The meaning of the color Midnight Blue and color combinations to inspire your next design.
Midnight blue is a very dark shade of blue. The midnight blue color code is #191970.
How do you make midnight blue? Simply mix a small amount of black paint into a blue base. There’s no exact ratio for how much black paint to add, just keep mixing until you reach midnight blue’s deep hue.
While they are both dark shades of blue, midnight blue is not the same as navy blue. Midnight blue is darker than navy blue and is generally considered to be the deepest shade of blue, one so dark that it might be mistaken for black. Navy blue is a comparatively lighter hue.
The name “midnight blue” was first used in 1915. The hue is named for its resemblance to the very dark blue shade of a night sky around the full moon. While the color name is relatively recent, midnight blue skies can be seen in Vincent Van Gogh artworks from the 1800s like Starry Night and Cafe Terrace at Night.
In the 1920s, England’s the Duke of Windsor, Edward VIII (1894–1972) popularized midnight blue as a color for suits and tuxedos. He believed that unlike black, midnight blue formal wear would allow photographs to capture subtle tailoring details like pockets, lapels and buttons, and therefore increase his sartorial standing in the press. One of his midnight blue evening suits is now part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection.
Crayola named a crayon “midnight blue” in 1958, replacing the shade that had previously been known as “Prussian blue”.
Midnight blue projects sophistication and elegance. Its link with formal occasions and royalty means it conveys confidence, power and authority, while its deep hue can also come across as dark and mysterious.
According to color psychology, blue is associated with trustworthiness and reliability. Dark shades of blue in particular are linked with authority and intelligence; midnight blue’s deep appearance is particularly likely to make this impression.
But because it is very close in appearance to black, midnight blue might also project qualities associated with that color. Black can be used to convey power, strength and formality—but it can also signify mourning and fear.
Midnight blue is a versatile, timeless color. It has long served as an alternative to black in clothing. Its very dark hue means it can be treated as a neutral color and matched with most shades. In interior design, an accent of midnight blue can give a room a refined feel, but you should avoid painting an entire room the hue—its dark appearance could be oppressive in large doses.
In design, midnight blue can appear sensible and sophisticated. You might like to use it as a livelier alternative when all black would appear too severe.
Midnight blue goes with a wide range of colors. It could form a winter-inspired palette alongside deep reds, or be brightened next to hues like oranges and hot pink. The combination of yellow and midnight blue is striking and reminiscent of the night sky. It looks great next to olive green, which is its complementary color on the color wheel, and works well alongside analogous shades of blue and deep purples. The colors that pair well with midnight blue include:
Looking for a different hue? The following colors are related to midnight blue.
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