Color Meaning: Yellow
Spring has arrived here in the midwest. Finally, after a long gray winter, mother nature has started her annual project of coloring our world. As I watch the yellow daffodils waving in the breeze under blue skies, it is hard to not feel cheerful, and to look forward to of a summer filled with memories and the brilliant burst of colors that surround us in everything we do.
Our reaction to color is much more than what meets the eye. Color can subliminally affect our mood, emotional response, appetite, and almost every aspect of our day to day world. Have you thought about how you color your world? Is your car’s paint color a choice that represents you, the free-spirit, behind the wheel? What color palette did you choose for your home? Your wardrobe? Even more importantly, what do the color choices on your website say to visitors? In my upcoming series; Color – Influencing without a word we will discover how color can affect your clients and help you build your brand.
“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” ~Wassily Kandinsky
Yellow is capable of charming God. ~Vincent Van Gogh
What a horrible thing yellow is. ~Edgar Degas
When I close my eyes and focus on the color yellow, I feel the warmth of the sun on my face and I can almost smell the crisp summer air filled with childhood memories. Yellow is lemon fresh, comforting, familiar yet exciting. The feelings it evokes contrast greatly with the common english association of cowardice and caution.
Yellow is a high energy color that many associate with happiness. For some, lighter buttery shades are associated with calm, and they are pleasing when used over larger areas. These shades are often found in nurseries, hospitals and office design.
A “true” yellow exudes vitality, energy and optimism. When used in marketing and design, it is often perceived as friendly and trustworthy. These mid-tones of yellow are associated with creativity and considered the color of new ideas. Yellow is the practical thinker, both inspirational and inquisitive.
Yellow in bright hues tends to catch the eye, and depending on the shade,can grab attention in a very powerful way. Something to keep in mind is that yellow reflects the most light of all the colors in the spectrum, and can easily become irritating to the eyes. In psychological studies, bright shades of yellow have been described as confrontational and aggressive and are often associated with caution and danger. As with all good things, moderation is the key when using brighter shades of yellow.
In business, yellow is best used sparingly, highlighting specific items or areas. If you want to keep people moving, use yellow in the room. You have probably noticed that bold yellows and reds are often used in fast food restaurants. These colors were not chosen at random but are very specifically targeted to how they want you, the customer, to react; Red, which we will talk about again later in the series, increases your appetite; Yellow influences you to eat quickly and want to leave. Many brick and mortar businesses use a bright yellow in their signage; Best Buy, Dollar General, Denny’s and Ikea are all easily recognized, even from a distance, because of their bold yellow logos.
As the quotes from Van Gogh and Degas attest to, yellow can be a powerful tool in your color choices, or it can send your prospective clients quickly away. If you would like help with your brand colors, contact me here.
Join us next week as we explore the color green.