Cyan vs. Teal — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on August 28, 2023
Cyan is a bright blue-green color, while teal is a medium to dark greenish-blue color.
Difference Between Cyan and Teal
Cyan and teal are both shades that fall within the blue-green spectrum. Cyan is often associated with a bright, electric blue-green hue. Its name originates from the Greek word 'kyanos,' which means "dark blue substance," potentially referring to the color of certain blue pigments used in ancient art. On the other hand, teal gets its name from the teal duck, which sports a distinctive dark greenish-blue patch around its eyes.
Both cyan and teal have significance in the world of digital media and printing. In the CMYK color model, which is used for color printing, C stands for Cyan. This cyan is one of the primary colors used in printing, along with magenta, yellow, and black. Teal, meanwhile, doesn't have a standardized role in printing but is a popular color choice in design and fashion due to its soothing and sophisticated appearance.
Cyan and teal also differ in their psychological and cultural associations. Cyan is often linked to feelings of clarity, freshness, and vitality, perhaps because it's reminiscent of tropical waters. Teal, with its deeper shade, evokes feelings of tranquility, elegance, and sometimes mystery.
In terms of color theory, cyan is considered a secondary color resulting from the combination of blue and green. Teal sits somewhere between cyan and forest green, possessing depth and richness that cyan doesn't have.
Medium to dark greenish-blue
Origin of Name
From the Greek word 'kyanos' for dark blue
Named after the teal duck
Usage in Print
Primary color in the CMYK color model
No standardized role in printing
Clarity, freshness, vitality
Tranquility, elegance, mystery
Position in Color Theory
Between cyan and forest green
A bright blue-green color
The sky reflected a brilliant shade of cyan on the calm waters.
A medium to dark greenish-blue color
The teal curtains added a touch of elegance to the room.
A hue resembling tropical waters
The cyan tint of the ocean was breathtaking.
A shade named after the teal duck
The artist painted the birds with accurate teal accents.
A secondary color formed by mixing blue and green
By combining these pigments, we can get a cyan hue.
A hue evoking feelings of tranquility
The teal waters of the lagoon provided a peaceful retreat.
One of the primary colors in the CMYK color model
We need to refill the cyan ink in our printer.
A color that sits between cyan and forest green
We're looking for a shade darker than cyan but lighter than forest green, perhaps teal?
A color associated with clarity and vitality
The room's cyan walls energized everyone who entered.
Teal is a cyan-green color. Its name comes from that of a bird — the Eurasian teal (Anas crecca) — which presents a similarly colored stripe on its head.
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. 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.
Any of several small dabbling ducks, chiefly of the genus Anas, often having brightly marked plumage.
A greenish-blue colour which is one of the primary subtractive colours, complementary to red.
A moderate or dark bluish green to greenish blue.
A greenish blue, one of the subtractive primary colors.
(countable) Any of various small freshwater ducks of the genus Anas that are brightly coloured and have short necks.
A vibrant pale greenish-blue colour between blue and green in the visible spectrum; the complementary colour of red; the colour obtained by subtracting red from white light.
A dark, somewhat bluish-green colour; a dark cyan.
Of the colour cyan.
A politician who espouses environmentally and socially progressive but economically conservative ideas, especially in the context of a group of independent candidates who ran in the 2022 federal election.
A blue-green that is one of the primary pigments
Having a bluish-green colour
A bluish shade of green
Any one of several species of small fresh-water ducks of the genus Anas and the subgenera Querquedula and Nettion. The male is handsomely colored, and has a bright green or blue speculum on the wings.
A shade of green tinged with blue;
They painted it a light shade of bluish green
Any of various small short-necked dabbling river ducks of Europe and America
A popular choice in design and fashion
She wore a teal dress that complemented her complexion beautifully.
A bluish shade of green
What color is cyan?
Cyan is a bright blue-green color.
Where does the name teal come from?
Teal is named after the teal duck, which has a distinctive greenish-blue patch.
Which color is associated with tranquility?
Teal evokes feelings of tranquility and elegance.
Are cyan and teal secondary colors?
Cyan is considered a secondary color, while teal is not.
What feelings might cyan evoke?
Cyan is often linked to feelings of clarity, freshness, and vitality.
In terms of fashion, which color is more popular?
Teal is a popular choice in fashion because of its sophistication.
Is cyan used in printing?
Yes, cyan is one of the primary colors in the CMYK color model.
Which color is deeper, cyan or teal?
Teal is a deeper shade compared to cyan.
What animals are associated with the color teal?
The teal duck is associated with the color teal.
Is cyan a natural color?
Yes, cyan can be seen in nature, especially in tropical waters and skies.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.