When we think of colors, we might envision a rainbow of shades that span from light to dark, pastel to vibrant. But with so many color names being referenced frequently and interchangeably, it can be tough to differentiate between them. Two such colors that often cause confusion are teal and aqua. In this article, we’ll dive into the similarities and differences between these two shades and explain how to identify them.
What is Teal?
Teal is a blue-green mixture that generally falls within the range of medium to dark shades. It is derived from the teal duck which has a blue-green color on its head. The name ‘teal’ is believed to be originated in England in the 18th century as a variation of the word ‘teal’ meaning a small freshwater diving bird. This shade can be thought of as a deeper version of turquoise or a darker shade of green sea foam. Teal is a versatile color because it can have both cool and warm undertones depending on the amount of blue or green it contains. It can give off a calming and soothing vibe when paired with more neutral hues, or it can add a vibrant pop of color when paired with other shades.
What is Aqua?
Aqua, on the other hand, is a lighter and brighter shade of blue-green. It is brighter than teal and has a more prominent blue tone than green, which gives it a cool and refreshing feel. Unlike teal, aqua can range from medium to very light shades of blue-green. The word ‘aqua’ comes from the Latin word ‘aqua’ which means water, thereby implying its association with water, oceans and sea. Aqua is also commonly referred to as ‘turquoise blue’, ‘cyan blue’ or ‘light blue green’. It is often considered a relaxing color and is associated with reliability, trust, and peace.
How to Differentiate Between Teal and Aqua
One of the easiest ways to distinguish between teal and aqua is by analyzing the amount of green vs. blue present in the color. As a general rule, teal has more green present than aqua, which has more blue present. This makes teal appear deeper and richer, while aqua appears brighter and more vibrant. Depending on how much green or blue is present in the color, teal or aqua can be cool or warm-toned.
Another way to differentiate between the two colors is by looking at the tone of the color. Teal generally has a muted, earthy tone with a grayish or brownish undertone, while aqua leans towards a brighter, cooler and more vibrant tone with a stronger blue undertone.
Usage of Teal and Aqua
Teal can be seen in various things such as clothing, home decor, graphic design and commercial branding. Because of its versatility, it can pair well with several other colors such as mustard yellow or rust. It also pairs well with more neutral tones, such as beige or gray.
Aqua is commonly found in beach-themed apparel and beach house decor, giving off a cool and refreshing air. It is also used in various products like cosmetics or jewelry to convey a soothing and relaxing feeling. This color is often used in combination with other bright and cheerful shades like pink, yellow or orange.
To put it in the simplest terms, teal is a deeper shade of blue-green while aqua is a brighter, lighter shade. While they are similar in terms of being blue-green shades, they differ in the prominence of their green and blue tones. Teal is a more earthy color with muted tones, while aqua is a brighter and cooler color with a stronger emphasis on blue. Despite their differences, both colors are perfect for adding a pop of color to any outfit or interior, and can be combined with various other shades to create a stunning visual aesthetic.