Concrete Detail

Erika Hayes, Author – Write like a reader, read like a writer and edit like a beast!

YMood-of-Yellowellow in the next color in our rainbow journey.  I am enjoying this little trip.  I hope you are as well.  Let’s get right to today’s color.  Yellow!  Even the name is fun!

The yellow wavelength is relatively long and stimulating. While orange is the strongest color on the color wheel, the color yellow is the strongest emotional color.   The right yellow can increase self-esteem and put us in a great mood. It also is a color that exudes confidence and optimism. Too much of it, or the wrong tone in relation to the other tones in a color scheme, can cause self-esteem to plummet, giving rise to fear and anxiety.

Psychology says:

Studies show that the meaning of the color yellow can be warmth, cheerfulness, increased mental activity, increased muscle energy.  Too much can cause anxiety to young babies because of over-stimulation.  There have been studies that have shown that small children and infants will cry more in rooms painted in yellow.  Other effects noted in overuse of yellow is increased criticism and higher demands.  On the other end of the spectrum, a lack of yellow can cause rigid, cunning, possessive, or defensive behaviors. It can help activate memory, encourage communication, enhance vision, build confidence, and stimulate the nervous system.  Yellow can be optimistic, creative, awake, happy.  People that choose yellow as a favorite color, enjoy sharing knowledge with others, and find happiness easily.

Using Yellow as a writer:

  • Using yellow to describe happiness is common among writers. By using bright yellow words you can bring a sense of happiness to your reader.
  • Using yellow as a way to show demanding/critical behaviors.  A professor that highlights students work then writes critical comments.  Pointing out errors.
  • Other ways a writer can use yellow descriptions is to build tension and energy.
  • Remember too much yellow can cause anxiety.  Setting colors with lots of yellow hues described can cause your reader to feel the anxiety.
  • Remember there are some phrases that include yellow:  Yellow-bellied (coward), yellow journalist (bad reporting) yellow ribbons can show courage.
  • For fantasy writers, yellow gems boost concentration, offer energy boost and relief from panic, nervousness, and exhaustion.  It can also represent clarity.

Dress your characters in Yellow when:

  • To be confident
  • Fearless
  • Inspirational

Other names for the color Yellow:

Canary, corn, flaxen, banana, butterscotch, dijon, fire, mustard, daffodil, gold, bumblebee, blonde, pineapple, honey, lemon, butter, medallion, dandelion, Tuscan sun, sun, saffron, and cream

Emotions Associated with Yellow:

Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity, success, excellence, enlightenment, authority, confidence.
Negative: Irrationality, fear, unstable, emotional fragility, irrational, depression, anxiety, suicide cowardice.


Yellow means different things in other cultures, in Japan it represents courage. In Egypt yellow is worn and is a symbol of death. In  India, yellow is a merchants color.  Other cultures it may indicate peace.

One thought on “Not so Mellow Yellow

  1. Golda says:

    This is very interesting.

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