Want more happiness and optimism in your life?
Embrace the yellow color meaning!
Learn how this bold hue can affect your life, and others.
Yellow is a bright and upbeat color – but there’s more to the meaning of yellow than just joy.
Let’s get to know yellow better.
Meaning of the Color Yellow
Yellow is a cheerful color that gives a feeling of happiness.
Did you know that the original emoticon was yellow – and there was only one?
The smiley face was created around 1963, and was yellow due to the joy this color brings.
But yellow isn’t all happiness and positivity, as there are some negative meanings we’ll cover too.
How the Color Yellow Affects You
Yellow is a bright color that practically radiates energy. It can offer a pick-me-up, as it invigorates the nervous system.
It is also said to stimulate the logical part of the brain and help with perception.
You feel more confident when wearing yellow, and it can boost enthusiasm.
Below, you’ll find more specific meanings and effects of yellow.
Joy and happiness
The primary association with yellow is the color of happiness and joy.
The lively hue of it makes us feel positive and uplifted.
It is a color that’s always resonated with children, so it’s a popular color for toys.
Yellow rose meanings usually involve friendship and happiness, so they’re given as gifts to friends.
As long as the recipient understands the color meaning, they won’t interpret your gift as an overture to romance. 🙂
Yellow love means friendship as opposed to romantic love. That’s why the yellow heart emoji is often used to show a friend you love what they are doing.
Helps with learning and practical skills
Yellow has been shown to stimulate the left part of our brains where logical thinking occurs.
This means the color can boost our ability to make logical and informed decisions.
Yellow encourages new thinking and fresh ideas, but always with a practical element.
That upbeat nature of yellow also helps to boost confidence.
Yellow can help you stop self-doubt and better cope when your thoughts go off track.
It also helps with clarity and seeing things as they really are.
This helps to make good decisions, which in turn boosts confidence.
Negative Connotations of the Color Yellow
Sometimes, yellow makes people uncomfortable, especially for those a bit on the nervous side.
It can lead to unhealthy overthinking and self-criticism.
Also yellow can be very logical, and this doesn’t always leave room for emotions. If you are a very emotion-led person, yellow may not be the best color for you.
Yellow is often used as a warning. That’s why the yellow meaning in traffic lights is to be ready to either stop or go.
And yellow color curbs mean you can’t stop there.
Yellow Meanings Around the World
Yellow has mixed meanings around the world.
In India, it is the color of good fortune and is popular with merchants.
In Japan, it is the color of courage, while Islamic countries see it as the color of wisdom.
Both Egypt and Mexico see it as a color of mourning – but it is also one of happiness in Egypt.
Greeks view yellow as a negative color. In Brazil, it is the color of intellect and wealth.
Yellow Color Meaning for Personality
People who love yellow are often fun and have a sunny disposition.
They are infectious in their optimism and never see the glass as half empty.
Yellow lovers are very spontaneous and will often pull others along with their willingness to take action.
See more about what your favorite color says about you!
Color Yellow Meaning in the Bible
Yellow doesn’t feature a lot in the Bible. Where it does, the meaning of yellow is closely tied up with the meaning of gold or as something of value.
The interesting thing is that there are two Hebrew words for yellow used in the Bible. Charuts would be seen as positive, since it refers to a gold and silver alloy. It can symbolize the glory of God, and the glow of His energy.
But tsahob refers to the hair color, or the skin of a sick person.
Occasionally, it is referenced as the color of brimstone, the Biblical term for sulfur, which is yellow in color.
However, it is also associated with the color of leprosy.
The Catholic Church ascribes a positive meaning to yellow. It’s seen as symbolic of renewal and hope, so it’s sometimes used with white for Easter, though gold is more common.
Other Spiritual Meanings and Symbolism of Yellow
Yellow is the color of the solar plexus chakra, Manipura.
This chakra is associated with power, success, and control over your surroundings.
It is also associated with the color of the sun and it is connected with purity.
Yellow color in dreams often means joy and optimism. Again, it is connected with the sun and therefore with life and happiness.
But sometimes it comes as a warning. It may mean caution is needed.
Yellow is also the color of miracles and magic.
Some people believe if you are uncomfortable with yellow, there could be emotional imbalances in your energy.
Yellow Meaning in Art & Design
The bright and eye-catching effect of yellow is often used in art and design. It draws attention!
For example, Picasso used yellow to contrast and highlight faces and objects during his blue phase. Renoir often used yellow to bring out important elements or to add depth and shine to things.
Vincent Van Gogh loved the contrast of blue and yellow. He wrote to his brother Theo,
It’s tremendous, these yellow houses in the sunlight and then the incomparable freshness of the blue.
The Yellow House, where Van Gogh lived from May 1, 1888 on, is one of the most famous examples.
He also used yellow with his Sunflowers to create feelings of warmth and delight, like the sun.
Being an intense hue, yellow often triggers strong emotions, not always positive.
As you can see in Paul Gauguin’s The Yellow Christ, an overabundance of yellow can create a sense of unpleasantness and abrasiveness.
Tints and Shades of Yellow Meanings
Pure yellow is created by full red and green light, with no blue. Thus the hex code is #FFFF00, with the RGB value being 255, 255, 0.
In pigments, pure yellow is a primary color, which means it can’t be mixed from other hues.
Mustard yellow is a shade of dark yellow that is most often tied in with the condiment.
The color itself is a mature and elegant shade that is often associated with being respectable and traditional. It can also help with creative thinking.
It has a hex code of E1AD01 and RGB code of 225, 173, 1.
Golden yellow is associated with wealth and is often used sparingly. It is also the shade used by the US Air Force.
The hex code is FFDF00 and the RGB is 255, 223, 0.
Canary yellow comes from the color of many captive-bred canary birds.
It is a bright shade of yellow that is positive and confident. The hex code is FFEF00 and the RGB is 255, 239, 0.
Yellow chartreuse is a herbal liqueur, and the color name comes from it.
In addition to the drink, it is also associated with jealousy and insecurity, as it has a green undertone.
The hex code is DFFF00 and the RGB is 223, 255, 0.
This color thesaurus has more color names for yellow.
Yellow and Black Meaning
Yellow is sometimes paired with specific colors to give specific meanings. For example, yellow and black means danger and warnings.
This is often because things like wasps can be dangerous, while some toxic fish and amphibians are yellow and black.
It’s also a very eye-catching combination, so it’s hard to miss.
Phrases with Yellow
There are a few common phrases with yellow in them that are used around the world.
Some of the most common include:
Yellow-bellied – lacking in courage.
Yellow brick road – a path that leads to your hopes and dreams.
Yellow journalist – someone who writes sensational stories but isn’t always accurate or in good taste.
See yellow – receive a yellow card in sports that use them. These cards represent a warning with no immediate punishment.
How to Use Yellow in Marketing
Yellow is a tricky color to use in branding.
For some things, it doesn’t work. For example, yellow lettering can be hard to read.
Sometimes yellow can fade into the background and fail to get noticed, especially if it’s on white.
But used correctly, it can grab attention. Good contrast is needed.
It’s also associated with happiness and optimism, and some brands can make the most of this.
You’ll see a whole range of industries use it from fast food (McDonald’s, Subway) to stationery brands (Post-It) or even furniture retailers (IKEA).
Learn more about the best business colors and how to use them.
Using Yellow Color Meaning in Life
Yellow is mostly an optimistic and cheerful color.
You can use it to give yourself a boost, to feel more positive.
Or you can use it to help make logical decisions about things in your life.
Learn more about all of the color meanings and how you can use them.