Last Updated on May 25, 2023
Green is one of the most intriguing colors. This pigment has been in existence for millions of years, making it one of the most easily recognizable pigments.
Numerous studies have shown that the human eye can differentiate more shades of green than any other color. And with a plethora of tones to choose from, there’s no reason you wouldn’t invite green into your art or graphic design projects.
This article delves deep into one of the most beautiful green undertones – teal.
What Color Is Teal?
Teal is a deep blue-green color with the hex code #008080. You can also describe it as a greenish-blue color or a moderate bluish-green color.
Due to the overlapping definitions, there has been widespread confusion as to whether teal is a shade of green or blue. These confusions are further deepened by the fact that the ISCC–NBS System of Color Designation defines teal as a moderate bluish-green color.
But in spite of all the ambiguity, teal is actually a green undertone. However, note that the color comes in multiple shades, some of which may lean toward blue.
Various Shades of Teal
Teal green is a darker shade of teal that features more green. This specific teal undertone is variable. It can appear anywhere from a dark bluish-green that looks more green to a very light variation.
Teal blue is a medium tone of teal that contains more blue than green. The color first appeared in English in 1927. It’s widely regarded as a shade of blue despite falling within the teal family of colors.
Deep Sea Green
This shade of teal is a proprietary color manufactured by renowned American paint company Benjamin Moore.
There are many other shades of teal that aren’t clearly defined and are difficult to distinguish from the above three undertones. They include: bright teal; dark teal; Egyptian teal; marine teal; tropical teal; and steel teal.
What Is The Origin Of The Word Teal?
The color teal gets its name from a bird of the same name. Teal (Anas crecca) is a common and fairly widespread duck that breeds in the temperate Eurosiberian regions before migrating south during winter. The bird goes by many other names, including the Eurasian teal, the Eurasian green-winged teal, and the common teal.
Eurasian teals are famous for the colorful appearance of their plumage. Of notable mention is the colored stripe on their head, which appears in a greenish-blue color.
Now, the first documented use of the word “teal” as a color name in English was in 1917. The word “teal” itself derives from the Middle English word ‘tele,’ which further comes from the Dutch word ‘taling’ and the Middle Low Germanic word ‘telink.’ All words were originally used to denote the Eurasian teal.
What Is The History Of Teal?
The pigment may have been officially recognized as a color slightly over a century ago. But the pigment’s use in mainstream art goes way back.
One of the most noticeable historical applications of teal is in ‘The Carmignano Visitation,’ an oil painting completed in 1528 by Pontormo. In this painting, Mary is depicted in a teal robe pregnant with Baby Jesus.
Although she’s flanked by three other women, Mary’s teal robe truly makes her the center of attention. The color contrasts strikingly with that worn by the other three women, and it was likely used to portray May as the most honored of the lot.
Teal has enjoyed widespread use throughout many other eras. The color has featured in the domes of mosques, churches, monuments, and even state buildings.
The Iranian Goharshad Mosque constructed in 1418 was outstanding for its double-layered teal dome. The monument was one of the country’s top landmarks until 1911 when it fell to repeated bombings by the Russians. Fortunately, the mosque was reconstructed in the 1960s and its refined blue-greenish dome is undeniably its most defining feature.
Teal became a fad in the 1990s. This period saw many sports teams incorporate the color into their jerseys.
Common Things That Are Teal
Teal isn’t difficult to come by. In addition to the stripes of the Anas crecca duck, teal can be seen in the national flags of multiple countries. These include the flags of;
• Cameroon, which contains a greenish teal vertical stripe
• Mozambique, which features a greenish teal horizontal stripe
• Sri Lanka, which has a green teal stripe on the far left side, representing the Sri Lankan Muslims
• The Philippines, which stands out for its bluish teal stripe located on top of a red stripe
• Kazakhstan, which has a light-bluish teal background enclosing a yellow star and eagle
• Honduras, with two bluish-teal stripes that sandwich a white stripe containing five bluish-teal stars
The 90’s teal craze saw many top-flight American sports teams begin using teal in their uniforms. Presently, the following are examples of renowned sporting outfits whose jerseys prominently feature various shades of teal;
• The Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA)
• The Jacksonville Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins, and the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL)
• The Seattle Mariners and the Arizona Diamondbacks of the Major League Baseball (MLB)
• The San Jose Sharks and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim of the National Hockey League (NHL)
• The ice hockey team the Belfast Giants
• The Port Adelaide Football Club of the Australian Football League (AFL) team
What Does Teal Mean In Color Psychology?
Teal contains decent amounts of green and blue. Therefore, the color combines the emotional attributes of both pigments.
Green and blue are the colors of Mother Earth. The mere mention of these colors conjures images of lush landscapes, the clear sky, and pristine ocean waters. The two colors are associated with rejuvenating properties, the same that are generally attributed to teal. Teal can infuse a breath of freshness into your designs and make them stand out conspicuously from their general settings.
Teal is a classic pigment with a long history of presence in the natural world. The color can help imbue a sense of timelessness into your projects. People beholding your creations will not immediately guess which era it was created in.
In color psychology, various shades of green, such as teal, resonate with morality while their reddish counterparts stand for immorality. It’s unclear where this analogy comes from. Perhaps it has everything to do with the green color representing the innocence of plants.
Teal is the color of cleanliness. That’s due to its near-resemblance with water colors, such as cyan, azure, and aquamarine. The pigment’s relationship with cleanliness makes it ideal for use in hygiene products like soaps and detergents. You might also use it in creating water bottle labels or as the background color for detergent advertisements.
The dominant hues in teal – green and blue – both connote relaxation. That makes teal one of the most soothing colors in nature. Adding teal to your interior décor might be a proactive way to block off all the chaos and confusion outdoors, making you relax in the comfort of your own home.
Teal is also the color of creativity. Shades of teal can trigger powerful rejuvenating effects, thereby giving you the clarity of mind to focus on the project at hand. If you’re struggling with the dreadful creative blocks, just take a walk across a teal-themed setting. You’ll be surprised at how fast your creative juices will get flowing once again.
Some color enthusiasts attribute teal with knowledge and wisdom. Incorporating this pigment into your projects can help give your creations a touch of intelligence.
Teal also resonates with ambition and gregariousness. The bird that the color is named after is renowned for being reasonably active. It can swim and fly depending on the exigencies of the moment. It can also hop from the water onto land to hang out on rocks or water edges.
Lastly, teal might bring up the sense of safety commonly associated with nature. The color can conjure the imagery of serene vacations in tropical regions. It’s the right pigment to choose when designing travel-themed products like tents and sleeping bags.
On the negative side, teal can appear a bit standoffish. The color is overly uptight and alert too. Some color enthusiasts may also take issue with teal’s rather dull appearance compared to other nature-inspired shades like aqua and azure. And being a shade of green, too much teal can evoke feelings of envy.
The trick is to use teal sparingly if you’re keen on enjoying its positive qualities. Most importantly, be sure to blend the color with matching pairs to make the most of its inspiring properties.
How to Make and Blend Teal
There are multiple ways to make teal, depending on the amount of the color you want and the specific shade you need it in. A common way to manufacture teal on a large scale is by mixing malachite and azurite.
Malachite is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral formed through the natural weathering of copper ores. The color is bright green and commonly appears with light green streaks. On the other hand, azurite is a soft deep-blue copper mineral also produced through the natural weathering of copper ores.
Since teal contains more green than blue, you’ll need a higher amount of malachite than azurite to create the color. A good place to start would be a 5:3 ratio of malachite to azurite.
But if you only need a small amount of teal to use on your next art project, then you can prepare the color using green and blue pigments obtained from your local art store. To achieve the best results, you’ll need a green base and cyan. Cyan is a greenish-blue color that can come in multiple tones.
Add your basic green color to a color mixing palette. Introduce cyan slowly until you obtain the teal color. You can use black or gray to achieve your desired shades. Black will darken the teal while gray will lighten it.
Teal blends seamlessly with neutrals like creams and browns. The color also pops well with navy blue, coral, and bright white.
You might also use teal to accentuate metallic colors, such as silver and gold. And for contrasting effects, you’ll do well to pair it with its complementary color – pink.
Teal is a color that enjoys immense cultural and psychological meaning. This shade of green is also incredibly beautiful and will fit comfortably into most color palettes.