Whether teal and purple make a good color combination is a common question many people have when decorating or choosing outfits. Teal and purple are both popular, vibrant colors that look great on their own. But do they work well together? Let’s take a closer look at these colors and how they interact to determine if teal and purple are a match made in color wheel heaven or a clash that’s best avoided.
Defining teal and purple
First, let’s define exactly what shades of teal and purple we’re talking about.
Teal is a medium blue-green color that takes its name from the common teal bird which has iridescent blue-green feathers. It falls somewhere between green and blue on the color wheel. The hex code for teal is #008080.
Purple encompasses a wide range of shades from light lavender to deep plum. But when most people imagine purple, they think of the standard vibrant purple that falls halfway between blue and red on the color wheel. This shade of purple has a hex code of #800080.
So for the purposes of this article, when we refer to teal and purple we mean those core, saturated shades.
The color wheel
Looking at the color wheel is a good starting point for assessing if two colors will look good together. Colors that are next to or across from each other on the color wheel tend to coordinate well because they share common undertones. Colors that are distant from each other often clash.
As you can see, teal and purple are located across from one another on the standard 12-part color wheel. This positioning indicates that they are complementary colors.
Complementary colors by definition create high contrast when combined. They enhance one another because of how different they are. This contrast livens up any pairing of the two colors.
Complementary color scheme
A complementary color scheme consists of two colors directly across from each other on the color wheel along with varied tints, shades, and tones of those colors.
Teal and purple have a vibrant complementary relationship. Teal has a calming quality while purple is energetic. When paired, teal grounds the brightness of purple while purple injects teal with playfulness.
Some examples of teal and purple color combinations include:
– Vibrant teal and vivid purple
– Light teal and dark purple
– Dull teal and pale purple
– Bright teal and muted purple
Adjusting the saturation, lightness, and brightness levels of the teal and purple creates different aesthetic effects. But the high contrast remains constant in any complementary pairing.
You can further expand a teal and purple complementary palette by incorporating analogous colors. Analogous colors are located right next to each other on the color wheel.
For teal, analogues include blue, green, and turquoise. Good purple analogues include red-violet and blue-violet. Mixing analogous hues expands your options for shades and creates a cohesive palette.
An example teal and purple color scheme with analogues might look like:
This gives you a full spectrum to work from. The analogous colors complement the core teal and purple shades.
In addition to their positioning on the color wheel, colors also differ in temperature. Some shades feel cool and others warm.
Teal is considered a cool color, evoking associations with water, sky, and mint. Purple is a warm color, reminiscent of wine, berries, and twilight.
This cool vs. warm contrast offers another layer of visual interest when combining teal and purple. The teal feels breezy and refreshing while the purple has vibrancy and depth.
Mixing patterns and textures
Complementary color schemes work especially well when you blend contrasting patterns and textures. For example, pair sleek teal satin with lush purple velvet. Or combine an organic teal batik print with geometric purple shapes.
These types of combinations allow each color to stand out clearly against the other. The contrast pops rather than the colors competing for attention.
Real world applications
Now that we’ve explored the color theory behind teal and purple, let’s see how these shades come together in real world applications.
In interior spaces, teal and purple create an uplifting, contemporary vibe.
Try painting one accent wall in a rich purple hue and the others in fresh teal tones. The colors energize each other. Or upholster furniture in complementary patterns like teal and purple stripes or florals.
In a bedroom, a teal headboard alongside purple bedding is an unexpected but pretty pairing. And teal cabinets or appliances pop against purple kitchen walls.
For clothing, pairing a teal top with purple pants or skirt is an easy go-to option. Or layer teal and purple by wearing a button-down shirt in one color and sweater in the other.
You can also mix teal and purple accessories like bags, shoes, jewelry or hair accessories. Try a teal dress with purple jacket or vice versa. And don’t forget fun teal and purple nail polish combinations.
At events, having a teal dress and purple shawl or suit with teal tie offers great wedding guest or party outfit options.
Art and graphic design
In artwork, media, and graphic design, complementary teal and purple color schemes create visual interest. The contrast draws the viewer’s eye.
You’ll often see teal and purple used together on websites, logos, advertisements, posters, media graphics, and more. These colors help important elements stand out against each other.
Teal and purple also produce exciting effects in paint pouring art, mosaic tiles, photography backdrops, and any abstract or graphic art mediums.
While teal and purple complement each other beautifully overall, there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind:
– Such high contrast can be jarring if not balanced well. Use one color as dominant and the other as accents.
– Matching purples with the right teal tones takes a careful eye. Going too light/dark can make them clash.
– In low light conditions, the colors may vibrate against each other rather than complement.
– Overusing highly saturated teal and purple can create an overwhelming effect.
The key is skillfully blending teal and purple rather than letting them fight for attention. When combined with care, any challenges dissipate.
Teal and purple clearly complement each other beautifully. Their positioning on the color wheel, contrasting natures, and real world versatility make them a winning pairing.
Used thoughtfully, these lively complements invigorate any space or design. Teal’s inherent tranquility tempers purple’s bold impact, while purple excites teal’s mellowness.
The next time you wish to add some drama and intrigue to your aesthetic, turn to teal and purple. Their vivid complementary chemistry doesn’t disappoint!