The meaning of the color Olive Green and color combinations to inspire your next design.
Olive green is dark yellowish-green color. The olive green color hex code is #BAB86C.
To make the color olive green, first mix one part blue paint into three parts yellow paint to create a shade of green. From there, adding a touch of red will deepen the hue to make olive green. But go easy—too much red and you’ll end up with brown paint.
Olive’s dark hue means it is sometimes mistaken for a pale brown. However while olive sits between green and yellow on the color wheel, it’s generally thought to be a shade of green.
Olive is also considered a shade of green on the hex chart used by web designers and developers.
“Olive drab” is a duller shade of olive green. It is widely used as a camouflage color in military uniforms and was particularly associated with U.S. troops during the second world war.
“Drab” is actually a color name from the 1500s, which refers to a dull light brown color like that of undyed homespun wool. Therefore, the name “olive drab” refers to the fact that the hue is brownish-green in appearance.
The olive drab hex color code is #6B8E23.
The hex color chart used by web designers and developers also includes dark olive green, which is a darker shade of olive green. The dark olive green hex code is #556B2F.
The name “olive green” first appeared in Middle English, which means it came into use between 1150 to 1500. It gets its name from the hue of green olives.
Olive has long been favored by armed forces around the world because its muted tone help soldiers blend into their background. Olive drab was the color of the standard uniform for U.S. soldiers during World War II and the Vietnam War, where it also used on weapons and tanks. It was later replaced in 1981 by a camouflage pattern called “woodland” that features flecks of sand, brown, green and black. Today, the armies of Israel, Cuba, India, Venezuela and Austria still wear olive drab uniforms.
“Olive” can also refer to a dark shade of skin that has yellowish or golden undertones.
Olive green is a versatile color. It looks sophisticated alongside neutrals like beige, tan and maroon—a color palette famously used by rapper and designer Kanye West in his Yeezy clothing and shoe lines.
Olive green is popular in fashion as it is considered flattering to most skin tones. In interior design, a splash of olive green can warm up a room.
To highlight the hue, pair it with complementary reds and violets. For a natural look, combine it alongside navy and light grays. The colors that pair well with olive green include:
Looking for a different hue? The following colors are related to olive green.
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