August 30, 2022

Happy Yellow

There’s been a bit of a run on yellow in packaging (at least to my eye), with Asda’s own brand ranges leading a hue (apologies) and cry for the bold use of sunshine colour.

It left me wondering if this is trend we should be watching for (rather than just a flash in the pan)?

I’m always cautious with these things, as way back I was shown some research that showed if you think about a particular colour (e.g. ‘Just look for the red’) you’ll start to spot it everywhere. Give it a go. See all that orange?

Anyway. Back to yellow. Have you started noticing it yet?

Richard Taylor @Brandon suggested we open a bet on it becoming Pantone’s ‘Color Of The Year’ (or whatever it’s called.) I’m already pretty sure it’ll be the next ‘That Blue’ which appeared in every packaging mock-up and tote bag PSD latterly.

Maybe I’m particularly susceptible to yellow-spotting (I spend most of my design-time with Lotus Cars at the moment. They’re certainly having a yellow moment) but it struck that when there’s a lot of not-good-news around, a dose of brightness might be just the tonic. Especially with the threat of power rationing over here as the night’s draw in.

With it generally agreed (well, according to the internet, so it must be true) yellow’s the colour of “happiness, optimism, enlightenment and creativity”, time’s come to overlook the rather more negative connotations of cowardice, illness and toxicity. The Simpson’s are yellow! Everyone loves cartoons!

Some synesthetes (in studies conducted alongside them) associate intense yellows with fast-paced music in the major mode, so furthering the association of our colour with energy and feeling good.

So, here’s to 2023’s ‘PMS Happy Yellow C’, whatever its hue.

Just not too close tonally to my lawn doing a very convincing impression of a savanna please.

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About Richard Hill

Creative director, writer, designer, illustrator based in the UK with global project experience and consulting skills across sectors.

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