Colour Me

At Crowd, we use semiotics as one of our tools, showing where signs and symbols – like words, visual icons, packaging, or logos – are a shortcut for brands to reveal their message or impact behaviour. 

Colour of course carries plenty of meaning, but that changes (and often very fast) alongside lived experiences. In this new series, we take a look at the semiotics of colour, and where culture is flipping its use on its head. 

First up, what lies beneath the sunny, happy-go-lucky exterior of Gen Z yellow? We use semiotics to chart the evolution of a colour ascribed to Gen Z – a yellow that suits the brash, outspoken kids on the block – and how it mirrors what has mattered to this group during the last five years…

In Gen Z yellow, we explore: 

_How a generation refusing to be ignored and feeling an urgency tinged with optimism (eg climate activism) took ownership of a yellow tone that was just as loud and unmuted as them.

_How this colour mellowed after the pandemic to a gentle, sunny yellow as Gen Z shifted to  groundedness and simplicity?

_ Now a shade of yellow is emerging that reflects how Gen Z are reacting to the so-called global ‘permacrisis’ – one that has tranquil hues to tap into their seeking solace in spirituality and escapism. 

_And finally: we show how to leverage Gen Z yellow to your advantage.

Read the full report here.

Semiotic analysis can help brands understand culture and keep ahead of cultural change, and we hope our Colour Me series will help you in  choosing more impactful colours.

If you’d like to learn more about how we use semiotics to reach real cultural insights, please get in touch: