A drizzle of sweet honey; a field of blooming daffodils; a sharp lemon. There’s a reason so many vibrant senses are activated by the colour yellow.
Warm and bright, the attention-grabbing hues of the happiest colour in the spectrum carry cheerful and energetic tones due, in part, to the brain releasing the feel-good serotonin when coming into contact with it. “How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun”, Vincent Van Gogh once said, famously infusing it into his most popular painting, The Sunflowers.
As Karen Haller, colour psychology specialist and trainer explains, “being one of the psychological primaries … yellow is the colour that represents the emotions” – just think smiley face emotions!
“In its highest purity it always carries with it the nature of brightness and has a serene, gay, softly exciting character”, Goethe also said of the colour. This stimulation, however, is also thought to make it the most tiring to the eye due to the amount of light that is reflected from it, so a little goes a long way! Home to these powerful contrasts, therefore, it is a fascinatingly complex colour which can suit any and all moods.
Resonating with the left side of the brain, it stimulates cognition and helps to coax creativity out of us, yet being a life-affirming, extroverted colour, it’s also a great confidence booster, “leaving you feeling full of optimism and positivity”, according to Karen, meaning it simultaneously enhances both intellectual and social characteristics.
In some cultures, yellow is also seen as regal, with the Far East saving the colour for all things “holy and high caste”, according to clinical psychologist Dr Helen Nightingale.
Nurturing and strong, optimistic and powerful; yellow encompasses it all. With these highly-charged associations and eye-popping qualities you don’t want to overdo it; less is more, as they say, so a statement bag in this colour should certainly do the trick!