A Designer's Guide to the Color Turquoise

Refreshing and sophisticated turquoise has a calming effect

Turquoise Color Patterned Wall

Daniel Sealey / Getty Images

A blend of blue and green, shades of turquoise have the same calming effects of those colors and shares the symbolism and characteristics of both colors. Aqua, aquamarine, beryl, blue-green, cerulean, teal and ultramarine are all names for turquoise colors.

The Meanings of Turquoise

This in-between color represents water, thus the names aqua and aquamarine. Like still water, it projects peace and tranquility. It is an open and friendly color that offers balance and stability. Turquoise is linked to emotional balance and serenity.

The positive connotations connected with turquoise color are sophistication, healing, protection, and spirituality. The chief negative connotation is envy. From a design standpoint, with the light bright shades, it conveys femininity.

The color turquoise takes its name from the valuable and popular mineral of the same name often used in jewelry. Turquoise is closely associated with the Middle East and the American Southwest.

Using Turquoise in Design Files

Turquoise is equally popular with men and women. Although the dark shades of turquoise are perceived to be masculine, you can create feminine appeal in your design with the light shades of turquoise. Some shades of turquoise have a '50s or '60s retro feel. Teal has a darker, somewhat more sophisticated look. Like the mineral, turquoise shades range from almost sky blue to deep greenish blues.

Keep the soft, feminine qualities going in a design by combining turquoise with lavender or pale pink. Bright turquoise and pink create a sparkly clean, retro look. Make it art deco by pairing turquoise with white and black. Turquoise with gray or silver as well as terra cotta and light brown offers an American Southwest flavor. Turquoise combined with orange or yellow creates a fresh, sporty look. The color is often used in tropical designs. 

Turquoise Color Selections

If your graphic design project is headed for print, use the CMYK formulations for the turquoise color you choose or specify a spot color. If your project will be viewed onscreen, use the RGB values. Use Hex codes if you work with websites. Turquoise colors include:

  • Pale Turquoise: Hex #aeeeee | RGB 174,238,238 | CMYK 27,0,0,7
  • Turquoise: Hex #00c5cd | RGB 0,197,205 | CMYK 100,4,0,20
  • Bright Turquoise: Hex #00e5ee | RGB 0,229,238 | CMYK 100,4,0,7
  • Medium Turquoise: Hex # | RGB 72,209,204 | CMYK 66,0,2,18
  • Aquamarine: Hex #7fffd4 | RGB 127,255,212 | CMYK 50,0,17,0

Turquoise Spot Color Inks

When you use turquoise in a one- or two-color print design, choosing a spot color is a more economical choice than a CMYK mix. When a color match is critical, a spot color ink can be used with a full-color print project. Here are the closest spot color matches to the turquoise colors mentioned in this article:

  • Pale Turquoise: Pantone Solid Coated 317 C
  • Turquoise: Pantone Solid Coated 319 C
  • Bright Turquoise: Pantone Solid Coated 3242 C
  • Medium Turquoise: Pantone Solid Coated 325 C
  • Aquamarine: Pantone Solid Coated 3375 C