Shades of yellow: The ultimate guide to yellow shades
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Shades of yellow: The ultimate guide to yellow shades

Shades Of Yellow

Shades of yellow can be wonderfully diverse. This warm, energetic, and often exciting color comes in various hues, from pale, gentle yellows, to deep tones with brown and orange tints. 

If you’re looking for a yellow color palette for a branding project or want to brighten up a room in your home, you’ll have no shortage of options. 

Yellow shades can be vibrant and eye-catching or summery and mellow. While yellow might not be the world’s most popular color, it is one of the most common shades in the natural world. Yellow pigments are found in everything from flowers and fruits to minerals and gemstones. 

Yellow is the color of the sun, pollen, and pineapples. It can be associated with joy, energy, light, and transformation. However, the shade of yellow you choose will significantly impact how it resonates. 

Today, we’ll look at some of the common hues in the yellow spectrum to help you choose the right option for your project.

Understanding the yellow color palette

Before we explore some of the different types of yellows available to artists, creators, and professionals alike, let’s take a closer look at yellow hues in general. Yellow is typically a warm, inviting color, one of the three “primary colors” in the spectrum.

The lightest color visible to the human eye outside of white, yellow usually has relatively positive connotations. This is enhanced by the fact that we see yellow in many positive scenarios. Yellow is present in sunrises and sunsets, on the wings of exotic birds, and in zesty fruit options. 

Some studies indicate yellow helps to improve conversation and communication, increasing the flow of energy and inspiring creativity. According to some researchers, it may even enhance mental agility, memory, and intelligence. 

In many cultures, yellow is also linked to divinity. In color psychology, yellow is associated with the following:

  • Happiness
  • Creativity
  • Positivity
  • Humor
  • Spontaneity
  • Knowledge
  • Sunshine

Of course, the wide variety of different color yellows also means there are occasions where this shade can take on alternative meanings. While many people see yellow as a positive color, it can also be perceived as a sign of danger, sickness, or even cowardice.

Yellow can also be overly stimulating. As an extraordinarily bright and vibrant shade in some cases, this color can be overwhelming to the human eye. Large amounts of yellow may lead to visual fatigue.

Different shades of yellow: An introduction

As the lightest shade on the visible spectrum, yellow is often bright and engaging.

However, it’s also highly diverse. You can transform yellow swatches into something entirely different with a touch of red, orange, or blue. Some kinds of yellow are muted and earthy, while others are extremely warm and welcoming.

Today, we will look at different shades of yellows throughout the artistic landscape, exploring everything from light to dark shades. With some luck, you’ll find the perfect yellow shade to complete your color palette and creative project.

Vibrant yellow hues

Vibrant yellows are generally the purest pigments, featuring a significant amount of the core yellow tone and sometimes white, red, or blue splashes.

They can be fantastic for capturing attention, particularly in branding and marketing strategies, but they’re also a little overwhelming in large doses, which is why most people will use them sparingly.

Shades Of Yellow

Sunshine yellow

Bright, vibrant, and engaging, sunshine yellow is named after the sun’s natural light. It’s cheerful and warm, but can also be relatively challenging to look at for too long. Be careful not to over-use this shade in your rooms or branding choices.

Hex #FFFD37
RGB 255, 253, 55
CMYK 0, 1, 78, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Canary yellow

Another wonderful option among vibrant yellow hues is canary yellow. This shade is a little darker in tone than some bright yellows, but it maintains a significant level of energy. It’s named after the bright plumage found on canary birds.

Hex #FFEF00
RGB 255, 239, 0
CMYK 0, 6, 100, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Lemon yellow

Zesty and fun, lemon yellow is a light/medium shade of yellow intended to represent the rind of lemon fruit. However, it is a little brighter hue than most of the typical lemons you’ll see.

Hex #FDFF00
RGB 253, 255, 0
CMYK 1, 0, 100, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Bright yellow

Bright yellow is an almost neon shade of yellow, similar to the color you’d see in highlighter pens. It’s a slightly more energetic hue than the tone you might see in a buttercup flower.

Hex #FFFD01
RGB 255, 253, 1
CMYK 0, 1, 100, 0

Shades Of Yellow


Sunflower yellow is another wonderfully warm shade of yellow with an extra touch of brightness. This beautiful shade has just a touch of red, giving it an orange finish. The color is similar to the tones in a sunflower plant.

Hex #FFDA03
RGB 255, 218, 3
CMYK 0, 15, 99, 0

Shades Of Yellow


Quite an acidic shade of yellow, with slightly brown and blue undertones, Xanthic is named after the acidic compounds Xanthate and Xanthine. This is a particularly eye-catching yellow, but it can also have a slightly sickly vibe.

Hex #EEED09
RGB 238, 237, 9
CMYK 0, 0, 96, 7

Shades Of Yellow

Maximum yellow

Created by the Crayola company, maximum yellow is similar to “bright yellow” in tone. It’s a vibrant and dynamic shade, marvelous for grabbing attention without being too overwhelming.

Hex #FAFA37
RGB 250, 250, 55
CMYK 0, 0, 78, 2

Shades Of Yellow


Another stunningly bright option among yellow shades, Aureoliun is similar to “canary” in its shade, with a slightly warmer undertone. The pigment was first created in the 1800s and sometimes uses the name “cobalt yellow” because the pigment features potassium cobalt-nitrite.

Hex #FDEE00
RGB 253, 238, 0
CMYK 0, 6, 100, 1

Shades Of Yellow

Electric yellow

Electric yellow is quite a striking color, similar to the shades you’d find in the Electric Yellow African Cichlid, a form of fish. This cheerful and bright color is ideal as an accent shade for many projects.

Hex #FFFF33
RGB 255, 255, 51
CMYK 0, 0, 80, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Yellow rose

This wonderfully bright yellow shade is a fantastic choice for adding warmth to a project. It mimics the tones found in natural yellow roses, which makes it dynamic and vibrant without being overly aggressive or “neon.”

Hex #FFF000
RGB 255, 240, 0
CMYK 0, 6, 100, 0

Shades Of Yellow


The color “radioactive” is similar to the shades you might find on warning signs around a construction site or electrical plant. This color is specifically designed to grab attention and provide people with crucial safety information.

Hex #FAE500
RGB 250, 229, 0
CMYK 0, 8, 100, 2

Shades Of Yellow

Cadmium yellow lemon

Typically found within a painter’s palette, cadmium yellow lemon is one of the brightest options for artists, with a value of 100% in terms of brightness. This fantastic shade is excellent for high-energy projects where you want to grab attention quickly.

Hex #FFF23E
RGB 255, 242, 62
CMYK 0, 5, 76, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Vibrant yellow

Vibrant yellow is a mood-boosting, warm tone of yellow, with slight amounts of red and pink mixed into the underlying yellow tone. While bright, this option isn’t too visually exhausting, as it has some darker elements.

Hex #FFDA29
RGB 255, 218, 41
CMYK 0, 15, 84, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Yellow CMYK

Well-known in the printing world, Yellow CMYK is the shade you’ll find in the cyan/magenta/yellow/key color palette. Often used to create various other shades of yellow, this is a highly versatile option if you’re looking for a “true yellow”.

Hex #FFFF00
RGB 255, 255, 0
CMYK 0, 0, 100, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Vivid yellow

Vivid yellow is a slightly warmer shade of yellow than most of the other colors on this list. There’s a little extra red/magenta in the mix, which helps to highlight the heat in the shade. It’s a good complementary color when you’re looking for something brighter than gold.

Hex #FFE302
RGB 255, 227, 2
CMYK 0, 11, 99, 0

Dark colors of yellow

When creating unique shades of yellow, it can be difficult to design a “dark” hue without veering into the territory of orange or brown. These darker shades still maintain their yellow hues for the most part, but there are small amounts of other pigments in the mix too.

Shades Of Yellow


The traditional “gold” color is sometimes described as a shade of brown, but we believe it falls more into the yellow spectrum. This warm, brown, and orange shade is named after the natural mineral element found across the world.

Hex #FFD700
RGB 255, 215, 0
CMYK 0, 16, 100, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Safety yellow

While safety yellow is quite vibrant and eye-catching, it’s also a little darker than many of the vivid shades mentioned above. This is the color you might see on hazard and warning signs. It was chosen to be one of the most noticeable shades perceived by the human eye.

Hex #EED202
RGB 238, 210, 2
CMYK 0, 12, 99, 7

Shades Of Yellow

Cyber yellow

Cyber yellow is a medium to a dark shade of yellow which may also be used in the warning and hazard sign environment. While it’s similar in a lot of ways to safety yellow, it has a slightly warmer finish, thanks to a higher percentage of magenta.

Hex #FFD300
RGB 255, 211, 0
CMYK 0, 17, 100, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Real gold

Real gold is a slightly darker shade of the other “gold” shade mentioned above. Although the color is still primarily yellow, a significant amount of red is involved, too, to give it a deeper tone. Hints of black also darken this yellow further.

Hex #E2BF36
RGB 226, 191, 54
CMYK 0, 15, 76, 11

Shades Of Yellow


If you’re a cooking fan, you’re probably familiar with various shades of yellow in your spice rack, including “Turmeric”. This brightly colored spice is a popular choice for a range of dishes, and its color can be a fantastic pick for many color palettes.

Hex #F0CA28
RGB 240, 202, 40
CMYK 0, 16, 83, 6

Shades Of Yellow

Munsell yellow

Named after Albert H. Munsell, who created the Munsell color theory, Munsell yellow is a deep shade with a mustard-style finish. It’s a little muted compared to some other yellow colors, but it’s still fantastic for adding a pop of color to your project.

Hex #EFCC00
RGB 239, 204, 0
CMYK 0, 15, 100, 6

Shades Of Yellow

Titanium yellow

Titanium yellow is named after a pigment with the same name. This pigment has a very high melting point, and the color is wonderfully bright and cheerful. This yellow has a slight greenish tinge, making it a little muted.

Hex #EEE600
RGB 238, 230, 0
CMYK 0, 3, 100, 7

Shades Of Yellow


A fantastic dark yellow shade for those searching for a metallic finish for their project, goldenrod is quite an earthy yellow pigment. The color is named after the wildflower of the same name and matches its endearing petals.

Hex #DAA520
RGB 218, 165, 32
CMYK 0, 24, 85, 15

Shades Of Yellow


Another slightly golden hue in our list of shades of yellow, saffron is a warm color that mimics the color of the flowers in the saffron plant. This deep yellow is great for adding a little warmth to a project or home.

Hex #F4C430
RGB 244, 196, 48
CMYK 0, 20, 80, 4

Shades Of Yellow


Citrine could almost be classified as a vibrant yellow if it didn’t have such a high amount of black in the mix. The Citrine color is a little green in tone with a golden finish. It’s similar to the shade you’d get mixing goldenrod with lemon.

Hex #E4D00A
RGB 228, 208, 10
CMYK 0, 9, 96, 11

Shades Of Yellow

Dark yellow

Dark yellow is a simple deep shade with brownish undertones. It’s a fantastic hue that is just a little darker than the “mustard” yellow that many designers and fashion artists love. Because it’s not too visually overwhelming, it’s an excellent choice for large spaces.

Hex #D5B60A
RGB 213, 182, 10
CMYK 0, 15, 95, 16

Shades Of Yellow

Empire yellow

Empire yellow is a deep, brilliant shade, somewhere in the middle of light and dark yellow hues. This color has a lovely underlying warmth, making it a more welcoming shade than some other softer colors.

Hex #F7D000
RGB 247, 208, 0
CMYK 0, 16, 100, 3

Shades Of Yellow


Mustard is a medium to dark shade of yellow, created to mimic the colors of the condiment of the same name. This color is slightly lighter in tone than some mustards and is more natural than the brighter artificial condiment sold in some stores.

Hex #FEDC56
RGB 254, 220, 86
CMYK 0, 13, 66, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Aesthetic yellow

Aesthetic yellow is a wonderfully balanced yellow shade, subtler than some of the brighter shades on this list. The color is fantastic when you want to add warmth to your project without making it too visually overwhelming.

Hex #EFD033
RGB 239, 208, 51
CMYK 0, 13, 79, 6

Shades Of Yellow

Rustic yellow

Rustic yellow is a vintage shade of yellow with subdued brown hues. The color is wonderful when matched with purples and other deeper shades. This color is relatively easy on the eyes and is great for making a project look more regal.

Hex #E2C400
RGB 226, 196, 0
CMYK 0, 13, 100, 11

Shades Of Yellow

Trust yellow

Trust yellow is an attractive, deep yellow shade with a golden tone. It works well with a design scheme that’s bright and colorful but with slightly subdued elements. It can also look fantastic placed against a neutral backdrop.

Hex #EEBE15
RGB 238, 190, 21
CMYK 0, 20, 91, 7

Shades Of Yellow


Urobilin is one of the darker shades of yellow on our list. Of all the kinds of yellow available, it doesn’t have the most appealing name, as it’s named after a naturally occurring chemical in urine. However, it still has an attractive appearance.

Hex #E1AD21
RGB 225, 173, 33
CMYK 0, 23, 85, 12

Shades Of Yellow

Satin sheen gold

If you’re looking for yellow swatches with an autumn feel, satin sheen gold could be the perfect choice. This muted yellow looks great alongside deep blues and greens. It even has a slightly metallic edge to it.

Hex #CBA135
RGB 203, 161, 53
CMYK 0, 21, 74, 20

Shades Of Yellow

School bus yellow

Despite its bright and energetic nature, school bus yellow is still a lot darker than many other yellow colors available worldwide today. It’s the same warm yellow you’re likely to see on school buses throughout the US.

Hex #FFD800
RGB 255, 216, 0
CMYK 0, 15, 100, 0

Shades Of Yellow

British Standard BS 4800 10 E 51 yellow

The British Standard yellow comes from a selection of colors used for coordinating colors across projects in the UK. It’s a fantastic shade with a slightly golden finish. The bright yellow tones work perfectly alongside deeper colors and neutrals.

Hex #EDC001
RGB 237, 192, 1
CMYK 0, 19, 100, 7

Shades Of Yellow


Bumblebee is a golden and warm shade of medium yellow. It’s named after the color typically found on a bumblebee’s body. The color is an excellent choice when you want a bright, energetic shade that’s not too visually overwhelming.

Hex #FCE205
RGB 252, 226, 5
CMYK 0, 10, 98, 1

Shades Of Yellow

Minion yellow

A color named after a set of playful animated characters might be a little brighter. However, Minion Yellow is quite a muted and subdued shade. It’s similar to banana yellow in some ways and warm enough for use in many interior décor schemes.

Hex #F5E050
RGB 245, 224, 80
CMYK 0, 9, 67, 4

Shades Of Yellow

Yellow jasmine

A delightful shade of dark yellow, yellow jasmine is named after the yellowish tint found in the jasmine flower. However, this pigment has quite a strong brown/gold finish, making it ideal for autumnal color schemes.

Hex #CEB00D
RGB 206, 176, 13
CMYK 0, 15, 94, 19

Shades Of Yellow

Maize yellow (RAL)

Included on the list of classic RAL colors, Maize yellow is an earthy tone with a lot of orange and brown. Great for autumn-inspired color palettes and decorations, this shade is naturally warming and works well with reds and greens.

Hex #DB9100
RGB 219, 145, 0
CMYK 0, 34, 100, 14

Shades Of Yellow

Sun yellow (RAL)

Sun yellow is a playful orange-yellow color with a deep undertone. The vibrant shade adds energy to your projects and looks amazing when placed alongside paler yellows like cream and marigold.

Hex #EA9300
RGB 234, 147, 0
CMYK 0, 37, 100, 8

Shades Of Yellow

Golden yellow (RAL)

There are many different yellow shades with a touch of gold in the mix, but golden yellow is a particularly strong hue. This pigment is a little darker than Traffic Yellow, reminding us of the leaves falling from autumn trees.

Hex #DD9F00
RGB 221, 159, 0
CMYK 0, 28, 100, 13

Shades Of Yellow

Durian yellow

Named after the Durian fruit in Southeast Asia, Durian yellow is a deep and subdued color, with a golden undertone. The color is wonderfully warm and eye-catching, making it popular in the fashion and interior design landscape.

Hex #E1BD27
RGB 225, 189, 39
CMYK 0, 16, 83, 12

Light yellow swatches

Yellow is naturally the lightest shade in the visual spectrum, so it’s a good choice if you’re looking for something light and simple for your color palette.

Of course, some shades of yellow are lighter than others. These yellow swatches contain a lot of extra white to help make them paler, and more visually appealing.

Shades Of Yellow

Warm yellow

Quite a pale color in the yellow spectrum, warm yellow is wonderfully light and peaceful. It’s great for stationary, and for simple neutral color palettes.

Hex #F4E98C
RGB 244, 233, 140
CMYK 0, 5, 43, 4

Shades Of Yellow


A little brighter than some pale yellows, Icterine is a fantastic, vibrant shade, with a large amount of white. The color is named after a Greek word meaning “Jaundice”. Don’t let the name put you off though, this is a very pretty yellow shade.

Hex #FCF75E
RGB 252, 247, 94
CMYK 0, 2, 63, 1

Shades Of Yellow

Corn yellow

As you might expect, corn yellow is a wonderfully soft and peaceful yellow, named after the hues you’ll find in fresh corn. The interesting shade is almost pastel in nature, making it a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a less overwhelming hue.

RGB 251, 236, 93
CMYK 0, 6, 63, 2

Shades Of Yellow


Blond is a delightful yellow shade with brown and white undertones. It’s intended to represent the same color we see in natural blond hair. It’s almost a neutral color, with a slightly warmer finish than options like pale yellow.

Hex #FEF1B8
RGB 49, 97, 86
CMYK 0, 5, 28, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Pale yellow

A somewhat creamy and pastel shade of yellow and pale yellow is amazing for adding a touch of sunshine to your palette without overwhelming shades. It’s great for tranquil, neutral backdrops in kitchens and living rooms.

RGB 255, 255, 167
CMYK 0, 0, 35, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Pastel yellow

Pastel yellow is a very light and pleasant shade of yellow, commonly used for gender-neutral gifts for children and nursery décor. It’s a little lighter than the “butter” shade of yellow and has some similarities to banana yellow too.

Hex #FFFE71
RGB 255, 254, 113
CMYK 0, 0, 56, 0

Shades Of Yellow


One of the warmest shades of light yellow, mocassin is almost peachy in nature, similar to options like papaya whip. This yellow has a slight tan undertone, making it work well with neutral color palettes.

Hex #FFE4B5
RGB 255, 228, 181
CMYK 0, 11, 29, 0

Shades Of Yellow


To match the well-known fruit’s color, banana yellow is a pale to medium shade with a vibrant undertone. It’s a little orangey in its finish, thanks to a higher level of red/magenta pigment.

Hex #FFE135
RGB 255, 225, 53
CMYK 0, 12, 79, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Mellow yellow

As you might expect, mellow yellow is quite a light buttery shade with a subdued nature. It’s a little tan with some deep brown undertones. This color is also quite similar to the hue “royal yellow” and laguna.

Hex #F8DE7E
RGB 248, 222, 126
CMYK 0, 10, 49, 3

Shades Of Yellow

Light yellow

Light yellow is a simple but attractive shade, ideal for people who want to create a neutral and underwhelming palette. It has some of the warmth of the banana color, but it’s less saturated and vibrant overall.

RGB 255, 255, 224
CMYK 0, 0, 12, 0

Shades Of Yellow


Some people assume beige is a shade of brown or grey, but it’s actually part of the yellow swatch family. It’s a similar color to parchment or pale sand and has a wonderful neutral tone.

Hex #F5F5DC
RGB 245, 245, 220
CMYK 0, 0, 10, 4

Shades Of Yellow

Royal yellow

You’ve heard of royal blue, but what about royal yellow? This color was first referred to by name in the 1500s and was usually used to highlight the color of the clothing worn by Chinese royalty. It’s a warm and light tone with a golden brown finish.

RGB 250, 218, 94
CMYK 0, 13, 62, 2

Shades Of Yellow


Cream is one of the most popular yellow shades. This warm and vibrant color is just a little more saturated than white, making it a good alternative for people creating warmer palettes.

RGB 255, 255, 204
CMYK 0, 0, 20, 0

Shades Of Yellow


Buff yellow is a relatively subdued, warm shade of yellow, with a fantastic brown finish. It looks fantastic when placed next to other brownish colors and cornflower blues. This could be a great neutral color for many palettes.

Hex #F1BF70 
RGB 241, 191, 112
CMYK 0, 21, 54, 5

Shades Of Yellow

Daisy yellow

Daisy Yellow is a soft and gentle color inspired by the pollen in the middle of a daisy flower. The color is relatively close to pastel yellow, with some red and orange undertones. It would look fantastic placed alongside other soft pastels.

Hex #F8DC75
RGB 248, 220, 117
CMYK 0, 11, 53, 3

Shades Of Yellow


A great shade of pale yellow for softer color palettes, the “butter” hue is similar to the color you might find in freshly churned butter. This is a fantastic option if you want something vibrant but not too visually overwhelming.

Hex #FFFD74
RGB 255, 253, 116
CMYK 0, 1, 55, 0

Shades Of Yellow


Like marzipan or peach yellow, cornsilk is a warm, slightly off-white shade, great for wanting something different from pure white. It’s a beautiful background or neutral color which looks fantastic on stationery.

RGB 255, 248, 220
CMYK 0, 3, 14, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Spanish yellow

A mid-to-light shade in the yellow spectrum, Spanish yellow is the color used for many homes created in the Spanish traditional architectural style. This warm color is great when paired with earthy and autumnal tones.

Hex #F9D73D
RGB 249, 215, 61
CMYK 0, 14, 76, 2

Shades Of Yellow

Refresh yellow

Zesty and refreshing, refresh yellow is a wonderful color if you’re looking for something airy and light. It’s similar to the color of daisy yellow, but with a slightly brighter, more saturated finish.

Hex #FFE992
RGB 255, 233, 146
CMYK 0, 9, 43, 0

Muted kinds of yellow

Muted yellows are generally more subdued colors, which take on a slightly greener or browner finish, thanks to the addition of extra pigments. Muted yellows are great for neutral color palettes, backgrounds, and even accent colors in some cases.

Shades Of Yellow


Wheat yellow is exactly what you might expect – a shade that mimics the natural color of freshly-growing wheat. There’s quite a significant tan element to this color, making it ideal for brownish pallets.

Hex #F6DFB1
RGB 40, 79, 83
CMYK 0, 9, 28, 4

Shades Of Yellow

Flax yellow

Flax is a relatively dull, muted color of yellow, with similarities to ecru and tan. It’s named after the shade you’ll see in the dried stems of the flax plant. It can also be used to describe blond hair in some cases.

Hex #EEDC82
RGB 238, 220, 130
CMYK 0, 8, 45, 7

Shades Of Yellow


Trombone is one of the darker shades of muted yellow available, with a strong brown undertone. It’s a kind of brassy yellow, similar to the color of the metal most brass instruments are made from.

Hex #D2B55B
RGB 210, 181, 91
CMYK 0, 14, 57, 18

Shades Of Yellow

Greenish yellow

Found in certain Indian banknotes, this shade is great if you want something a little different from your standard yellow. Green yellow or greenish-yellow is a light shade of yellow with brown and green elements.

Hex #EEEA62
RGB 238, 234, 98
CMYK 0, 2, 59, 7

Shades Of Yellow


Ideal for neutral color palettes, sand yellow is a very brown shade, which mimics the color of sand found on typical beaches. It’s a warm shade with a subdued finish, perfect for painting or creating an earthy color palette.

Hex #E2CA76
RGB 226, 202, 118
CMYK 0, 11, 48, 11

Shades Of Yellow

Arylide yellow

Another fantastic form of muted yellow, Arylide yellow takes its name from the organic compounds commonly used for pigments in oil paints, acrylics, and watercolors. This shade is sometimes also referred to as Hansa yellow.

Hex #E9D66B
RGB 233, 214, 107
CMYK 0, 8, 54, 9

Shades Of Yellow

Indian yellow

Indian yellow is a fantastic shade with an ancient backstory. The pigment was first developed in the 15th century and was used throughout India to dye clothing and create art. The shade is a little similar to earth yellow, or red clay.

Hex #E3A857
RGB 227, 168, 87
CMYK 0, 26, 62, 11

Shades Of Yellow

Bronze yellow

Bronze yellow is a metallic color with a greenish-olive finish. It’s useful for artists creating a relatively neutral color scheme and has a cooler pigment than many other shades of yellow.

Hex #737000
RGB 115, 112, 0
CMYK 0, 3, 100, 55

Shades Of Yellow

Muted yellow

Appropriately named, muted yellow is slightly closer to khaki than most yellow shades. It’s a little like a light tan, with a slightly green undertone. This could be the perfect yellow for you if you’re working with a neutral color scheme.

Hex #E0D268
RGB 224, 210, 104
CMYK 0, 6, 54, 12

Shades Of Yellow

Sulfur yellow

Sulfur yellow could almost be a bright yellow if it weren’t for the significant amount of blue in the pigment. This greenish hue looks wonderful when placed against brighter blues and greens.

Hex #E8DE35
RGB 232, 222, 53
CMYK 0, 4, 77, 9

Shades Of Yellow

Dusty yellow

Almost grey, thanks to its low level of saturation, dusty yellow is a wonderful choice for more subdued color palettes. This muted shade looks attractive when placed alongside bright oranges, golds, and whites.

Hex #D4CC9A
RGB 212, 204, 154
CMYK 0, 4, 27, 17

Shades Of Yellow

Yolk yellow (Pantone)

Yolk yellow is an interesting pantone color. It’s a little browner than you’d expect if you’ve seen the color of an egg yolk yourself.

Hex #E2B051
RGB 226, 176, 81
CMYK 0, 22, 64, 11

Shades Of Yellow

Vintage yellow

Great for more classical and sophisticated color swatches, vintage yellow has a deep brown tint to it. This understated and elegant yellow is a good choice if you want to create a sophisticated brand logo or add something unique to a room.

Hex #CBA92B
RGB 203, 169, 43
CMYK 0, 17, 79, 20

Shades Of Yellow

Retro yellow

Retro yellow is a very subdued and pastel-like shade of yellow. It makes a good background color when attracting attention to brighter shades. However, it can also look a little washed out in some projects.

Hex #F0E27B
RGB 240, 226, 123
CMYK 0, 6, 49, 6

Shades Of Yellow

Mineral yellow

Mineral yellow is a deep earthy shade with a fantastic brown edge to it. This wonderful color looks particularly attractive when placed alongside metallic gold accents. It’s also a popular shade for the fashion landscape.

Hex #D39C43
RGB 211, 156, 67
CMYK 0, 26, 68, 17

Shades Of Yellow

Ochre yellow

Based on a natural pigment, yellow ochre is a mixture of sand, ferric oxide, and clay. The pigment is typically found in clay-rich soil. This yellowish-brown color is ideal for creating a rustic feel with your color choices.

Hex #B5904B
RGB 181, 144, 75
CMYK 0, 20, 59, 29

Shades Of Yellow

Dull yellow

Don’t let the unappealing name distract you; this pretty natural yellow color is stunning for various applications. Dull yellow is a little lighter than the “Dijon” color but maintains some of its mustardy undertones.

Hex #DECA57
RGB 222, 202, 87
CMYK 0, 9, 61, 13

Shades Of Yellow

Faded yellow

Exactly what you might expect from the name “faded yellow,” this shade has a vintage appeal, making it a good pick if you’re looking for a more retro vibe. It’s an almost pastel-like shade with a significant amount of white.

Hex #ECE3A1
RGB 236, 227, 161
CMYK 0, 4, 32, 7

Orange yellow shades

If you’re looking for different shades of yellow to create a warm and autumnal vibe in your home or project, orange-yellow options could be an excellent choice. These different yellows contain significant amounts of red and brown, to give them a welcoming, heated appeal.

Shades Of Yellow

Yellow orange

Combining a high degree of orange and red with yellow, this beautiful shade is ideal if you want a slightly spicier background color for your aesthetic. Tied to energy and creativity, it makes a wonderful branding color too.  

Hex #D56F00
RGB 213, 111, 0
CMYK 0, 48, 100, 16

Shades Of Yellow

Deep Napoli yellow

Thanks to its pinky-orange tones, deep Napoli yellow is almost peachy in its hue. This color has a wonderful delicate quality that works well with both neutrals and pastels. You can also use it to make an orange or red shade pop.

Hex #FFCF99
RGB 255, 207, 153
CMYK 0, 19, 40, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Radiant yellow

You might expect a “radiant yellow” color to have a more true yellow vibe. However, this shade is quite close to true orange instead. Radiant yellow is excellent for red and orange color palettes and works well alongside brown.

Hex #FC9E21
RGB 252, 158, 33
CMYK 0, 37, 87, 1

Shades Of Yellow

Daffodil yellow

Daffodils come in a range of different hues in the natural world. The “Daffodil yellow” color represented here represents one of the warmest variations of the plant.

Hex #E28D00
RGB 226, 141, 0
CMYK 0, 38, 100, 11

Shades Of Yellow

Golden poppy

Cheerful and fresh, this amazing hue captures the spirit of joy and hope for any color palette. It’s named after the golden California poppy, which appears throughout Californian hillsides during spring and summer.

Hex #FCC200
RGB 252, 194, 0
CMYK 0, 23, 100, 1

Shades Of Yellow

Tangerine yellow

Named after the tangerine fruit, this shade is a slightly more yellow version of the orange you would usually expect to be associated with tangerines. It’s a beautiful pigment if you’re looking for something vibrant and energetic.

Hex #FFCC00
RGB 255, 204, 0
CMYK 0, 20, 100, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Mikado yellow

A lovely deep yellow with a noble edge to it, this wonderful yellow is used in the national flags of both Colombia and Kazakhstan. It has even appeared on certain vehicles over the years. This almost mango-style yellow stands out brilliantly against white.

Hex #FFC40C
RGB 255, 196, 12
CMYK 0, 23, 95, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Amber yellow

Amber yellow mimics the natural color you’ll find in fossilized tree resin. It’s a beautiful shade with a fantastic orange finish, great for autumn themes.

Hex #FFBF00
RGB 255, 191, 0
CMYK 0, 25, 100, 0

Shades Of Yellow

Chinese yellow

A cheerful and light yellow-orange hue, this wonderful color looks quite similar to Mandarin orange. This could be the perfect choice for your project if you’re looking for something bright, compelling, and modern.

Hex #FFB200
RGB 255, 178, 0
CMYK 0, 30, 100, 0

Shades Of Yellow


Almost pink in its hue, apricot is a warm, ruddy yellow, which mimics the color of apricots in the natural world. It’s a fantastic choice if you want something close to pink with a slightly more energetic finish.

RGB 251, 206, 177
CMYK 0, 18, 29, 2

Shades Of Yellow


Marigold is a fun pick if you’re looking for a golden hue without the extra brown. This bright and vibrant color is great for spring-like designs and looks fantastic in the fashion world.

Hex #FCB810
RGB 252, 184, 16
CMYK 0, 27, 94, 1

Shades Of Yellow

Taxi cab yellow

Probably quite a familiar color for many people, Taxi Cab Yellow is a bold, golden-tinged shade similar to the hues you’d see on a traditional US taxi cab. It’s bright, sunny, attractive, and often works well next to blue shades.

Hex #FDB813
RGB 253, 184, 19
CMYK 0, 27, 92, 1 

Shades Of Yellow

Colza yellow

Colza Yellow is a jewel-toned shade of yellow with significant orange undertones. The name comes from the Colza plant flowers, usually harvested to produce oil. This rather deep yellow can look fantastic in branding palettes and living rooms.

Hex #EEB700
RGB 238, 183, 0
CMYK 0, 23, 100, 7

Shades Of Yellow


Honey is a deep orange-yellow shade with a golden undertone. The color gets its name from the substance created by bees in a hive. This specific shade is a little more yellow than the standard honey you’ll see in stores.

Hex #FFC30B
RGB 255, 195, 11
CMYK 0, 24, 96, 0

Shades Of Yellow


Great for warm autumn color palettes, Tuscany yellow is similar in hue to the honey yellow shade mentioned previously. It’s similar to a light goldenrod color and works well with browns and other neutral colors, such as apricot yellow.

Hex #FCD12A
RGB 252, 209, 42
CMYK 0, 17, 83, 1

Exploring the many different types of yellows

As you can see from the countless options above, there are plenty of different shades of yellow to choose from if you’re looking for something fresh and vibrant to enhance your color palette. Yellow shades can vary from overwhelming fluorescent yellow hues to musty yellow tones.

You can even consider mixing a few different styles of yellow together for a monotone palette if you’re a big fan of this joy-invoking shade.

Remember that yellows work particularly well when placed alongside their complementary color, purple. However, you can also create fantastic results by pairing your yellow shades with reds, oranges, blues, greens, and more!

Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.

Now read these:
Your guide to colors that complement yellow
How to make yellow and create the perfect mix 
Your guide to using yellow in packaging design
The psychology of yellow and what it represents 
What does yellow signify in branding and design
Should you choose yellow for logo design?
Exploring the colors of the rainbow

Stephen Peate
Creative director
Stephen Peate
Creative director
As Fabrik’s creative director, Stephen oversees complex branding programmes. He advises our clients on their tone of voice, creates logos and visual identities and crafts names for companies, products and services. Writing for Brand Fabrik Stephen reflects his love for logo design and visual identity.

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