution, and happiness, but in India, it’s often used to represent knowledge.

“Did you know that
yellow is often referred
to as the most visible
color of the spectrum?”


Tweet this.

Trends

All colors tend to evoke a feeling when perceived, and according to several reports, the color yellow can influence how hungry you are. Because of this, it’s no surprise that this specific color tends to be popular among companies who are selling something to eat (think of McDonald’s, Denny’s, Sonic, Lays).

It’s also a popular color choice for companies or brands who are trying to gain the attention of the masses (think of IKEA, Best Buy, Amazon, National Geographic). Other companies are drawn to the color yellow because it can capture and convey a sense of friendliness or familiarity that other colors can’t. Take a company like Sprint, their logo is incredibly simple, but it instantly catches your attention with the strategically placed yellow graphic on the right-hand side of their company name, their logo instantly feels bright, inviting, and familiar. If you were to cover up the yellow portion of their logo, it immediately changes the overall mood of the design.

Another example of a logo that successfully utilizes this color is Supergoop. They thoughtfully use the color yellow within their packaging to continuously connect their products to the sun, which is a subtle but effective visual message to potential customers. Glossier is another example of a company that has utilized the color yellow to echo the sun in their packaging for their widely popular sunscreen, Invisible Sheild. Companies like Ritual and Starface are also brands that are effectively utilizing this hue within their branding and marketing materials.

“The color yellow
can influence how
hungry you are.”


Tweet this.

How to Use Yellow

We’ve collected a few words that yellow tends to be connected with, as well as a few color combinations to use when incorporating this color into your branding or marketing materials.

Words associated with Yellow:

  • Compassion
  • Sincerity
  • Happiness
  • Optimism
  • Gentleness

One thing is for sure, yellow is such a versatile color! We hope this breakdown of the color helps with your future marketing and content strategies. If there’s one lesson to take away, it would be to not be afraid of any colors on the spectrum! Depending on the shade of yellow you use, it could convey energy and excitement or gentleness and sincerity. If you’re currently building your brand, yellow could be the perfect color for you, so experiment with it and try something new! We’ll be sharing the color psychology of other colors here on the blog, so be sure to keep checking back for more color-related posts, IGTV episodes, and more.

Sign up for free today