What Color Is Navy?

Use Navy in Your Publication Design to Convey Confidence and Authority

Navy shades
Shades of navy blue. © Jacci Howard Bear.

Named for the uniforms of the British Royal Navy, navy blue is a deep, dark blue color that's almost black, although some shades of navy are a bit bluer. Navy is a cool color that can be used as a neutral color in graphic designs.

Carrying the blue symbolism associated with the darker shades of blue, navy conveys importance, confidence, power and authority, as well as intelligence, stability, unity and conservatism.

Like black, it carries a sense of elegance and sophistication. It's associated with the police and military.

Using Navy Blue Color in Design Files

Navy is a sophisticated stand-in for black in print and web designs. It is a timeless color that fits in nicely with nautical or preppy designs. For a formal design, use navy with cream for a rich, classic look or pair navy with coral or orange for a modern pop of color. Navy is a gender-neutral color that fits in everywhere. It doesn't call attention to itself.

Specifying Navy for Print and Web Use

When you plan a design project that is going to a commercial printer, use CMYK formulations for navy in your page layout software or select a Pantone spot color. For display on a computer monitor, use RGB values. You use Hex codes when working with HTML, CSS, and SVG. Navy shades are best achieved with the following information:

  • HTML Navy: Hex #000080 | RGB 0,0,128 | CMYK 100,100,0,50
  • Dark Navy: Hex #00005a | RGB 0,0,90 | CMYK 100,100,0,65
  • Medium Navy: Hex #14148a | RGB 20,20,138 | CMYK 86,86,0,46
  • Dark Blue: Hex #00008b | RGB 0,0,139 | CMYK 100,100,0,45

Choosing Pantone Colors Closest to Navy

When working with printed pieces, sometimes a solid color navy, rather than a CMYK mix, is a more economical choice.

The Pantone Matching System is the most widely recognized spot color system. Here are the Pantone colors suggested as best matches to navy blue colors.

  • HTML Navy: Pantone Solid Coated 2735 C
  • Dark Navy: Pantone Solid Coated 2745 C
  • Medium Navy: Pantone Solid Coated 2371 C
  • Dark Blue: Pantone Solid Coated 2735 C