The Color Yellow

July 05, 2011 2:05 PM

The color of optimism and radiance

Yellow is the most visible color, the first color the human eye notices. It is the warm color of the sun and is associated with laughter, happiness and good times. The psychology of yellow is motivating, encouraging the positive use of personal power, optimism, self-control, confidence, clarity of thought, alertness, curiosity, perception, and awareness. Yellow helps manifest goals, brings a sense of radiance, and helps our light shine. It is the color of friendship.

Physiologically, yellow energizes, relieves depression, improves memory, and stimulates appetite. A person surrounded by yellow feels optimistic because the brain actually releases more serotonin (feel-good chemical in the brain) when around this color. It has the power to speed up our metabolism and bring out creative thoughts.

This photo shows my happy yellow studio door. You half expect to see a smiley face painted on it. My intention was to create an uplifting entry into my design space, motivating me to create cheerful, energetic clothing.

Used sparingly, yellow can be an effective tool for impacting an audience by creating a cheerful, uplifting environment. Golden colors are associated with riches and will create a warm, wealthy-seeming space.
Yellow is the color of the solar plexas chakra and controls the pancreas. This uplifting chakra color is associated with personal influence, authority, inner harmony, and acceptance of self.
Because of its over-powering nature, yellow can also create feelings of frustration and anger, causing people to lose their tempers in yellow rooms. Yellow is also the most fatiguing to the eye due to the high amount of light that is reflected. Using yellow as a background can lead to eyestrain.
How to use yellow to affect your life:
Most people shy away from yellow. However, yellow comes in many shades, from pale pastels to deep, intense hues. 
If you’re uncomfortable with it, pair a yellow tee with your favorite pair of jeans. Play around with variations of yellow to find one that works with your personal coloring. My daughter, Peyton, wears a golden yellow scarf with nearly everything in her wardrobe. It looks great and sends a warm, happy message about how she is feeling inside.
My favorite outfit in college consisted of an orangy-yellow mini skirt with matching shoes. I wore that combination every day it was clean. I felt snappy and creative in my marigold mini.
When dressing for an interview, yellow can be very effective if used in small amounts. For a group interview setting, a well-chosen splash of yellow may be the warm, attention-getting piece that secures the second interview. Some fantastic golden yellow shoes may also do the trick.
Being the color of the sun, yellow carries with it associations of good luck and a positive future in the Feng Shui tradition. Using the bagua method of Feng Shui, it is recommended that you use yellow in the center of your home to enhance the earth energy. With the compass method, yellow is best in the Southwest and Northeast to promote sociability and security.
To stimulate the appetite and nourish digestion, while awaking your spirits, paint your breakfast area a happy shade of yellow; however, avoid yellow in the bedroom. It is overly stimulating and not conducive to restful sleep. Because it is a cheerful, energetic color, it is perfect for children’s toys, clothes, and playrooms.
To benefit from the color yellow, you may choose to wear yellow gemstones including citrine, amber, topaz, and yellow sapphire. These will give a boost to your sense of self, joy, strength, and inner harmony, especially when worn with intention.
Choosing to wear yellow says to the world, “I accept myself completely.” It also says, “I am full of radiant light.”
How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun. -Vincent Van Gogh
For More information about color, check out our color posts:
For further reading, check out these sources:
Leatrice Eiseman’s Web site,
Marian Davis, Visual Design in Dress, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Inc., 1980.


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