The color with the name Navy blue

Table of Contents

A deep and saturated blue

Navy blue is a deep, saturated shade of the color blue. Navy blue got its name from the dark-blue uniforms, like they were worn by by the officers of the British Royal Navy since the mid-16th century. The uniform style and color was later adopted by other armies, so the color name is widely in use since the early 19th century.

The term Navy blue rather refers to the application range of the hue, and less to the colorants showing the specific color tone. These colorants traditionally were extracted from the plants woad and indigo.

Long before the industrialization, with the plant woad and indigo textiles could be dyed blue. Due to colonisation and rationalizations in the cultivation and distribution, indigo was available in greater quantities and at more reasonable prices. Thus, the conditions were given to produce blue-dyed textiles where large quantities of the same material were required: uniforms and work clothes.

Definitions of Navy blue

The designated web color Navy

Since the establishment of the World Wide Web, Navy blue is a named web color with the CSS-designation Navy.

Color coordinates

Hex: #000080
sRGB: 0, 0, 128
HLC: 301, 11, 78
CMYK: 100, 98, 14, 17
HSV: 240°, 100%, 50%

The Pantone® color tone Navy blue

In the Pantone® color catalog Navy blue is a defined color. It has the number 19-3832 TCX. The Navy blue of Pantone differs in its hue from the designated web color.

Color coordinates

Hex: #403F6F
sRGB: 64, 63, 111
HLC: 291, 29, 30
CMYK: 42, 43, 0, 56
HSV: 223°, 38%, 25%

The color range

The color name Navy blue is found too in the hue fans of several paint manufacturers. The tints listed there under the name Navy blue differ in their color values, as well as by the named web color. Therefor, Navy blue doesn't refer to single color tone defined by measured values, but to a series of color nuances in the dark-blue color range.

The hue range of Navy blue

Figure 1: The hue range of Navy blue. For representing, accordingly named shades from different paint or colorant manufacturers served as source material.

Colorants and pigments

Navy blue is one of the color names for the natural or synthetically produced colorant Indigo. Long before the artificial Indigo came in use, there was the pigment Prussian blue, also called Paris blue. As one of the first synthetic manufactured pigments (since 1704), it was also used in textile dyeing and should also subsume under the term Navy blue. But the pigment Prussian blue is generally connected to the color name Steel blue due to its chemical origin (Iron(III) hexacyanoferrate).

A color scheme with Navy blue

Web links

Author: Paul Zoller,


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