Embracing Mellow Yellow

branding with yellow

In the next of our occasional series on exploring colour, we look at yellow.

From bold, sunshine yellow to palest lemon, yellow has various connotations.

Yellow is associated with happiness, joy and fun. It generates optimism, energy and warmth. It can also create a feeling of clarity.

It’s often used as a highlight colour. It is very commonly used to emphasise key words and messages in long form copy – particularly sales copy, heavily promoting a product, with a short sales window. That’s because yellow stimulates mental activity increasing analytical processes and logical reasoning.

So, what well known brands use yellow in their branding?

Naturally, there are a few that instantly spring to mind… The AA, McDonalds, Ikea, Hertz, Walkers and Good Year. But also some slightly less obvious choices – the Dog’s Trust, National Geographic and Nikon.

However, because yellow is the brightest colour that the eye can pick up, be wary of overusing it. Too much yellow can cause anxiety and agitation. Strangely it can also come across as lacking compassion.

It is often used for budget brands, so we would recommend avoiding it if you want to convey luxury or high end products/services – yes we know Ferrari uses yellow as does Nikon and they are luxury brands. But you know there’s always the exception that proves the rule!

Yellow is a very effective colour to use if your brand is connected in any way with children. Combined with other primary colours it works incredibly well for toys and educational products.

Work in leisure? Yellow will stimulate activity – so it helps to reinforce messages about getting moving.

It’s also very commonly used in construction, and for safety products. It is often paired with black for safety signage – because it is strong and easily seen.

In the main, we would recommend avoiding yellow for wording except as an accent colour on websites and marketing collateral. It is a hard colour to read, and can feel quite aggressive and downmarket.

Yellow is not a common colour choice for branding amongst our own clients, so we only have two examples to share with you – funnily enough in construction and safety!

Client yellow logos

Is yellow the right choice for your business? Let’s have a chat and see what we can do to help – 01256 83 11 10.