Colors Color Codes Color Meanings Color Names Cyan

All About Color Cyan (Codes, Meaning and Pairings)

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All About Color Cyan (Codes, Meaning and Pairings)

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Discover the vibrant world of Cyan, a color with an illustrious history, rich symbolism, and varied use across many disciplines - a celebration of the harmony between green and blue.

Delve into the azure world of Cyan, the vibrant hue that resides in the enchanting realm between blue and green on the visible spectrum of light. A vital player in both the subtractive and additive color systems, Cyan opens the door to countless possibilities in color mixing and matching, underpinning our artistic, digital, and scientific endeavors.

In this blog post, we will explore the history of Cyan, examine its physical and symbolic attributes, and learn how to utilize this versatile color effectively. So whether you're an artist, designer, color enthusiast, or simply curious, let's embark on this illuminating journey together!

Related reading: 75+ Shades of Cyan Color

What Color is Cyan?

Unfolding at the intersection of green and blue, Cyan is a bright, stimulating color that awakens our senses. Just as an emerald sea might merge with a sapphire sky on a sunny day, so too does Cyan represent the harmonious blending of these two natural colors.

The Cyan hex color code is #00FFFF, a digital identifier that signals the exact proportions of red, green, and blue in the RGB color model. Here, Cyan emerges from an absence of red, coupled with the full intensity of green and blue. This harmonious balance between green and blue imparts Cyan with its distinctive, fresh, and vibrant character.

The History of Cyan

The story of Cyan begins with its role in the visible light spectrum, where it shines brightly with a predominant wavelength between 490 and 520 nm, nestled between the wavelengths of green and blue. The term Cyan itself stems from the Greek word 'kyanos,' translating to 'dark blue substance,' possibly referring to Lapis Lazuli, a gemstone used to create blue pigments since antiquity.

Cyan holds a prestigious place in both the subtractive color system (CMYK) used in painting and color printing, and the additive color system (RGB) utilized in creating colors on screens. As a primary color in the CMYK model, Cyan, alongside magenta and yellow, helps create a diverse palette of hues. In the RGB system, Cyan emerges from an equal blend of green and blue light, reinforcing its reputation as a harmonious mediator between these two colors.

With its calming hue, Cyan has found usage in various realms over time. From the mesmerizing cyan-blue Cyanotype photographic prints, the bi-pack color process of Cinecolor, to the cyan tint of the planet Uranus caused by the abundance of methane in its atmosphere, Cyan has left an indelible mark on our cultural, scientific, and artistic landscapes. Not forgetting its association with health, as seen in terms like Cyanosis, which refers to an abnormal blueness of the skin indicating poor oxygen intake.

The Meaning of the Color Cyan

Cyan, with its tranquil and soothing tones, is often associated with peace, relaxation, and spiritual awakening. In color psychology, Cyan is used to evoke feelings of clarity, freshness, and renewal. Because it is reminiscent of clear, tropical waters, Cyan also symbolizes cleanliness and purity, often finding use in healthcare and wellness industries.

Cyan also symbolizes knowledge, technology, and precision, reflecting its dominant use in the digital world. From the Cyanotype, or blueprint, which was a crucial component of early photography, to the color's prominent role in modern digital display and print, Cyan continues to influence scientific and technological advancements.

However, just as Cyan can denote health and vitality, it can also indicate concern or danger. For instance, Cyanosis refers to the bluish tint of the skin, lips, and nails caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood.

How to Use Cyan?

Cyan's versatility allows it to be used in a multitude of applications. As a cool, clean color, it's often found in healthcare, spa, and wellness brand palettes, promoting a sense of tranquillity, cleanliness, and well-being. Designers employ Cyan to create a calm, fresh, and invigorating atmosphere in interiors. In digital design, Cyan can enhance readability and visibility because of its bright yet soft tone.

In art, Cyan's position between green and blue makes it a pivotal color for creating depth and dimension. When paired with warmer hues, it adds contrast and visual interest. Fashion designers often use Cyan in summer collections to bring about a feeling of cool freshness.

Cyan also carries immense symbolism in cultural and religious contexts. For example, in Hinduism, the god Krishna, often depicted with blue skin, embodies divine joy, and the color Cyan is used to represent this divine aspect.

Similar Colors to Cyan

Cyan resides in a fascinating spectrum of colors, flanked by hues that share its soothing and vibrant nature. Some of these include:

  1. Teal
  2. Turquoise
  3. Aquamarine
  4. Electric Blue
  5. Blue-Green

What Colors Go with Cyan?

Cyan's versatility shines when it comes to color matching. Its cool yet vibrant character allows it to complement and contrast a wide range of colors. Some beautiful companions to Cyan include:

  1. Magenta
  2. Yellow
  3. Deep Purple
  4. Bright Orange
  5. Warm Beige

Cyan Color Information (Hex Code #00FFFF)

The vibrant color Cyan, identified by the hex code #00FFFF, contains equal proportions of green and blue in the RGB color model. The lack of red, coupled with the maximum saturation of green and blue, gives Cyan its unique luminosity. In the CMYK color model, Cyan appears as a primary color, composed of 100% cyan, 0% magenta, 0% yellow, and 0% black. In HSL, Cyan has a hue of 180°, indicating its position exactly halfway between green and blue on the color wheel, with 100% saturation and 50% lightness.

Cyan Color Code Conversion

The hexadecimal color of Cyan is #00FFFF. This color code representation allows us to delve into the various color models and understand Cyan's specific components. Here's a table outlining these details:

Hex 00FFFF #00FFFF
RGB Decimal 0, 255, 255 rgb(0,255,255)
RGB Percentage 0, 100, 100 rgb(0%,100%,100%)
CMYK 100, 0, 0, 0
HSL 180°, 100, 50 hsl(180,100%,50%)
HSV 180°, 100, 100
Web Safe 00FFFF #00FFFF
CIE-LAB 91.114, -48.083, -14.139
XYZ 53.804, 78.734, 106.964
CIE-LCH 91.114, 50.119, 196.386
CIE-LUV 91.114, -70.476, -15.217
Hunter-Lab 88.732, -47.045, -9.359
Binary 00000000, 11111111, 11111111

Cyan Color FAQ

Is cyan a blue or green?

Cyan is a blend of blue and green, positioned between these two colors on the visible light spectrum.

Are teal and cyan the same?

No, while both are blends of blue and green, teal is darker and leans more towards blue, whereas Cyan is brighter and more balanced between blue and green.

Is cyan teal or turquoise?

Cyan is neither teal nor turquoise but lies between these two on the color spectrum. It is brighter and less green than teal and less blue than turquoise.

What colors make cyan?

In the RGB color model, Cyan is created by mixing equal amounts of green and blue light.

How to make cyan color?

In painting and print, Cyan is a primary color in the CMYK color model and can't be created by mixing other colors. In digital mediums, it's made by combining green and blue at full intensity.

Cyan and magenta make what color?

When Cyan and Magenta are mixed in equal parts in the CMYK model, the result is a rich, deep blue.

What does cyan color look like?

Cyan is a bright, vibrant color that looks like a mix between green and blue. It is reminiscent of clear, tropical waters.

Is cyan a color?

Yes, Cyan is a color that exists between blue and green on the visible light spectrum.

Why are red and cyan called complementary colors?

Red and Cyan are called complementary colors because, in the RGB color model, Cyan is made by mixing green and blue, the two colors other than red. Hence, Cyan complements Red to form white light.

Is cyan a primary color?

In the subtractive (CMYK) color model used in print, Cyan is a primary color. However, in the additive (RGB) model used on screens, the primary colors are red, green, and blue.

Red and cyan make what color?

When red and Cyan are combined in the RGB model, the result is white light.

Blue and cyan make what color?

Blue and Cyan, when mixed, create a shade leaning towards light blue or turquoise depending on the intensity of the blue used.

What is the hex code of cyan?

The hex code of Cyan is #00FFFF.


Cyan, a captivating fusion of green and blue, is a color teeming with history, meaning, and potential applications. Its versatile nature allows for its use in a variety of contexts, be it the tranquility of a spa, the depth of a painting, or the clarity of a digital display.

Equipped with the understanding of its origins, meanings, uses, and codes, we can better appreciate and utilize this striking hue that brings a piece of the sky and ocean to our everyday lives. So the next time you encounter Cyan, pause to admire its beauty and remember the rich tapestry that gives this color its mesmerizing allure.

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