Yellow is the brightest color on the spectrum. It is vibrant, versatile, and works with a variety of colors. In graphic design, yellow can be used to evoke pleasant, optimistic feelings that are associated with sunshine and warm temperatures.
While yellow is a color of joy and happiness, it also has a profoundly negative side. It is one of the most difficult colors for the human eye to process. The reason for this is the high frequency and intensity of this color, which can cause eye fatigue.
It has a long history as a symbol for disease, especially when paired with red (think of yellow fever). In graphic design this makes yellow a popular choice for warnings and caution signs.
When paired with another color, yellow can evoke different emotions to create a specific mood. For example, yellow and blue pairings create a calming effect that is reminiscent of nature and organic materials like wood and stone.
Yellow and green evoke feelings of happiness and relaxation while yellow and red create a fiery energy that works well for sports teams or restaurant logos.
Here are some of the most popular yellow colors used in graphic design and how to pair them with other colors: