The color blue grey lies somewhere between blue and grey on the color spectrum. It is a cool, desaturated color that has elements of both blue and grey in its appearance. Determining whether blue grey is more blue or more grey depends on the specific shade and ratio of blue to grey in the color. In this article, we will examine the key characteristics of blue grey and analyze whether different shades lean more towards blue or grey.
Defining Blue Grey
Blue grey is created by combining blue and grey pigments or light waves. By adding a soft blue tint to a grey base, the resulting color takes on a cooler, more muted tone than pure grey. Blue grey goes by several other names including air force blue, cadet grey, and pewter. It falls in the low to mid range of color saturation and lightness.
On the RGB color wheel, blue grey is made by reducing the saturation of pure blue towards black and white. The hex code for a typical blue grey is #6C7A89. This signifies a color created from 42% red, 47% green, and 54% blue light. On the CMYK color model, blue grey contains mainly cyan, magenta, and black pigments with little to no yellow.
The exact hue of blue grey can range from a pale icy blue to a deep blue slate. Generally, the more white that is mixed in, the lighter and more greyish the blue tone becomes. And the more black that is added, the darker and bluer the grey appears.
Comparing Blue Grey to Blue
When examining if blue grey is more blue or grey, it helps to first define the characteristics of blue. Blue is a primary color and sits between violet and green on the visible spectrum. It has a short wavelength and high energy. Blues are known for eliciting feelings of calmness, serenity, and openness.
In its pure vivid form, blue is assertive, energetic, and engaging to the eye. It has high chroma and saturation compared to blue grey. When grey is mixed in to dull the blue, the result is a more tranquil, hushed color. Blue grey takes on some muted characteristics of blue but lacks its striking vibrancy.
While blue grey picks up minor undertones from blue, it lacks the depth, brilliance, and intensity of full blue hues. Most shades of blue grey sit closer to neutral greys than vivid blues on the color line. The blue acts more as a subdued undertone rather than the dominant pigment.
Comparing Blue Grey to Grey
Grey is an achromatic, desaturated color made by blending black and white. Pure grey is the epitome of neutral since it lacks any hue or chroma. Greys convey balance, calm, and composure without drawing attention.
Blue grey takes on many of the subdued qualities of neutral grey. It registers as a relatively soft, muted color to the eye. However, the faint blue cast gives it slightly more visual interest and coloriness than unadulterated grey.
Most shades of blue grey sit much closer to grey than blue on the spectrum. The grey greatly dilutes the intensity of the blue, leaving it only as a minor accent. As a result, blue greys read as predominantly greyish rather than bluish.
Which Direction on the Color Spectrum
To understand whether blue grey leans blue or grey, you can refer to its placement on the color wheel. Neutral greys sit in the center, while pure blues span out towards the edges.
Blue greys lie in the soft zone between the greyscale center and the outer blue hues. Depending on the specific shade, they are positioned closer to neutral grey or vivid blue. But in most cases, blue greys fall in the inner half of the spectrum, making them more greyish blues than bluish greys.
The exceptions are the darkest shades of blue grey that verge near navy blue. These deep, moody colors retain more obvious blue character. But lighter and medium blue greys tend towards the achromatic scale. Their low saturation makes them register primarily as toned-down greys in the eyes of most viewers.
Analyzing Specific Blue Grey Shades
With blue greys encompassing a wide range, individual shades can lean subtly blue or grey depending on their specifications. Here we???ll analyze how three popular blue greys fall on the spectrum.
Light Blue Grey – HEX #B7C1CF
This pale icy blue grey is created from 72% red, 75% green, and 81% blue light. With its high white content, this shade appears soft, hazy, and tranquil. Despite its name, the blue element is subdued. The overall look is a light neutral grey with the faintest blue overtone.
Medium Blue Grey – HEX #6D7B8D
A mid-range blue grey made from 43% red, 47% blue, and 55% green light. This shade sits in the low-chroma zone, retaining only a hint of its blue origins. While not completely neutral, the blue is understated. Most would identify this as a medium grey rather than a distinct blue.
Dark Blue Grey – HEX #2B3743
With RGB values of 17% red, 21% green, and 26% blue, this darker shade begins to reveal more of its blue ancestry. The deeper tone allows the blue cast to show through while still remaining muted compared to true blues. This shade is more of a greyish blue than the previous examples.
Blue Grey in Decor and Fashion
Blue greys play an important role in interior design and fashion. Light blue greys bring a pale, misty backdrop to a room. Medium blues greys work well in living spaces thanks to their versatility and balance of cool and warm. Dark blue greys can create an intimate, cozy atmosphere with a hint of masculine edge.
In clothing, blue greys pair nicely with many skin tones and eye colors as a result of their blue undertone and flattering grey base. Common shades used in fashion include air force blue, cadet blue, and pewter. Blue greys have an adaptable quality and relaxed feel compared to standout blues.
Blue grey is an intriguing color that straddles the line between blue and grey. But in most incarnations, it falls closer to neutral grey than vibrant blue on the spectrum. The blue element comes through as a whisper rather than a shout in these cooled-down hues. While not devoid of color, blue greys are known for their soft, mellow personality compared to the energy of straight blues. So in summary, blue grey tends towards greyish blue rather than bluish grey. But the answer can vary based on just how much blue makes its way into the mix.
Tables Comparing Blue Grey to Blue and Grey
|High chroma||Low chroma|
|Primary color||Tertiary color|
|High saturation||Low saturation|
|Neutral||Hint of color|
|Achromatic||Tinge of blue|
|Pure grey||Grey with blue undertones|