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Why So Many Cartoon Characters Are Yellow

It’s all about contrast

It is one of the primary colors (together with blue and red), the colour is very distinct. In fact, these 3 colors are extreme examples of contrasting hues, and the further a given color is from the primary colors, the less intense it is. But the primary colors used on-screen (TV, of course, is included in this) are red, green, and blue. Yellow and blue are on the opposite sides of the spectrum, making each other stand out the most. And because blue is a prevalent color in many backgrounds (like sea and sky), it only makes sense to use yellow for noticeable, bright characters.


The yellow is traditionally associated with happiness and joy. This was proven by research, and it was found that 72% of participants mentioned yellow as positive, and only 0.5% of respondents thought it was negative. The characteristic of yellow makes it an excellent choice for cheerful and easygoing characters in cartoons.

You can’t miss it

Remember that primary colors are very distinct. But still, even among these, yellow is the most noticeable, as it’s the most visible color in low light and second-most visible during the day. It’s even distinguishable for people with some forms of color blindness.

It’s special for kids

This color is often used in advertising for children since they also associate this color with positive emotions, which is why you can see it in logos for Legos, Hot Wheels or Crayola. It is not a coincidence, in marketing, yellow is typically used for the packaging of “fun” products.

A study was conducted where children were given a choice between yellow and brown crayons after listening to a happy or sad story. The majority of the “happy story” group chose the yellow crayon, and most kids from the second group preferred the brown one, proving that color association with one’s mood is important.

It attracts attention

The color that is seen on most cartoon characters does not have a completely positive meaning though. It’s very visible, which has been mentioned before, making it a good choice for different sorts of alerts that need to be seen from a distance and grab our attention. That's why yellow is used in traffic lights, road signs, and more.

Moreover, this is one of the colors nature uses to send signals, the yellow colour can be seen on stinging insects (bees, wasps), venomous snakes (coral snake, rattlesnakes or copperhead.), and other dangerous animals, but this still gets the job of making us pay attention, which is used in many spheres, including cartoons.

Content created and supplied by: BenRCtheCreator (via Opera News )


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