Difference Between Teal And Cyan


In the color spectrum, where hues seamlessly blend, two shades stand out like jewels in a treasure trove—teal and cyan. These two colors are very confusing to many people. In this article, learn about the difference between teal and cyan when it comes to Composition, design, aesthetics and human perception.

Teal Color

Teal is a color that lies somewhere between blue and green on the color spectrum. It derives its name from the common teal, a type of small freshwater duck that boasts a similar greenish-blue hue on its head and wings. The word ‘teal’ is often used colloquially to refer to shades of cyan in general. It can be created by mixing cyan into a green base, or deepened as needed with black or gray.

It can be created by mixing cyan into a green base, or deepened as needed with black or gray. It is also one of the first group of 16 HTML/CSS web colors. In the RGB model used to create colors on computer screens and televisions, teal is created by reducing the brightness of cyan to about one half.

Teal was a fad color during the 1990s, with, among others, many sports teams adopting the color for their uniforms.

Variations of Teal

Teal is a blend of blue and green, often with a slight bias towards green. The precise ratio of blue to green can vary, resulting in different shades of teal.

  • Dark Teal: This shade leans more towards a deep, rich green with hints of blue.
  • Teal green: This shade is a darker shade of teal with more green.
  • Turquoise Teal: A brighter and more vibrant teal with a stronger blue component. Turquoise teal is reminiscent of tropical waters.
  • Light Teal: A softer and more delicate version of teal, leaning towards a pale blue-green.
  • Medium Teal: This shade strikes a balance between the darker and lighter variations.


  • Teal can be used in interior design to create calming and stylish spaces. It can be applied to walls, furniture, and accessories.
  • Teal is a popular color in fashion, appearing in clothing, accessories, and even hair color. It can be dressed up for formal occasions or used casually for a pop of color.
  • Teal is used in graphic design to convey professionalism, modernity and creativity. It can be employed in logos, advertisements and web design.
  • Teal is a favorite among artists. It can be used as a focal point or as a complementary shade in various artistic compositions.

Cyan Color

Cyan is the color between green and blue on the visible spectrum of light. It is evoked by light with a predominant wavelength between 490 and 520 nm, between the wavelengths of green and blue.

Cyan is often described as a bright shade that looks like the color of the sky on a clear day or the waters of a tropical sea. Cyan has a unique visual impact and carries with it a variety of symbolism, cultural associations, and applications

In the subtractive color system, or CMYK color model, which can be overlaid to produce all colors in paint and color printing, cyan is one of the primary colors, along with magenta and yellow. In the additive color system, or RGB color model, used to create all the colors on a computer or television display, cyan is made by mixing equal amounts of green and blue light. Cyan is the complement of red; it can be made by the removal of red from white. Mixing red light and cyan light at the right intensity will make white light.

Colors in the cyan color range are teal, turquoise, electric blue, aquamarine, and others described as blue-green. Cyan is most often associated with peace, relaxation, healthcare, dreams, and spirituality.

Variations of Cyan

  • Light Cyan which is a pale and delicate version of cyan.
  • Medium Cyan: This shade is between the lighter and darker variations.
  • Teal Cyan: A slightly darker and more muted cyan, leaning towards teal.


  • Cyan is used in graphic design. It can be employed in logos, banners, posters, and digital interfaces.
  • Cyan is a popular choice for website design due to its ability to draw attention and create a modern and fresh look.
  • Cyan is used in clothing, accessories, and even hair color.
  • Cyan can be applied to interiors. It can be used as an accent color or a dominant shade for a bold statement.
  • Cyan is commonly used by artists. It can be used as a main color or as part of a complementary palette.

Teal vs Cyan Color

Basis of Comparison  TealCyan
Name OriginThe name “teal” is derived from the common teal duck, which has a similar color on its head.The name “cyan” is derived from the Greek word “kyanos,” meaning blue-green.
Hex code#00FFFF#008080  
Hue and ShadeTeal is a medium to dark greenish-blue color with a slight hint of gray.Cyan is a bright and pure blue-green color that is closer to blue on the spectrum.
BrightnessTeal tends to be slightly darker and less vibrant compared to cyan.Cyan is typically brighter and more vibrant, leaning towards a true blue-green shade.
Green ComponentTeal has a notable green component that gives it a balanced blue-green appearance.Cyan has a stronger blue component with minimal green, making it more of a bluish hue.
AssociationTeal is often associated with calmness, depth, and sophistication.Cyan is associated with vibrancy, technology, and modernity.
Design and ArtTeal is commonly used in interior design for creating relaxing and serene environments.Cyan is often used in digital design, especially for highlighting elements or creating a futuristic look.
Printing and PigmentsTeal pigments are often created by mixing blue and green pigments with a touch of gray.Cyan pigments are a primary color in subtractive color mixing, used in printing and art.
Cultural SymbolismTeal can symbolize emotional healing, stability, and trust.Cyan is often associated with energy, communication, and progress.
RGB ValuesIn the RGB color model, teal typically has values around (0, 128, 128).In the RGB color model, cyan has values around (0, 255, 255).
Complementary ColorsRed-orange, yellow and magentaCoral, white, red, gold and rose pink