The psychology of yellow

The psychology of yellow

I love yellow! Here are some fun facts about my favourite colour - yellow! When i launched our yellow monochrome colourway i wasn't sure it was going to be hit, but i was wrong, the first batch sold out so quickly i couldn't even get one for myself! 

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

Market shopper yellow


How about if yellow is your favourite colour (like me) what does it say about you?

Yellow as a favourite colour is said to represent happiness and a love of learning. You probably love to express your individuality by creating new ideas and sharing your knowledge with others, and might have a deep need for logical order in your everyday life. I am definitely a logical person and this rings true for me!

How does the colour yellow affect your mood ? 

Yellow makes you feel happy and spontaneous. Yellow is perhaps the most energetic of the warm colours. It is associated with laughter, hope and sunshine. If you are designing something whether it be an image or a product, accents of yellow help give your design energy and will make the viewer feel optimistic and cheerful.

Some people with seasonal affective disorder choose to wear yellow tinted glasses, which block out blue light rays. These blue light rays are what produce melatonin in the body, and lead to oversleeping; a symptom that can be prevalent in those who have the disorder.

goodordering rolltop backpack on man with bicycle

Is yellow the happiest colour in the world? 

YES! but why? According to the website, research has suggested two main reasons why yellow is considered the happiest colour. Many studies have linked the psychological powers of yellow to the sun. Sunlight helps to lift our mood and improve our outlook on life as well as being the source of life on earth. This connection suggests that the brain is programmed to associate yellow with these positive effects of sunlight and stimulate the nervous system.

Interestingly, although the sun is actually white, we perceive it as yellow or orange because these colors have higher wavelengths and are scattered less easily by Earth’s atmosphere, leaving them behind intensely for us to see. Blue, on the other hand, has low wavelengths, which explains why it is strewn across the sky.

The second reason scientists believe yellow has mood lifting effects is the ability of yellow to stand out from other colors in the spectrum. Studies have suggested that the ability of yellow to stand out from other colors helps to associate the colour yellow with positive memories. The fact that yellow stands out so much against other colours especially dark colours means that it is used a lot for emergency signage and warning signals when safety is a concern.

yellow caution sign

How about the other side of yellow - danger? 

Yellow grabs our attention more than any of the other colours – think bees, warning signs and Post-it notes. It’s also known as the colour of cowardice, caution and toxicity as the yellow pigments of cadmium, lead and chrome are poisonous. For cycling, yellow is a great colour for bags or safety vests as it alerts cars to be careful of you and hopefully give you a wide berth on the street.

cycling warning yellow sign

The intensity of the colour yellow

The color yellow can be bright and intense, which is perhaps why it can often invoke such strong feelings. Yellow can quickly grab attention, but it can also be abrasive when overused. It can appear warm and bright, yet it can also lead to visual fatigue. This is why it is a great colour for an accessory such as our Goodordering backpack. It becomes part of an outfit, more like an accent to an outfit rather than the whole outfit. 

Read more about the colour yellow and its affects here

CNN colourscope the colour YELLOW

In Summary

  • Is a colour symbolising cheerfulness, happiness and optimism
  • Yellow is a colour that invokes strong feelings
  • It is also used to quickly grab attention.
  • It is a mood lifting colour
  • It is the perceived colour of the sun which is the source that gives all life
  • People who like the colour yellow are usually analytical thinkers

Check out our bright yellow bags in our Monochrome bag collection

I'd love to hear your experiences with the colour yellow. What does it make you think of, and how does it make you feel? 



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