When designing your prints to catch attention, an important aspect to incorporate is color visibility. The properties of light waves can cause the human eye to perceive certain colors more than others. Yellow is one of the most noticeable colors in the spectrum (especially in contrast with black). Yellow’s high visibility can have interesting effects on a design. On one hand, it provides a sense of energy, excitement, and joy. On the other hand, it can become harsh, irritating, and provoke negative emotions when overused. Here are 10 images collected from design profiles that showcase some impressive uses of yellow to create bold designs. Some are intuitive and easy to enjoy, others verge on a dangerous use of the color that might just be too much:
1. Super 8
Wise use of color, exceptional contrast with black, and strong lines make this poster work very well. The chaos between the film strip and train track is conveyed in a clean manner.
2. Spark Poster
The yellow accents in this picture definitely stand out but are not overwhelming. The blue helps to keep the energy fun yet casual. The black background really helps the colors shine and the red in the light bulb leads the eye upward through the image.
3. Yellow Light
The muted shadows, smooth midtones, and soft lighting allow the yellow accent to command attention without becoming harsh or too vibrant. The overall effect is quirky and stylish.
4. Moon Poster
The vivid colors add a lot of punch to the black silhouette character and white background. The colors dividing below the character like light refracted from a prism give a sense of depth or complication (makes you wonder if the character has multiple personalities, perhaps a plot device from the movie?).
5. Fabric Magazine Cover
The yellow tones in this image are darker and muted but manage to maintain a light and buoyant feeling due to clever placement.
The yellow background color lends a calm and warm glow to the image. The dark sleeve and the shallow depth of field help to make the title stand out.
7. In the Dead of Night
The yellow background and yellow text are striking against the monochromatic vinyl record and statue. The gradients in the background and the darker text color keep the image from becoming to bright and flashy.
8. Food Film Festival Poster
The yellow background is very lively, though almost to a fault. The red fruit/vegetables help to provide a pleasant contrast but the yellow is still very overwhelming due to the amount of space it takes up.
9. Mr. Spray Goes On Exhibition
The thematic design of each item is well executed. However, the vibrance of the yellow and white make this image almost painful to look at for an extended period of time.
10. Breaking Bad Poster
This image is a good example of too much yellow. The central image is great: iconic and intense. The downside is that the yellow background takes away from the overall impact because it’s washed over the entire image. Less tinting on the faces, a different background color, or background gradients could really help to take away the harshness of the yellow.