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What is the color blue-green called?

What is the color blue-green called?

The color that is between blue and green on the color wheel is commonly referred to as blue-green. However, this color has a more specific name that is widely recognized. In this article, we will explore what the technical term is for the blue-green color and look at its history and usage.

The Name for Blue-Green

The specific name for the color between blue and green is “teal.” Teal is considered a tertiary color, meaning it is created by combining a primary color (blue) with a secondary color (green).

Some key facts about the color teal:

HTML color code #008080
RGB values R: 0, G: 128, B: 128
CMYK values C: 100, M: 0, Y: 50, K: 50

As shown above, teal sits halfway between blue and green on the color wheel. It carries equal parts green and blue but has a slightly more greenish cast.

Origins of the Name Teal

The name “teal” originated from the common teal duck, which has feathers colored in a striking greenish-blue. The word itself comes from the Middle English “tele” meaning greenish-blue. It has been used to describe the color since the late 1800s.

Interestingly, in other languages the color teal is named after other blue-green birds. For example, in Russian the color is called “sinilga” after the Eurasian teal duck. In Portuguese, the word for teal translates to “green peacock.”

Uses and Symbolism of Teal

Thanks to its cool, calming hue, teal has many applications:

Interior design Commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens, and other water-themed spaces
Fashion A refreshing neutral that pairs well with many skin tones
Branding Used to evoke feelings of balance, sophistication, and intuition
Art Featured across many artistic periods and mediums

Teal gets its relaxing feel from its blue undertones. Blue is known to evoke calmness and serenity. At the same time, the addition of green gives teal an invigorating quality. Green is connected to renewal, growth, and environmentalism.

Together, the fusion of tranquil blue and lively green make teal a versatile color that can work in many contexts.

Teal Versus Turquoise

Many people use the words “teal” and “turquoise” interchangeably when referring to the blue-green color. However, they are actually distinct hues.

Turquoise contains more green than teal. It sits closer to the green side of the color wheel. The key differences include:

Turquoise More greenish-blue
Teal More bluish-green

This can be seen clearly when the two colors are placed side by side. Teal has a deeper sea-like quality, while turquoise appears brighter and more tropical.

Over time, turquoise has become associated specifically with the semi-precious stone of the same name. For this reason, “teal” is now used more often to describe the blue-green color unrelated to the gemstone.

Teal in Nature

In nature, teal gets its color from a pigment called glaucophane. This is an amphibole mineral that crystallizes into long prismatic crystals. Glaucophane often forms in metamorphic rocks that have undergone high pressure, like during the mountain-building process.

Some examples of teal shades found naturally in animals, plants, and minerals:

Green sea turtles Have teal and gray shells
Peking ducks Have iridescent teal feathers
Blue-green algae Aquatic organisms that produce oxygen
Chrysocolla A blue-green copper mineral
Amazonite A greenish-blue gemstone

Teal takes many different forms across the natural world, both on land and in the sea. Its gradient nature allows it to transition smoothly across shades.

Key Facts About Teal

To summarize the key points about the color teal:

– The technical name for blue-green is “teal.” It sits between blue and green on the color wheel.

– Teal likely got its name from the common teal duck which has blue-green feathers.

– Teal has calming properties thanks to its blue tones but also feels rejuvenating due to its green.

– Turquoise is more greenish than teal. Over time, turquoise became linked specifically to the gemstone.

– In nature, the teal pigment glaucophane is found in certain metamorphic rocks and ocean life.

So next time you come across a blue-green color, you can confidently call it by its proper name: teal! This cool tone deserves to stand on its own.

The Psychology of Teal

The color teal has some unique psychological effects that impact how we perceive it:

– Calming – The blue tones in teal are soothing and linked to lower heart rate and blood pressure. Blue creates feelings of relaxation.

– Balancing – As a mix of warm yellow-green and cool blue, teal is seen as a harmonizing “middle ground” color.

– Spiritual – Teal’s association with nature gives it a mystical, spiritual vibe. It is sometimes considered a “healer’s color.”

– Feminine – Teal leans toward the feminine side, often used in products marketed toward women and girls. However, it still has some masculine energy.

– Appetizing – From blue waters and green foliage, teal can subconsciously signal nutritious food resources. It is an appetite-stimulating color.

– Nostalgic – The natural teal tones elicit memories of being by the ocean or walking through a forest. It reminds us of youth and happier times.

Teal in Marketing and Branding

The balance and tranquility of teal make it an intriguing choice for marketing and branding campaigns. Here are some key ways teal is utilized:

– Healthcare – Hospitals, dentists, mental health providers, and other health services use teal to signal trust, calm, and professionalism. Light teal scrubs are worn by many healthcare workers.

– Tech – While vibrant blues or greens are common in tech, teal offers a more neutral high-tech look. It blends technological sophistication with natural tones.

– Finance – Banks, credit unions, and insurance companies employ teal for its balance of tradition and innovation. Teal conveys trust and security with a modern twist.

– Food/Beverage – From teal packaging to blue-green cocktails, the appetite-stimulating qualities of teal work well in the culinary industry. It also connects to natural ingredients.

– Fashion – Teal complements nearly all skin tones. It brings out blue eyes while also flattering brown eyes. Teal offers a pop of color without being overpowering.

Important Teal Color Codes

For digital design work, it is important to know the exact teal color codes to use. Here are some of the most common teal color codes across formats:

Hex Code #008080
RGB R: 0, G: 128, B: 128
CMYK C: 1.0, M: 0, Y: 0.5, K: 0.5
Pantone Pantone 3272 CP
Crayola Teal Blue

These specific teal color codes will help designers and marketers maintain color consistency across applications, from print materials to digital assets. They ensure the intended teal tone is conveyed.

Having the precise teal color codes on hand saves time and eliminates guesswork while creating anything from logos to reports. Whether working in graphics programs, web design tools, or office software, these codes will render the true teal color every time.

Teal Color Palettes

Teal can be paired with a wide range of colors to create attractive and meaningful palettes. Here are some examples of complementary color palettes featuring teal:

Teal and Burnt Orange A high-contrast combo conveying energy and excitement
Teal and Yellow A sunny, cheerful palette
Teal and Violet A soft, feminine blend
Teal and Rose A palette with a romantic vibe
Teal and Sage Green An earthy, tranquil mix

Teal is extremely versatile. It can be paired with warm tones like orange and yellow for vibrancy, or cool tones like purple and rose for serenity. Crisp whites and beiges also complement teal nicely.

Experimenting with different teal color combinations can completely change the look and feel of a design. The right teal palette has the power to grab attention while also conveying deeper meanings.

Famous Works Featuring Teal

Many celebrated works throughout history have featured the rich color of teal. Here are a few noteworthy examples:

– The Great Wave off Kanagawa – Hokusai’s famous ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock print depicts towering teal waves.

– The Little Mermaid – The Disney film brought under-the-sea teal hues to life through its setting and character designs.

– Tiffany’s Blue – The iconic robin’s egg blue of Tiffany & Co. jewelry boxes borders on teal with its green undertones.

– Ford Model T – The first mass-produced automobile was offered exclusively in a dark shade of teal dubbed “Oxford Blue.”

– The Girl with a Pearl Earring – Vermeer’s masterpiece uses teal-blue hues blended with yellows in the girl’s headscarf.

Teal has been present across artistic mediums for centuries, from paintings to products. Its natural appeal continues to inspire beauty and intrigue across eras and cultures.


In summary, the specific color term for the gradient between blue and green is “teal.” While similar to turquoise, teal sits closer to the blue side. Its cool tranquility balanced with invigorating green tones make teal a versatile color. Teal conveys relaxation while also stimulating energy and appetite.

From its use in healthcare facilities to its appearance across famous works of art, teal is a captivating color that evokes nature, nostalgia, and renewal. With the rise of environmentalism and focus on wellness, teal will likely continue growing in popularity. The next time you observe a blue-green color, you can confidently call it by its proper name: teal.