The meaning of yellow: a guide for designers.

They say yellow is mellow, but it’s also much more. Find out about some of the meanings of yellow and what it can do for your designs.

Your color choices can have an immense impact on your design’s effectiveness. Different colors and even shades of one color have various associations that you can use to convey a message — but that’s only possible when you know the different meanings of colors.

In this article we’ll explore yellow, learn some of its meanings and how it can affect your designs.

Inspire positivity and happiness.

The color of sunshine, yellow brings about positive feelings. Joy, happiness, and hope are all within yellow’s domain. It can boost confidence, curiosity, and even improve learning. There’s just something about yellow that makes us think logically and positively.

At the same time, though, yellow can cause anxious and uncomfortable feelings. A lot of yellow implies there’s risky business happening. Think about warning signs or potentially dangerous animals, like wasps. Both use yellow to tell you to keep your distance. It can also signify cowardice, hence the phrase “yellow-bellied.”

Use yellow the right way.

Yellow is a great accent color that grabs attention and can make people feel optimistic about your message’s important parts. But use it sparingly — too much yellow and your design can become unnerving. Yellow’s emphasis on rationality can make people become overly critical.

There’s another important association with yellow that you need to be aware of: many people find yellow childish. Say you’re designing a brochure for a sophisticated luxury product, it’s best to avoid it. Unless, of course, you go for a golden yellow that implies wealth. Discover more tips to help improve your design projects.

Yellow is a powerful color. The key to successful design is to use it in just the right place. Get creative with color and more — make everything from logos and icons to illustrations and poster art with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.