When to use navy blue vs. royal blue.

Explore the difference between two of the most popular shades of blue: navy and royal.

The color blue conjures feelings of calmness, positivity, and neutrality. But as an artist or designer, it’s important to know which shade sends which message. Take a look at the RGB color codes for each. Navy, needs a higher concentration of just blue for a deeper color but to yield royal, you’ll need a mixture of red, green, and blue for a brighter hue.

Follow these tips for when to use navy blue vs. royal blue, and explore the history and meaning of each color.

Use navy blue for serious designs.

Navy is a dark shade of blue that’s nearly black in color. Its roots are firmly planted in history and it’s named after the British Royal Navy (officers wore navy blue uniforms). For this reason, navy blue is a great creative choice for professional, serious, or weighty designs.

Try royal blue for calming effects.

Royal blue has historical ties and is said to have been created for one of the English queens. Lighter than navy and closer to primary blue in vibrancy, it’s associated with trustworthiness, peacefulness, and tranquility. Plus, it’s a popular fabric choice.

Here’s a list of color conversions for both navy blue and royal blue. Copy and paste these codes into any design tool for the perfect palette — and explore these graphic design basics.



To brighten your palette, reach for royal blue and to subdue, get navy blue in the mix. Explore what more you can do with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign today.