A Definitive Guide to the Difference Between Navy Blue & Royal Blue

Blue is the most common color in the world today. When it comes to color, blue can be associated with a bright summer sky, the deepest portions of the ocean, or sparkling gems. If you’re having difficulties deciding on a color for a painting project, you have a lot of options.

Generally, navy blue is deeper than royal blue. The rich shade of navy blue allows it to be neutral because the tone isn’t overpowering.

While navy and royal blue are both colors of blue, they are not the same. If you’re curious how they differ, here’s a detailed look at navy blue vs. royal blue.

What Is Navy Blue?

Navy blue is a dark shade of blue that is often used in fashion, interior design, and graphic design. It is one of the most popular colors due to its versatility and timelessness. Navy blue has been used for centuries in military uniforms, but today it can be seen in everything from clothing to home decor.

 Its deep hue adds a sense of sophistication and elegance to any outfit or space. Navy blue is a great choice for creating a classic look that will never go out of style.

Characteristics of Navy Blue

Navy blue is the darker shade of blue that is often correlated with the sea and the navy. It has a deep, calming effect and can be used to create a classic, timeless look.

The color navy blue is also known for its versatility, as it can be used in both formal and casual settings.

The hue of navy blue can range from almost black to lighter shades of blue-gray. It pairs well with other colors like white, gray, yellow, and green. Navy blue also has the advantage of being easy to match with other colors in an outfit or decorating scheme.

Its timelessness makes it a popular choice for fashion designers and home decorators alike. Navy Blue is a color that has no real origins, but it’s most likely derived from the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations.

What Is Royal Blue?

Royal blue is a vibrant and elegant color that is used to decorate all kinds of spaces. It can be found in the wardrobe of royals, in the décor of luxurious hotels, and on the streets as people express their love for this lively hue.

It is a color that conveys power and sophistication while still being eye-catching and beautiful. It has been around for centuries and continues to remain popular today.

The deep and vibrant hue evokes feelings of luxury and sophistication. Its popularity can be attributed to its versatility as it can be used in many types of design projects, from fashion to home interiors.

Characteristics of Royal Blue

Royal blue is a beautiful and vibrant color that has been used for centuries in fashion, interior design, and art.

Its unique hue adds richness to any space or look. Royal blue is made up of a combination of hues like navy, cobalt, indigo, and ultramarine which creates an intense and dynamic color.

The characteristics of royal blue are its deepness, brightness, warmth, and coolness all at the same time. Royal blue can also look great when paired with other colors like white and gold. It’s a classic color choice for royal families and people looking for a timeless look in their decor or wardrobe.

This hue can be used to bring out the best in any outfit or interior design project.

With its richness and saturation, royal blue can be utilized in many ways to achieve a stylish look that stands out from the rest.

It is often associated with nobility, power, and elegance. The deep blue hue is also said to evoke feelings of trustworthiness and calmness

Royal blue is created by combining a bright shade of blue with a hint of purple or violet.

Its unique vibrancy makes it suitable for both formal occasions as well as more casual settings.

Its versatility means that it can be used to create a range of looks from sophisticated to play. Whether you’re looking to make a statement or add some subtle flair, royal blue can be the perfect choice.

Differences Between Navy Blue and Royal Blue

Navy blue and royal blue are two distinct shades of the same color. There are subtle differences between navy blue and royal blue that can be seen upon closer inspection. Navy blue is a darker shade of blue than royal blue. Royal blue is brighter and has more purple in it compared to navy blue. Additionally, navy blue is often associated with strength and power while royal blue symbolizes loyalty and trustworthiness.

Here are several distinctions between navy blue and royal blue:

Historical background

When it comes to navy blue history, its roots may be found in the rich blues employed in British Royal Navy uniforms in the 18th century. Because of this relationship, the color is known as “navy” blue, since it was once considered a distinctive feature of military uniforms.

As previously stated, Princess Charlotte of Wales donned a brilliant blue gown that was caught in a photograph. However, the shade’s origins go back far deeper. King George III was looking for a hue suited for royalty, and the color he picked became known as royal blue.

Navy blue and royal blue are two shades of blue that are often confused with each other. While they have similar characteristics, there are some key differences between the two that can help you identify them.


The primary indicator is the darkness of the color. Navy blue is a darker shade than royal blue, which has a brighter hue. Additionally, navy blue has greyer in it than royal blue does. This can be seen when comparing the two side by side and looking for some subtle differences in their tones.


Both colors can be used to create a classic look for any occasion, but understanding the difference between them can help you choose the right shade for your project. Knowing how these two colors differ in terms of associations can help you make the best decision for your design needs.


In terms of popularity, navy blue is more widely used than royal blue due to its versatility and timelessness. However, royal blue has been gaining popularity in recent years for its boldness and vibrancy.


Both colors are dark blues with a hint of purple, but there are subtle differences in the shade and hue. Navy blue is slightly darker and has more of a grayish tint, while royal blue is brighter with hints of azure and cobalt.

The difference between these two colors can be seen in the way they react to light. Navy blue tends to be brittle when exposed to light, while royal blue remains vibrant and retains its color even when exposed to bright light.

This makes navy blue more suitable for clothing that will not be exposed to direct sunlight or bright lights, while royal blue can be used for clothing that will be exposed to direct or indirect sunlight.


Navy blue is a formal color that can be found in a variety of attire and textiles, as well as interior and exterior paint. It can also be used for accent walls or entire rooms.

Royal blue is a popular color choice for fashion attire, textiles, and painting. But it is not as popular in painting due to its higher intensity. It can be a calming shade, but can also be seen as a bit childlike, as it is popular in attire, toys, and bedding created for children.

Are royal blue and navy blue the same?

Royal blue and navy blue are distinct shades within the spectrum of blue colors. While both fall into the category of dark blues, they differ in their specific tones and characteristics.

Royal blue is a brighter and more vivid shade of blue, often described as a deep, rich, and bold hue. It tends to have a slightly lighter and more vibrant appearance compared to navy blue.

On the other hand, navy blue is darker and more subdued than royal blue. It typically has a deeper, almost blackened undertone, giving it a more conservative and formal appearance.

While both colors belong to the darker shades of blue and might appear similar in certain lighting conditions, they can be differentiated by their distinct tonalities. Royal blue leans towards a brighter and more intense hue, while navy blue tends to be darker and more muted.

What color goes well with navy blue?

Navy blue pairs exceptionally well with a variety of colors, complementing different tones to create striking and sophisticated combinations. Some colors that harmonize beautifully with navy blue include:

  1. Crisp White: Navy blue and white create a classic, timeless look. White accents or walls can provide a clean and fresh contrast against navy blue.
  2. Soft Pastels: Colors like blush pink, soft mint green, or light peach can offer a delicate and elegant contrast to navy blue, balancing its richness with a touch of softness.
  3. Bold Reds: Rich reds, such as burgundy or crimson, create a vibrant and luxurious contrast with navy blue, evoking a sense of depth and warmth.
  4. Earthy Tones: Olive green, mustard yellow or terracotta shades compliment navy blue beautifully, creating a harmonious and grounded color palette.
  5. Metallic Accents: Gold, brass, or copper accents can add a touch of sophistication and glamour when paired with navy blue, creating a luxurious ambiance.
  6. Lighter Blues: Lighter shades of blue, such as sky blue or powder blue, create a serene and calming combination with navy blue, offering a sense of depth and tranquility.

When combining navy blue with other colors, consider using varying textures, patterns, and shades to create visual interest and depth within your design or décor scheme. These combinations allow navy blue to serve as a versatile and stylish base color.

What is the difference between navy and navy blue?

“Navy” and “navy blue” are essentially the same color. The term “navy” is often used as an abbreviated form of “navy blue.” Both refer to a dark shade of blue that is deep and typically has a slightly blackened or muted undertone. The distinction lies in the use of the full name “navy blue” versus the shortened “navy,” with both denoting the same specific shade within the spectrum of blue colors.

Is royal blue the same as Electric Blue?

Royal blue and electric blue are distinct shades within the spectrum of blue colors, each with its own unique characteristics.

Royal blue is a deep, rich, and vivid shade of blue, often described as a bold and intense hue. It typically has a regal and vibrant appearance, leaning towards a darker and more traditional tone of blue.

Electric blue, on the other hand, is a much brighter and more vibrant shade. It is characterized by its intense, almost neon-like quality, appearing significantly brighter and more luminous than royal blue.

While both colors belong to the broader category of blue shades, royal blue tends to be darker and more subdued compared to the striking and eye-catching brightness of electric blue. They differ notably in their tones, with royal blue being deeper and richer, while electric blue is brighter and more vivid, often resembling a neon-like hue.

Comparison between royal blue and navy blue:

 FeaturesRoyal BlueNavy Blue
Hexadecimal Color Code#4169E1#000080
Historical BackgroundCreated at the request of King George IIIBritish Navy Uniform’s original color
IndicationsRoyalty, supremacy, and faithLeadership, trustworthiness, and harmony
ConnotationsNobility, elegance, and festivitiesPolice officers, pilots, military
StatusModestly preferredMost popular
IntensityVibrant and moderately brightLusterless and gloomy
UsagesFashion designs, accent walls, art pieces, and other items are meant to stand out, though it’s also viewed as a calming color.Formal designs, both regarding attire and homes. Also treated as neutral, though some view it as a moody shade.
CombinationSince it’s more vibrant, it pairs well with neutrals, as well as brighter hues.As a neutral, navy blue works well with almost any hue, although it pairs particularly well with white, gray, and gold.

Royal blue and navy blue go together, right?

The hues of royal and navy blue are not similar. Since they are sufficiently dissimilar to one another, they can work effectively together. Additionally, they can produce a monochromatic effect that isn’t too identical, increasing the visual appeal without being too much.

Difference between royal blue and navy blue

Royal blue and navy blue are distinct shades within the spectrum of blue colors, each with its own unique characteristics.

Royal blue is a vibrant and vivid shade of blue, often described as a deep and rich hue. It tends to have a brighter and more intense appearance compared to other shades of blue, with a regal and bold quality.

Navy blue, on the other hand, is a darker and more subdued shade of blue. It typically has a deeper, almost blackened undertone, giving it a more conservative and formal appearance compared to royal blue.

While both colors belong to the category of darker blues, they differ notably in their specific tones and appearances. Royal blue leans towards a brighter and more vibrant hue, while navy blue tends to be darker and more muted, almost approaching a blackish tone.

What hues complement navy blue?

Navy blue is a versatile neutral that goes nicely with almost any color. With navy blue, you can use contrasting colors like gold, lighter neutrals like white or light gray, or somber hues like dark cherry.

What Colors Go Well with Royal Blue?

Royal blue isn’t neutral because it is brighter. It contrasts effectively with a variety of hues, though, mainly orange, magenta, yellow, and green. Royal blue goes well with white, ivory, and beige.

What shade of blue falls between navy and royal?

Cobalt blue is your best alternative if you’re looking for a shade between royal blue and navy blue. It seems unique and vibrant and is a slightly intense tone, although it is neither as deep nor as bright as navy blue.

Shades of Blue Make People Confused with Navy Blue

The hue of navy blue is commonly mistaken for black at first sight. In low light, navy blue can appear almost black due to its extreme darkness.

Additionally, navy blue and regal blue can be confused. Both are deep hues, but regal blue has a steelier hue and often has green undertones that navy blue does not. Royal Blue and Other Blue Colors are Often Confused. People usually mix up several tints of royal blue. Some confuse it with navy blue because they believe royal hues to be more formal.

Some people might mistake this color’s name for the darker, steelier blue called regal blue.

There may also be confusion because cobalt is another tint of mid-toned blue.

Another mid-toned blue that mimics royal blue is French blue, while it is a little more muted in comparison.

Blue against Cobalt: Navy

As we already know, cobalt blue is more of a mid-toned hue, whereas navy blue is a deep, gloomy shade. Cobalt blue is hence much more vibrant than royal blue. Cobalt and navy blue are quite balanced in terms of color type. Instead of tending green or purple, generally, it lies mostly in the middle of the blue range.

Navy or Royal Blue: Which Is the Better Shade?

Royal blue and navy blue are equal on a technical level. It depends on your choices because each is effective in various contexts. Choose the color that suits you best since royal blue is more vibrant and has a sense of vibrancy, while navy blue is deeper and more neutral.

Have you learned everything there is, to know about the differences between royal and navy blue?

Please provide your feedback in the comment section below if so. Additionally, if you know someone looking for the ideal blue color for their upcoming project, please forward this post to them.

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