Yellow Color Psychology, Symbolism and Meaning

Yellow is a primary color. It sits between orange and green on the color wheel. Being associated with the sun, it stands for optimism, joy, enlightenment, but also for duplicity,  cowardice, betrayal. Colors that relate to yellow are yellow-green and orange. The hex code for yellow is #FFFF00.

Hex #FFFF00
RGB 255, 255, 0
CMYK 0, 0, 100, 0

The history of color yellow

Yellow was one of the first colors used in art due to the wide availability of yellow ochre pigment. Ancient Egyptians painted their gods in yellow so that it would resemble gold. From the 14th century onward, yellow has become the color of envy, jealousy, treason, the color that cannot be trusted. Once the color of the sun and gold, yellow became one of the least popular shades. Its dubious reputation has endured until today; compared to other colors, yellow often  stands as a symbol of negative personality traits.

The psychology of color yellow

Yellow is associated with the intellect, logic; it has the ability to improve analytical thinking. It is also linked with cheerfulness, happiness, optimism. It inspires hope, enthusiasm. Yellow fosters positive way of thinking, as well as a thirst for knowledge. Its creativeness focuses on mental aspects, it inspires new ways of thinking and acting. As a practical color, it directs our thoughts to finding solutions to problems, rather than encouraging daydreaming about ideal life.

It also helps with fast decision making, especially in stressful situations, when a mind is clouded with thoughts. As a non-emotional color, yellow ignores emotions in complex situations, organizes thoughts, and quickly chooses between multiple options. Yellow also promotes energy, optimism, confidence, fun. The brain releases more serotonin when a person is surrounded by the color yellow, which is why this color stands as a symbol of happiness and positivity.

The yellow personality type

People who favor color yellow are confident, optimistic, cheerful. They are good communicators and they make friends easily. Even though, they prefer a small circle of close friends, rather than being involved in large social gatherings. Yellows are known as perfectionists. They have high expectations form themselves and from others. When those expectations are not met, yellows can become very critical and judgmental.

Due to their short temper, they can be harsh on themselves and people around them. Their impulsiveness influences their money spending as well. They make money fast, but they spend it even faster. They find it hard to resist emotional urges to impulsively spend their money on things they don’t really need. They are loved by others because of their great sense of humor and overall fun personality.

Yellow personality type is also characterized by a high degree of independance; they rely on themselves for emotional stability. Even when emotionally overwhelmed, yellows tend to nurse hurt feelings privately. That might be the reason why they  are also found to be anxious. They take on too much and never ask for help, even when things go sideways. Yellows don’t mind being alone and they sometimes even prefer being single. Same as with friends, they pick partners carefully, and in the meantime, they enjoy their own company.

Negative characteristics of color yellow

Despite its associations with optimism and happiness, yellow carries a number of negative connotations. It stands for cowardice, deceitfulness, impulsiveness, egoism. High levels of exposure to yellow can also lead to aggression and irritability. Yellow personality types can often be too judgmental, spiteful, and have a lack of empathy. It is even found that babies cry more in yellow painted rooms, as well as that people tend to get angry when around this color for too long. Yellow personality types have been associated with choleric temperament in a way that they are often described as violent, vengeful, and short-tempered.

Color yellow in business

Yellow color stimulates mental activity. For example, it is found that people have a better chance of remembering something that is written on a yellow background, as opposed to a white one. However, yellow is also the shade that is most stressful on the eye, given the high amount of light that is reflected off of it. In a business context, yellow can be too distracting and can cause the inability to focus. Brighter shades of yellow can also lead to irritation and frustration. Using just the right amount of yellow can create a positive and warm atmosphere and it can help a business become associated with optimism and positive outcomes.

Color yellow in branding and marketing

Yellow is considered a warm color, which means that it can make people more emotional than some cool shades. At the same time, it is an attention grabbing color. In fact, yellow is the most noticeable color of all. Its visibility, along with the ability to provoke cheerfulness, warmth, fun, makes it a good color for branding and marketing. It is especially recommended for use by companies that offer pleasurable and accessible products and services. However, not using too much of yellow is important in order to make the target audience feel accepted, but not overwhelmed.

Information about Yellow / #FFFF00

 In a RGB color space (made from three colored lights for red, green, and blue), hex #FFFF00 is made of 100% red, 100% green and 0% blue. In a CMYK color space (also known as process color, or four color, and used in color printing), hex #FFFF00 is made of 0% cyan, 0% magenta, 100% yellow and 0% black. Yellow has a hue angle of 60 degrees, a saturation of 100% and a lightness of 50%.

Color codes of yellow

The hexadecimal color #FFFF00 has RGB values of R: 100, G: 100, B: 0 and CMYK values of C: 0, M: 0, Y: 1, K:0. 









255, 255, 0


rgb(255, 255, 0)




100, 100, 0


rgb(100%, 100%, 0%)




0, 0, 100, 0




60°, 100, 50


hsl(60°, 100%, 50%)




60°, 100, 100










97.139, -21.554, 94.478




77.003, 92.783, 13.853




0.419, 0.505, 92.783




97.139, 96.905, 102.851




97.139, 7.706, 106.787




96.324, -21.054, 55.72




11111111, 11111111, 00000000



 FAQ about Color Yellow

What does yellow color symbolize?

Yellow is a color that represents happiness, joy, and energy. It has been linked to the sun, which is a source of life and light. Yellow can also be associated with gold, which is associated with wealth and royalty.

What are 5 popular shades of yellow?

1) Sunflower yellow: This shade of yellow is bright, sunny and vibrant. It's perfect for adding a burst of color to any room in your home or office. 2) Lemon yellow: This shade is much more subdued than sunflower yellow, but still has an energetic feel thanks to its brightness and warmth. 3) Banana cream: This shade is softer than lemon yellow and has a more muted tone. It's great for those who don't want something too bright or vibrant in their home or office space. 4) Mustard yellow: This shade has a more olive-like tone than banana cream does—it's a bit darker, which makes it perfect for those who want something with more depth than banana cream provides but still want something that pops out against other colors like reds or blues. 5) Butter yellow: This shade is the softest of all the yellows on our list and has a warm, buttery feel that makes it perfect for those who want a more subtle look.

What are HEX and RGB color codes for yellow?

Yellow is a primary color, which means that it can't be created by mixing other colors. It's also a complementary color to blue—meaning that if you combine yellow and blue, you get white. The HEX code for yellow is #FFFF00 and the RGB code for yellow is R:255 G:255 B:0.

    1. Not necessarily true, I know many convicted felons that like the color yellow. Don’t really want to run into these guys in a Walmart parking lot on a Wednesday night. Not really the nicest “fellows”

  1. this color completely describes me. im a you tuber who primary likes to make others laugh or try and even in real life i have a tensity to make my love ones laugh. but all the negatives are true too. i do get jealous easily, i do have anxiety, and i fear of losing my loved ones everyday, and i am a thinker so that can explain why people say i like to hyper focus”. and its my favorite color as well so im completely happy it is revolved around me lol

    1. Bro that does not make sense at all, You should get off of youtube and go back to your parents pizza shop. You have no subscribers

    1. Only thing that will “stand out” is you outside when your mom kicks your full grown ass out of your house. You’re 35 bro, grow up

  2. Imagine being autistic and you’re talking to me this way I’d like to see you die in a car accident lose your mind game 400 something pounds for 75 have to lose that were you could walk again sit in the wheelchair riding around in wheelchair yeah thank you do you know why I was like what you did to me you gave me nothing back no kindness no humanity for your God the fruits of my labor to you what have you given me for my labor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like
Read More

Salmon Color

Salmon is a range of colors between pink and orange known for their likeness to the orange flesh…
Read More

Neon Green

Neon green, the brightest shade of green, is composed of green, red and blue. In order to create…