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Do orange and teal clash?

Do orange and teal clash?

The combination of orange and teal in design and fashion has become a hot topic lately. Some argue that the two colors go beautifully together, creating a bold, striking color palette. Others claim that orange and teal violently clash, hurting the eyes and sensitivities. So which is it? Do orange and teal harmonize or collide when paired together? This article will examine the psychology behind color pairing, survey examples in graphic design and fashion, and provide tips for successfully combining orange and teal.

The basics of color theory

First, to understand if orange and teal clash, we need to understand some color theory basics. What makes colors work well together or appear jarring?

Complementary colors sit opposite each other on the color wheel. They create strong contrast and pop. Analogous colors sit next to each other on the color wheel and create harmony. Monochromatic palettes use shades, tones, and tints of one single hue. Triadic color schemes use three colors evenly spaced around the color wheel. Orange and teal sit opposite each other as complementary colors which leads some designers to categorize them as clashing. However, color pairing relies on more than just color wheel position.

The psychology behind color pairing

Beyond color theory, human psychology impacts how color combinations are perceived. Certain pairings evoke different emotions in viewers. So what feelings do orange and teal provoke?

Orange is energetic, youthful, and friendly. The vibrant hue stimulates mental activity and socialization. Teal is calming, intuitive, and insightful. The cool tone promotes emotional balance and concentration. Pairing warm orange with cool teal creates visual interest through contrasting temperatures. It also combines the psychological effects of vitality and tranquility. This mix can feel lively yet grounded.

Examples of orange and teal in graphic design

Many graphic designers and artists lend credibility to the orange and teal pairing by skillfully using it in their visual work. The colors interplay beautifully in the following projects:

Project Description
Poster for Quentin Tarantino film The movie poster uses orange shadows behind the title and teal light rays in the background. This adds visual intrigue.
Magazine editorial spread An interior design magazine couples teal typography with orange decor accents. This energizes the layout.
CD cover art A music album integrates orange and teal through abstract shapes. The composition pops against a white backdrop.
Website design An ecommerce site applies orange headers over a teal banner image. This color pairing grabs user attention.

These examples show orange and teal complementing each other in graphic design applications. The colors create just enough contrast without clashing.

Examples of orange and teal fashion

Orange and teal color combos also appear on the runway and streets through trendy fashion choices. Many style icons effectively rock the pairing in these memorable looks:

Look Description
Printed puffer jacket A teal puffer jacket with orange accent stripes and zipper creates a causal, eye-catching street style look.
Color-blocked sweater An oversized sweater with alternating panels of orange and teal makes a bold fashion statement.
Patterned sundress A flowy sundress with an orange and teal floral print looks chic for summer.
Orange heels with teal bag Pairing bright orange stiletto heels with a seafoam green bag and jewelry elegantly complements the two hues.

Runway shows, magazines, and influencers prove orange and teal fashion can captivate when skillfully styled.

Tips for combining orange and teal

For designers and style mavens looking to use the orange and teal palette, certain tips help marry the colors in harmonious ways:

– Use orange as the accent color against a teal background or vice versa. Let one color take the lead.

– Add white or black to soften and provide separation between the orange and teal.

– Make orange warmer and teal cooler by adjusting their saturation and lightness for maximum contrast.

– Add texture and visual interest by pairing matte teal with glossy orange or vice versa.

– Ground the palette with neutral brown, tan, gray, or blue shades to tone down the vibrancy.

– Use analogous shades like burnt orange, mustard, mint, and seafoam to transition between the two colors.

Following these guidelines helps ensure orange and teal enhance instead of overpower each other.


Do orange and teal clash? Much evidence supports that they can live in harmony. While the two colors contrast, they also balance each other out. Their complementary natures on the color wheel help them create vibrancy. Graphic artists and fashion designers skillfully blend orange and teal through thoughtful pairings. With smart styling choices, the punchy yet tranquil palette brings energy and balance to any design or outfit. Use the colors thoughtfully and they will complement instead of collide.