business interiors – how lego and mcdonald’s use the colour yellow

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Business branding interiors - yellow - Lego store. This opens a new browser window

Yellow is the colour of sunshine and with sunshine brings happiness. Businesses whose ideal customers are children know by bringing happiness into their stores, makes for happy children and parents are more likely to buy.

I saw this for myself when I was recently in a Lego store in London. The children were excited and happy. You could feel the playful, happy atmosphere. It even brought out the childlike, happy side of the parents and if the parents see their child happy, they are more than likely to make a purchase.

colour psychology – positive effects
Using yellow makes for a joyful, friendly, happy, fun place to be in. Lego use a bright, warm yellow, reinforcing these feelings on an unconscious level.

McDonald’s is another business whose core market are children. You only have to see a child’s reaction when they recognise the bright yellow M and how excited they get.  As you can see from the image below, the store interior is bathed in yellow to really stimulate these feels.

Business branding interiors - yellow - McDonald's. This opens a new browser window.

colour psychology – negative effects
Using too much yellow can have a negative effect such as feelings of irritation and anxiety.

Given customers don’t linger in a McDonald’s store (their aim is to get people in, eat quickly and out again, after all it is fast food), the likelihood  of  the negative effects on their customers would be minimal if at all.

However it may have an effect on the staff, who work long hours, every day taking in the emotional effects of yellow. The yellow is keeping them in this heightened state of being cheerful, friendly with no respite. This may be a challenge for them especially if no other colour is used to provide emotional balance.

colour proportion
One of the biggest mistakes is to over use a colour in an interior.  Proportion, balance and placement is key to creating the right sensory (emotional) experience for your customers, and the emotional well-fare of your staff.

After all, using colour triggers emotional response and you want that to be the right emotion response which will lead to sales and support your staff.

What do you think of the colour yellow? Is it a colour you could use in your store or customer facing areas? It definitely isn’t for every business.

To find out more about the effects colour has on your brand download my free e-book 7 mistakes most business owners make with their branding colours.

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