Matching colors is an important skill in interior design and fashion. Knowing how to pair colors that complement each other can make a space or outfit look cohesive and stylish. Two colors that often spark debate on whether they match are purple and teal. There are arguments on both sides regarding this color combination. By analyzing color theory, examining examples, and considering context, we can determine if and when purple and teal work well together.
Brief Overview of Color Theory
Looking at basic color theory provides a foundation for assessing color combinations. The color wheel shows which hues are complementary, meaning they are directly across from each other and create a vibrant visual contrast. Purple sits opposite green on the color wheel, so shades of purple naturally pair well with shades of green like teal. While not exact complements, they are close enough on the color wheel for the eye to perceive them as lively pairings.
In addition to hue, colors have qualities of temperature and tone. Purple skews cool in tone while teal has both cool and warm variations. When evaluating purple and teal, it helps to choose shades with similar temperatures. For example, a jewel toned purple with blue undertones complements a cooler teal better than a purple with subtle warm reddish undertones. Tone also matters, as a pale muted purple looks more cohesive with a dusty teal than a vivid saturated teal.
Examples of Purple and Teal Working Together
With some guidelines from color theory in mind, we can look at real world examples of purple and teal pairings. When combined skillfully, these colors can look chic and elegant in fashion, interior decorating, graphic design, and more. Here are some ways purple and teal can complement each other beautifully.
In the fashion world, purple and teal make stylish partners. They look sophisticated when combined in accessories like purses, shoes, jewelry, and headscarves. These colors also pair well in clothing when tones and proportions are balanced. For example, a cool toned medium purple top with dark teal trousers or skirt. Or teal jeans with purple sneakers and a neutral top. Vibrant purple and teal work for color blocking in geometric patterns.
Interior spaces provide many possibilities to tastefully blend purple and teal décor. A teal sofa or armchair pops against a purple wall. Purple pillows and throws enliven a teal bed. These hues complement each other in area rugs, curtains, lamp shades, vases, and other home accessories in cool toned variations. Combining purple and teal artwork ties the colors together elegantly.
Purple and teal are a vibrant pair for graphic design when used intentionally. Posters, brochures, presentations, advertisements and more come to life when these colors are combined in ways compliant with principles of design. Teal makes a striking background that highlights purple titles and headers. Flat purple icons stand out on a teal background. Photos edited with a subtle teal tint gain sophistication with purple overlays.
Examples Where Purple and Teal Clash
Though purple and teal can work in harmony, they also run the risk of clashing if improperly combined. Here are some common ways these colors can war with each other and disrupt visual cohesion.
One of the biggest sources of dissonance between purple and teal is when their undertones differ. A purple with warm, red undertones looks jarring next to a green based, cool teal. The eye perceives them as disconnected. Likewise, a light pastel purple does not blend well with a dark jewel toned teal due to differences in shade and intensity.
Overuse of Both Colors
Too much of both purple and teal can feel visually chaotic. If both colors are scattered throughout a space or outfit without purpose, they end up competing rather than complementing. Keeping one color dominant and using the other as accents helps prevent clashing from color overload.
Without sufficient neutral colors like white, black, gray, or brown, purple and teal lack balance. Neutrals give the eyes a place to rest, framing the more intense colors. Eliminating neutrals or using them sparingly makes it hard for purple and teal to play nice.
Tips for Combining Purple and Teal
Though it takes finesse, purple and teal can be combined tastefully by following some guidelines.
|Choose shades with similar undertones||Pair a jewel toned purple with a cooler, blue-based teal|
|Use one color dominantly and the other for accents||Paint walls teal and add purple pillows|
|Add plenty of neutral colors||Include black and white elements in a purple and teal design|
|Balance proportions of each color||If a large teal chair, accessorize with smaller purple elements|
Does purple and teal match? With careful selection of shade and tone plus a balanced approach, these colors can absolutely complement each other in fashion, interior design, and beyond. However, improperly combined, purple and teal can feel disconnected and garish. By following basic color theory and looking to examples of purple and teal done well, you can confidently and stylishly incorporate these colors together. Pay attention to proportion, balance, and neutrals. With some practice, you can master combining these passionate purple and playful teal.