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What are 3 shades of yellow in color codes?

What are 3 shades of yellow in color codes?

Yellow is a bright, warm color that evokes happiness, optimism and energy. It’s one of the three primary colors along with red and blue. There are many different shades of yellow that are defined by specific color codes used in design applications, web development, and printing. Choosing the right yellow can be important for creating the desired mood or aesthetic.

Overview of Key Yellow Shades

Here are 3 popular shades of yellow along with their color codes:

  • Lemon Yellow – #FFFF00
  • Goldenrod – #DAA520
  • Mustard – #FFDB58

These shades range from the bright, zesty yellow of lemons to the muted, earthy tones of mustard. They can be used together or separately depending on the context.

Color Theory Behind Shades of Yellow

In color theory, yellow sits between green and orange on the visible spectrum of light. It’s considered a warm, happy color associated with sunshine, springtime, and positivity. The meaning behind a yellow shade can change subtly depending on how bright or saturated it is.

Lighter yellows like lemon yellow evoke cheerfulness and clarity. Darker yellows like goldenrod and mustard have an earthier, more retro feel. Pure medium yellow is the most energetic. Touches of gray, brown or orange mutes the vibrancy for a more sophisticated look.

Yellow grabs attention, sparking creativity and optimism. It’s often used in design to catch eyes and create excitement. Different shades can tailored to fit a specific brand identity or aesthetic.

Defining Color Codes

Color codes provide precise specifications for digital and print design work. They allow consistent application of color across different programs, devices and materials. There are a few main color code formats:

  • Hexadecimal – Hex codes are 6-digit combinations of letters A-F and numbers 0-9 preceded by a # sign (e.g. #FFFF00). Hex values define colors for web, app and graphic design.
  • RGB – RGB codes use decimal values for red, green and blue light on a 0-255 scale (e.g. 255,255,0). RGB defines colors for digital displays.
  • CMYK – CMYK uses percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink for print design (e.g. 0%, 0%, 100%, 0%).

Hex codes are the most common format for conveying specific shades of yellow online. CAD programs, image editors, websites, HTML, CSS and other platforms rely on hex.

Breakdown of Selected Yellow Shades

Here is some more detail on the technical specifications and design uses of lemon yellow, goldenrod and mustard:

Shade Hex Code RGB CMYK Uses
Lemon Yellow #FFFF00 255, 255, 0 0%, 0%, 100%, 0% Citrus colors, bright accents
Goldenrod #DAA520 218, 165, 32 0%, 24%, 85%, 15% Vintage, earthy
Mustard #FFDB58 255, 219, 88 0%, 14%, 65%, 0% Retro, muted accent

As seen above, lemon yellow is the lightest and brightest shade with no saturation. Goldenrod is slightly darker with higher CMYK saturation. Mustard has strong yellow warmth with a subtle orange tint from higher magenta.

Applying Yellow Shades in Design Work

Different shades of yellow can serve distinct purposes in graphic, web and other design work. Lemon yellow attracts attention, goldenrod provides a vintage earthiness, and mustard gives a retro flair. Here are some specific uses:

  • Lemon Yellow – Can be used for highlights, accents and backgrounds calling for brightness and cheer. Works for youth brands, toys and citrus themes.
  • Goldenrod – Has an antique, rustic personality great for heritage brands, historical sites, autumn themes and earthy aesthetics.
  • Mustard – Provides a bold accent color with retro appeal. Works well with styles like 1960s/70s, vintage advertising and Americana themes.

Different shades can be combined selectively as accents. Lemon yellow can jazz up a retro palette, while goldenrod accents add interest to clean modern layouts.

Accessing Exact Yellow Shades

The specific yellow shades covered can be readily accessed across design platforms using their hex color codes:

  • Lemon Yellow – #FFFF00
  • Goldenrod – #DAA520
  • Mustard – #FFDB58

These values can be input into color selection interfaces and other tools. As standard web colors, lemon yellow and goldenrod are even available by name in many applications.

For print work like reports, packaging and signage, providing Pantone colors along with CMYK builds helps align yellow hues across materials and vendors. Keeping color codes consistent makes workflows smoother.

Choosing Complementary Colors

Certain color palettes work especially well with shades of yellow. Complementary colors – those opposite on the color wheel – create vibrant contrast. Analogous palettes use hues adjacent to yellow for harmonious combinations. Some examples:

  • Complementary – Violet, blue-violet
  • Analogous – Green, green-yellow, orange
  • Triadic – Yellow, purple, red

Lemon yellow pops alongside violet and purple. Goldenrod works with navy, maroon and forest greens. Mustard looks lively with red, pink or teal accents. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color pairings.

Downloading Swatch References

When working across applications and materials, keeping color references on hand helps maintain consistency. Downloadable digital swatch libraries are a handy tool for this. Resources like Adobe Color CC, Pantone Color Manager and COLRD allow you to curate, manage and access color swatches anytime.

Swatches for the yellow shades covered include sample fills, tints and hexadecimal, RGB and CMYK values. Digital libraries let you directly load swatches into design programs like Adobe Creative Suite for instant access. Swatch books are another way to take color cues on the go.


Lemon yellow, goldenrod and mustard provide three versatile shades of yellow for design work. Their specific color codes pin down the precise yellow tone for digital, print and web applications. Keeping swatches and color pairing strategies on hand helps inform yellow shade choices. With a balanced use of bright and muted tones, different yellows can make designs pop while supporting brand identities and aesthetics.