This is part of our ongoing “Design Tips for Clients” series. Whether you’re one of our clients or you’re looking to learn about design, we’ll give you an introduction to color, typography, industry jargon and much more.
Bright, warm colors, such as red, yellow, and orange, are great. They are eye-catching and invoke feelings of activity, which is perfect for driving customer decisions. The tricky part can be incorporating them into the color scheme for your business. So far, we’ve explained the different meanings and provided example color palettes for red and orange Now, we’ll take a look at the color yellow.
THE MEANINGS AND USES OF YELLOW
When people see the color yellow, they think of summer, sunshine, and fun. It is typically used to convey joy, energy, happiness, warmth, intellect, awareness, and cheerfulness. While yellow is primarily a positive color, it can also invoke feelings of fear or stress.
The different meanings and effects of yellow in a design are further influenced by the colors paired with it. For example, vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows can be used to convey a fun summer tone, perfect for a business who’s customers are younger, active, and spend a lot of time outside.
On the other hand, muted yellows, oranges, and reds convey a more serious tone, which would fit with an upscale restaurant or hair salon. Pairing a bright yellow with various grays will add a fun pop to a website with a modern tone.
In addition, yellow can be mixed with white, black, orange, and green to create a wide range of dynamic colors and color schemes that lend depth and interest to your design. For example, adding white to yellow renders softer shades of yellow, which can give your design a sense of calm. In contrast, mixing black with yellow will yield darker yellows that provide an earthy tone.
CAUTION WHEN USING YELLOW
Like red and orange, yellow does need to be used carefully. Yellow text is difficult to read unless it’s on a dark background. Using yellow, especially a bright yellow, as a dominant or background color can overwhelm visitors (remember that too much yellow can cause people to feel stressed) and distract them from their task. In addition, yellow is often associated with children’s products so be mindful of your intended audience when incorporating it into your design.
Yellow is a very dynamic color. When used correctly, it can do a lot to enhance your website. We recommend using bright yellows as secondary or accent colors so your design doesn’t overwhelm your site visitors. Pale tints or darker shades of yellow can be used as dominant colors as they provide more contrast with other colors.
Resources: “How to Use the Psychology of Color to Increase Website Conversions” from kissmetrics and “Color Theory 101” by James George.
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