Choosing colors that go well together can be tricky, especially when working with bold hues like navy blue and red. Navy and red are both primary colors that pack a punch, so combining them in an outfit or decor requires some thought to pull off successfully. In this article, we’ll explore the color theory behind navy and red and recommend specific shades that complement each other. We’ll also provide fashion, decor, and graphic design tips for making navy and red work in harmony.
In color theory, red and blue are complementary colors, meaning they are opposite each other on the color wheel. When placed side-by-side, complementary colors create strong visual contrast and a vibrant, energetic effect.
Navy is a darker shade of blue that has the same striking dynamic with red. The richness of navy enhances the boldness of red. And red’s intensity makes navy pop. Using complementary navy and red together requires balancing the two so one doesn’t overpower the other.
But if done right, navy and red is a sophisticated color combination that flatters clothing, interiors, artwork, branding, and more.
Best Shades of Navy to Pair with Red
True navy is the most versatile shade to pair with red. Its blue undertones allow it to complement the warmth of red. Lighter shades of navy can work too, but may be overpowered by red’s intensity. Here are the top navy shades for coordinating with red:
|Navy Shade||Hex Code|
True navy has bright blue undertones that give it boldness. Dark navy is a richer, slightly muted shade. Midnight navy is very dark with subtle warmth. All these deep blue hues have visual depth that stands up well to red.
Best Shades of Red to Pair with Navy
When it comes to choosing a red, shades with blue undertones or purple leanings help bridge the gap with navy. Here are flattering reds to combine with different shades of navy:
|Navy Shade||Red Pairing||Hex Code|
|True Navy||Primary Red||#FF0000|
|Midnight Navy||Burnt Red||#A52A2A|
The pure hue of primary red pops against true navy. Crimson’s blue undertone complements dark navy. And burnt red’s subtle earthiness goes well with midnight navy’s muted vibe.
Fashion Tips for Wearing Navy and Red
Navy and red can look sophisticated together in fashion when balanced properly. Here are some tips for wearing these two colors stylishly:
– Pair a red top with navy bottoms or vice versa. This creates visual interest while anchoring one bold color with the other.
– Add small red accents, like a scarf or handbag, to a navy outfit. This makes red pop without going overboard.
– Limit patterns when combining navy and red. Solids, minimal patterns or classic stripes tend to work best.
– Use white or lighter neutrals like tan, gray or blush to transition between the two darker hues.
– Avoid using true red right next to true navy, which can be jarring. Muted shades tend to mix more seamlessly.
Home Decor Tips for Combining Navy and Red
From throw pillows to furniture, navy and red can upgrade your home decor. Here are some tips for effectively using them together:
– Ground a red couch or armchair with a navy rug. The navy backdrop makes the red furniture pop.
– Mix red and navy pillows, throws and curtains for color dimension. Vary textures and patterns too.
– Paint walls navy and add red artwork, candles or flowers as accents. This creates an elegant, restrained look.
– Incorporate navy dining chairs with a red tablecloth or runner for a sophisticated table setting.
– For a beachy vibe, pair navy blue walls with cherry red furniture and accents. Nautical touches like rope and driftwood can enhance the look.
Graphic Design Color Schemes with Navy and Red
Navy and red marry well in graphic design thanks to their high-contrast dynamic. When applying these colors to branding, websites, signage or marketing materials, keep these guidelines in mind:
– Use navy as the background color and red as the accent. This creates visual interest while preventing red from looking too dominant.
– Alternate blocks of navy and red for layouts. But use white space between the two colors. Too much navy/red touching can jar viewers’ eyes.
– Make navy typography more readable by adding a thin red outline or shadow. Red text tends to vibrate against the navy.
– When combining navy and red in logos, tilt the balance toward navy since it has broader appeal than red.
– Add a third color like white, gray or teal as a transition between navy and red. This helps them blend more harmoniously.
Navy and red can be a gorgeous color pairing with the right shades and application. True navy, crimson red and muted tones tend to complement each other best. Incorporating these bold primaries in outfits, decor and design requires balancing the two hues thoughtfully so one doesn’t dominate. With smart use of blue-based reds and
classic navy blues, this duo can look tailored, elegant and timeless.