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Why You Should (Or Shouldn’t) Use a Yellow Logo for Your Business

What does seeing the color yellow spur you to think about?

Maybe yellow stimulates you to think about foods such as bananas, butter, corn, egg yolks, macaroni, mustard, and pineapples. Perhaps you associate yellow with the Sun. You might also think about traffic lights or people with blonde hair.

Yellow in day-to-day life

Yellow — and other colors — can cause emotional reactions. It can trigger passion because of its connection to the sun. It can trigger happiness. Yellow also grabs people’s attention and compels them to think and act. That’s why yellow lights and signs are used to alert people about hazards, which is explained in “The Behavior Traffic Light: Colors of the Light.”

“The use of this color typically comes in the form of a question to prompt the child to slow down and think,” the traffic light article reports. “The color yellow in the behavior traffic light heightens awareness of thought patterns and activates a list of choices in doing something in response.”

How yellow logos impact customer decisions

If yellow can affect people’s personal lives, it should also logically be able to affect their professional lives and buying decisions. It does.  A yellow logo can trigger prospects to buy your products. “Colors impact everyone,” wrote Neil Patel in “The Psychology of Color: How to Use Colors to Increase Conversion Rate.” “It doesn’t matter whether you’re developing software, designing a book, developing web design cover or simply branding your business: colors define mood and influence responses.”

The color of your logo, which should be a crucial part of your effort to brand your business, can profoundly affect your effort to boost your business. In Part I of LogoMaker’s series on color logos, we explained why logos in general and red logos, in particular, are important. In Part II, we explained when to use orange logos.

This article explains what yellow represents and what kind of company should use a yellow logo.

Make a yellow logo

A yellow logo’s meaning

A yellow logo design communicates your company’s values, a 2003 study concluded.

The study sought to ascertain what qualities people associated with yellow. The qualities studied included courage, fear, frugality, fun, quality, reliability, security, speed, and trust. The article Yellow logos: what the cheerful color says about your brand reported that yellow was most associated with frugality and fun.

“Yellow seems to appeal to the kid in us, and is associated with feelings of cheerfulness, originality, and warmth — suggesting that companies offering pleasurable, fast, accessible products or services may benefit from using yellow in their branding,”  the article says.

Red, orange, and yellow are all considered “warm” colors. The article “Color Psychology: The Emotional Effects of Colors” points out that yellow and the other warm colors can make people more emotional than cool colors such as blue and green. Spurring prospective customers’ emotions with a yellow logo can, thus, make them happier, but can also make them angrier.

The key to a successful yellow brand logo is using it to sell a product that is more likely to spur a positive emotion. A yellow logo also frequently affects appetite.

“(Yellow and orange) are often associated with food and can cause your tummy to growl a little,” the “Color Psychology” article reports.

Studying color wheels

LogoMaker scrutinized the work of several experts so we could write a comprehensive analysis of what yellow means.

The “Color Psychology” article reports that the psychological effects of yellow include anger, attention-getting, cheerfulness, frustration, happiness, hunger, intensity, laughter, optimism, and warmth.

A Fast Company magazine article entitled What Your Logo’s Color Says About Your Company reports that yellow:

  • Increases cheerfulness and warmth.
  • Stimulates people mentally.
  • Represents optimism and youthfulness in marketing.
  • Grabs the attention of window shoppers.

Psychologist Robert Plutchik created the Wheel of Emotions, which connects emotions to colors. A graphic in the Forbes magazine article “How To Use Color Psychology To Give Your Business An Edge” shows that Plutchik associates yellow with serenity, joy, ecstasy, optimism, and love. In another color wheel, which is depicted in this Entrepreneur magazine article, yellow gets about 2 percent of the vote as people’s favorite color and 13 percent of the vote as their least favorite color, ranking fourth.

“However, the people who do like yellow, seem to have a huge preference for it, whereas most people only slightly favor one color over another,” the Forbes article added. This could mean, for example, designing a yellow logo targeted to the youth market.

See Examples

Yellow logos

You might get a better idea of whether a yellow logo is right for your company by looking at what other companies use a yellow brand logo.


Many well-known companies that have a logo in yellow sell food. They include:

  • Denny’s
  • Lay’s
  • McDonald’s
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Subway
  • Sun Chips


Several companies that often offer bargains have yellow logos. They include:

  • Best Buy
  • Hertz
  • IKEA
  • Nikon
  • Post-it
  • Sprint

Of course, Yellow Pages — the product most associated with encouraging people to buy something — also has a yellow logo. This story lists other well-known yellow logos. It notes that yellow is so bright that all-yellow logos can be too jarring.

“Most of the companies who want their logos dominated by yellow combine it with some other complementary color,” the article reports.

Should you use a yellow logo design?

Are you a yellowbelly — a coward who won’t take a chance on a logo? Or, perhaps, you are willing to metaphorically begin your trip on the Yellow Brick Road — a road paved with gold that could lead to many good things for your business.

If you try to take the Yellow Brick Road toward business success by designing a logo, you must choose your logo’s color. If you’re selling an expensive service in hopes of building a close long-term relationship, you might be better off with a blue or green logo. A yellow brand logo is preferable if you want to spur a quick sale. The hope is that impulse buyers will make a second, third, etc. impulse purchase when they see your logo again and again.

“If speed, fun, and low cost are important factors to your target audience, you may consider yellow as a principal color in your branding,” the “cheerful color” article recommends. “Yellow is also effective as a secondary or highlight color.”

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Amber Ooley
Amber Ooley
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