Teal and turquoise are often used interchangeably to describe a range of blue-green colors. However, while similar, they are actually distinct shades with some key differences.
Teal is a medium blue-green color that derives its name from the common teal bird. The color teal lies between blue and green on the color wheel and is created by mixing blue into a green base. True teal is slightly more green than blue.
Specifically, teal gets its hue from combining green with a small amount of blue. The exact proportions may vary, but a typical teal color combines:
- 50-70% green
- 30-50% blue
This mixture creates a vibrant blue-green shade that pops when paired with neutral colors like white, gray, and black. When describing teal, some common color terms and influences include:
- Cool, crisp, refreshing
- A blue-green mixture
- Slightly more green than blue
- Inspired by the common teal duck
- Works well with neutral colors
Turquoise is also a greenish-blue color, inspired by the gemstone of the same name. However, turquoise contains a bit more blue undertones than teal.
True turquoise gemstones achieve their iconic color from traces of copper. By mixing more blue into a green base, the perfect turquoise shade combines:
- 40-60% green
- 40-60% blue
This more even blue-green balance creates a bolder, richer color than teal. Key turquoise color descriptors include:
- Vibrant, electric
- Even blue-green mixture
- Inspired by turquoise gemstones
- Slightly more blue than green
- Bolder than teal
Teal vs. Turquoise
So what’s the bottom line difference between teal and turquoise? While similar, teal leans more toward green, while turquoise leans slightly more toward blue. Let’s compare some key traits:
|Slightly more blue
While teal and turquoise are similar, viewing them side-by-side makes their differences clear. Teal is a mellower, cooler green-blue that can work in both warm and cool color schemes. Turquoise pops more, with bolder vibrancy thanks to its slightly higher blue content.
Teal and Turquoise Hex Codes
One way to precisely define a color is through its hex code. This code assigns a specific mixture of red, blue, and green to produce any color in the visible spectrum. Let’s look at some popular teal and turquoise hex codes:
Even with the same amounts of blue and green pigment, teal and turquoise produce slightly different looks. Teal hex codes have equal parts blue and green, while turquoise codes skew slightly more blue. Darker or lighter shades also impact a color’s vibrancy and hue.
How Lighting Affects Teal vs. Turquoise
The perceived color of teal and turquoise can also shift based on lighting conditions. Here is how different types of light impacts the look of these shades:
- Natural daylight – Makes both teal and turquoise appear more vivid and intense.
- Warm incandescent bulbs – Give turquoise a more greenish cast while teal appears richer.
- Cool fluorescent lighting – Enhances the blue undertones in turquoise more than teal.
- LED lights – LEDs render both teal and turquoise nicely without much distortion.
So turquoise may take on more green hues under warm, yellow lighting while teal shifts slightly more blue under cool lighting. Keep these factors in mind when viewing paint swatches or clothing in different lighting.
Popular Uses of Teal vs. Turquoise
Thanks to their similar cool, blue-green hues, teal and turquoise see use across many industries:
|Dresses, accessories, accents
|Jewelry, prints, details
|Walls, furniture, pillows
|Accent pieces, lamps, rugs
|Calming, trustworthy feel
|Youthful, adventurous vibe
|Water, nature scenes
|Tropical subjects, ceramics
Teal and turquoise work in similar applications, though turquoise packs more visual punch. Teal offers a cooler, more relaxed feel, while turquoise grabs attention. Both add a touch of sophistication and natural flair.
Matching Colors for Teal vs. Turquoise
What colors go well with teal or turquoise? Thanks to their versatility, they combine beautifully with many palettes:
|Teal Pairs Well With
|Turquoise Pairs Well With
|– White, black, gray
|– Coral, peach
|– Warm metallics like gold
|– Rich warm metallics like copper
|– Earth tones like sand and sage
|– Yellows and oranges
|– Vibrant purple
|– Lime green, emerald
Teal works as a neutral and pairs well with darker neutrals and metallics. The boldness of turquoise allows brighter, more daring color combinations.
Psychology of Teal vs. Turquoise
Color psychology suggests teal and turquoise can promote different moods:
- Teal – Associated with calmness, healing, and open communication. Promotes concentration and emotional balance.
- Turquoise – Represents adventure, excitement, and imagination. Fosters creativity and new beginnings.
So teal may be a better choice for relaxing spa or workspace colors. The vibrant boldness of turquoise works well in kids’ rooms or industries promoting travel and adventure.
Teal and turquoise are stunning, versatile shades that share many similarities. But small differences in their hue and vibrancy give them distinct personalities:
- Teal is cooler, more relaxing and combines well with neutral colors.
- Turquoise pops more and promotes creativity, energy, and bold color combinations.
So while teal versus turquoise can be confusing, each shade has unique strengths. Knowing just a bit about their differences allows choosing the perfect blue-green hue for every project and purpose.