Yellow logos: what they mean and how to make one.

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Considering the color yellow for your logo? It could be the perfect choice. But like every logo option — from your logo shape to whether you use a wordmark, a symbol, or both — the colors you choose for your logo design should be intentional and underscore your brand identity. So, should your brand join others who use powerful yellow logos? Read on to get more information that’ll help you choose the right color for your logo.



The meanings behind yellow logos.

Color has a dramatic impact on what your logo conveys about your brand because each color triggers specific emotional, physical, and reactions in all of us. Yellow is no exception. As international color expert Kate Smith explains, “Yellow is absolutely invigorating. It stimulates our nerves, glands, and brain, making us more alert and energized. Yellow boosts our memory, and it encourages communication. It’s a color that promotes activity and interaction.”

There’s a whole world of color psychology around how colors make you feel and what they subliminally imply. It’s important to think about these emotional and psychological effects as you consider logo colors. The colors you choose can either strengthen your brand identity or go against it.

Perhaps you’ve heard that red logos tend to imply energy, excitement, and even danger. Or likewise that black logos are about sophistication, elegance, and sometimes can seem threatening. Not surprisingly, green logos nod to nature, health, and growth, while blue logos are about serenity, trustworthiness, and calmness. Orange logos are considered energetic, bold, and playful.

And what about yellow logos? In nature, the color yellow presents as perky, vibrant, exciting, and full of life. Just think about bananas, daffodils, bumblebees, and pineapples. What’s not to like?

If you think about the color yellow in general, things that may come to mind may be sunshine, vibrancy, cheerfulness, youthfulness, positivity, playfulness, and knowledge (like a lightbulb). On the negative side, it can also be associated with frustration, anger, and confusion.

While psychologically the color yellow is mostly happy, playful, and optimistic, its attention-grabbing character makes it a successful choice when trying to indicate caution or make someone pause and think. This may explain why yellow is integral to stoplights, hazard road signs, and grocery store discount tags.

Yellow is a warm color, an activating color family in contrast to the soothing properties of cool-toned blues and greens. If you want people to get hyped and shop or act immediately, yellow may be a good choice for your company logo. Yellow is known to inspire action, especially while consumers shop. If your brand is focused around something intended to comfort and pacify or suggest long-term gain over immediate gratification, perhaps consider another color.

Studies show that yellow also has psychological associations with appetite, so if you’re making a logo for a food company, yellow may be a good choice.

Finally, yellow is associated with bargains and frugality, so if your brand is all about discounts, great pricing, or value, yellow may be right for you.

If you need more of an overall color primer, discover how to use color effectively.

Examples of famous yellow logos.

Since yellow triggers a diverse set of emotions and connotations depending on how it’s used, let’s take a look at some popular yellow logos that successfully leverage the color, despite being very different types of businesses.

Let’s start with food companies. The most obvious is the McDonald’s red and yellow logo. They may be fondly called “golden arches,” but that’s probably because it sounds more compelling than “yellow arches.” Plus, gold is part of the yellow spectrum of the color wheel.

The speedy sandwich chain Subway leads with yellow, and Denny’s excites guests with the sunny hue, too.

Interestingly, all three of these food brands are also value oriented, which makes their yellow logos work triple duty in underscoring their brand values: food, affordability, and ease.

Speaking of cost consciousness, how about the IKEA blue and yellow logo? And Best Buy? They’re also great examples of yellow logos that use the color psychology of yellow to their advantage.

Meanwhile, yellow’s get-up-and-go attitude makes it a good choice for brands in the travel or transportation sectors, like National Geographic, Ferrari, Hertz rental cars, and DHL.

Social media brand Snapchat, dating app Bumble, and the Pokémon entertainment brand rely on yellow’s youthful, playful spirit to create exciting, engaging yellow logos that beg you to take part in the fun.

How to make yellow logos.

If you’ve read through all of the above and feel like a yellow logo is right for your brand and your target audience, it’s time to commit to the color and move on to other details of your logo design. Additional elements you need to consider are:

Logo shape.

Like color, logo shapes have subliminal implications, so you’ll want to consider which shape best compliments your brand identity and your desired yellow. If you don’t already have a shape direction, learn more about logo shapes.

Fonts or typography.

Fonts elicit emotion and should be tied to your brand’s character. For example, Barbie’s hand-drawn cursive font is round and feminine and feels playful, whimsical, and pretty. BMW’s is clear, straightforward, and crisp but combined with its look feels prestigious, confident, sporty, and chic. Imagine swapping the Barbie font for the BMW font and you get a sense of how deeply fonts can impact your brand logo design. Get help thinking through fonts in this guide.

Logomarks or symbols.

Is your logo your brand name, a monogram, a symbol, or some combination of letters and an image? Since the best logos are clear, uncluttered, and consequently easy for the eye to process, you want to make sure whichever direction you go doesn’t overwhelm.

Complementary colors.

Even if yellow is the dominant color in your logo, you’ll need to include either another color or black to make it easy to read. If you need a little help finding just the right complementary color for your yellow, try a free color palette generator app. It’ll give you a variety of workable color schemes to choose from.

Logos compatible with social media.

Thanks to social media, logos need to be easily identifiable and legible in much smaller formats now more than ever. This doesn’t mean you need your entire logo to fit into a thumbnail or favicon (a browser icon). But you do need to consider whether some iteration or identifiable element of it can stand on its own whether it’s used for a tiny profile pic or browser icon.

Ideas for yellow logos and free logo templates

With the most important logo ideas determined, it’s time to make your yellow logo. You can hire a graphic designer to create one for you, but you can also make one yourself in minutes using a free online logo maker. Start from scratch or tap any of the following templates to customize it as you wish.

Try Adobe Express today