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What color is aqua green and turquoise?

Understanding colors can be confusing, especially when it comes to shades like aqua, green, and turquoise. While they may seem similar, there are distinct differences between these cool tones. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into aqua, green, and turquoise to help you determine what color is what.

Defining Aqua

Aqua is a light blue-green color that got its name from the Latin word for water. It falls somewhere between green and blue on the color wheel. Aqua is associated with refreshment, relaxation, bravery, and clarity.

Some key facts about aqua:

  • Hex code: #00FFFF
  • RGB code: (0, 255, 255)
  • CMYK code: (100, 0, 0, 0)
  • Similar colors: teal, cyan, blue-green
  • Complimentary color: orange

Aqua has a bright, cheerful vibe. It’s commonly used in graphic design, interior decor, and fashion. Brands that use aqua in their logos include Tiffany & Co., Dolphin Cruises,, and Etsy.

Defining Green

Green is one of the three primary colors along with red and blue. It’s associated with nature, health, renewal, and environment causes.

Some key facts about green:

  • Hex code: #00FF00
  • RGB code: (0, 255, 0)
  • CMYK code: (100, 0, 100, 0)
  • Similar colors: forest green, lime green, mint green
  • Complimentary color: red

Green has calming and balancing qualities. It’s often used in interior design to represent renewal and harmony. Green is also popular in food and healthcare logos, like Starbucks, Whole Foods, Spotify, and CVS Pharmacy.

Defining Turquoise

Turquoise is a blend of blue and green with a slightly retro vibe. It was originally named after the gemstone turquoise which was imported from Turkey.

Some key facts about turquoise:

  • Hex code: #40E0D0
  • RGB code: (64, 224, 208)
  • CMYK code: (71, 0, 7, 12)
  • Similar colors: teal, aqua, peacock blue
  • Complimentary color: burnt orange

Turquoise represents wisdom, tranquility, protection, and good fortune. You’ll often see it used in Native American art and artifacts. Companies like Salesforce, Petco, Denny’s, and Coldwell Banker use turquoise in their branding.

Comparing Aqua vs. Green vs. Turquoise

Now that we’ve defined each color, let’s directly compare aqua, green, and turquoise:

Color Hex Code RGB Code CMYK Code
Aqua #00FFFF (0, 255, 255) (100, 0, 0, 0)
Green #00FF00 (0, 255, 0) (100, 0, 100, 0)
Turquoise #40E0D0 (64, 224, 208) (71, 0, 7, 12)

This table summarizes the key color codes for each shade. Looking at the RGB and CMYK values, you can see aqua leans more towards blue, while turquoise is closer to green.

Here’s another comparison of their appearances:

Color Appearance
Aqua Vibrant, neon blue-green. The lightest and brightest of the three colors.
Green Mid-tone vibrant green. More consistent throughout the shade than aqua or turquoise.
Turquoise Blue-leaning with a hint of green. Slightly desaturated compared to aqua.

Aqua is the lightest while turquoise is more subdued. Green is the most pure vivid green of the three.

Use Cases for Aqua vs. Green vs. Turquoise

When should you use aqua, green, and turquoise? Here are some recommendations:

Color Best Use Cases
Aqua Youthful brands, water themes, bright accents, pops of color
Green Nature themes, health brands, renewal, harmony, balance
Turquoise Heritage brands, boho themes, tranquility, wisdom, protection

Aqua has a playful, fresh vibe perfect for youth brands or aquatic themes. Green represents natural harmony. Turquoise has an earthy retro feel that fits with bohemian and heritage brands.


Aqua, green, and turquoise are three distinct cool colors with overlapping blue and green hues. Aqua is the lightest and brightest, green is the most vivid pure green, and turquoise leans slightly more blue than green with a retro vibe.

Use aqua when you want a refreshing modern look. Pick green for natural balance and wellness. Choose turquoise for a retro earthy feel. Understanding the subtle differences between these three colors can help you select the perfect shade for your design or branding needs.

So in summary:

  • Aqua is a bright, light blue-green.
  • Green is a mid-tone pure green.
  • Turquoise is a blue-leaning desaturated green.

With the comparisons and examples provided, you should now have a better sense of what color is aqua, green, and turquoise. Use these handy color tips to pick the perfect aqua, green, or turquoise shade.