Skip to Content

What palette number is dark blue?

What palette number is dark blue?

When working with color palettes, especially for design, art, or other creative projects, it can be helpful to know what palette number corresponds to different colors. This allows for easy reference when trying to achieve a certain look or feel with your color choices. Dark blue is a popular color for many applications, so knowing its place on various color palette systems can save time and effort. In this article, we’ll take a look at what palette number dark blue commonly falls under on some of the most widely used color palette models.

RGB Color Model

The RGB color model is one of the most common ways to represent color digitally. It uses varying levels of red, green, and blue light to create the full spectrum of colors we see on screens. In the RGB model, each color has its own numeric code made up of the red, green, and blue values. Dark blue colors generally fall under the following RGB codes:

RGB Code Color Swatch
RGB(0, 0, 139)
RGB(0, 0, 205)
RGB(30, 144, 255)

As you can see, dark blues tend to have higher blue values, with little to no red or green included. The higher the blue value, the darker and deeper the blue tone.

CMYK Color Model

While RGB deals with light, the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model focuses on printable inks. It is commonly used for print design and production. In a CMYK palette, colors are represented by percentages of each ink color used. Typical CMYK values for dark blues are:

CMYK Code Color Swatch
CMYK(100, 80, 0, 20)
CMYK(100, 100, 0, 0)
CMYK(75, 0, 0, 0)

For dark blues, cyan and magenta values are high, while yellow and black are low. Increasing cyan and/or magenta makes the blue darker, while adding black darkens it and also makes it duller.

Pantone Matching System

The Pantone Matching System is a standardized method of specifying colors for design and printing applications. Each Pantone color has an assigned number and swatch that designers and printers can use for accurate color matching. Some examples of Pantone numbers for various dark blue shades are:

Pantone Number Color Swatch

Pantone numbers in the 19-xx range correspond to blues. Darker blues have lower last two digits, while brighter blues are higher. Knowing the exact Pantone number allows designers and printers to precisely match specific shades of blue.

RAL Color Standards

The RAL system is a color matching system widely used in Europe for paints and coatings. Like Pantone, each RAL color has an assigned number and swatch. Some common RAL numbers for dark blues are:

RAL Number Color Swatch
RAL 5002
RAL 5011
RAL 5013

RAL numbers allow for consistent color matching across different paint batches and manufacturers. The 4-digit RAL numbers don’t have any particular meaning, but lower numbers like RAL 5013 tend to be darker blues.

NCS Color System

NCS (Natural Color System) is a color standard popular in Europe for matching colors across industries like design, architecture, and interiors. The NCS notation describes both a color’s hue and saturation. Some NCS codes for dark blue colors:

NCS Code Color Swatch

The “R” refers to redness, “B” means blueness. Higher secondary digits indicate more saturated/deeper colors. R80B is a deep vivid blue, while R95B is a very dark desaturated blue nearing black.

Natural Color System

Beyond standardized color models, dark blue also appears in nature. On the electromagnetic spectrum, darker blues fall around 450-495 nm wavelengths. This range includes:

Wavelength Color
450-475 nm Indigo
475-495 nm Blue

Indigo, the deepest shade of blue, borders on purple and commonly represents dark blues. Natural blue at 475-495 nm is brighter than indigo but still a deep, rich color.

Traditional Color Wheel Positions

On both the RYB (red, yellow, blue) and RGB (red, green, blue) color wheels, dark blues sit between the primary blue and secondary purple:

RYB Color Wheel RGB Color Wheel

On both wheels, dark blues sit next to primary blue and lean toward purple. The exact position depends on the specific shade.


In summary, dark blue occupies a wide range of palette positions depending on the color system:

– On the RGB color wheel, dark blues have high blue values, moderate-low red and green values

– For CMYK, dark blues have high cyan and magenta, low yellow and black

– Pantone blues are in the 19-xx series, with darker blues having lower numbers

– RAL blues are generally in the 500x to 501x range

– NCS dark blues start with R80B to R95B notation

– By wavelength, dark blues are 450-495 nanometers

– On both RYB and RGB wheels, dark blues sit between primary blue and secondary purple

So while its exact position varies across color models, dark blue consistently falls in the deeper, more saturated blue ranges. Knowing its place on major color systems allows for easy reference when trying to precisely match or communicate shades of rich, vivid blue.