Difference Wiki

Cyan vs. Teal: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 7, 2023
Cyan is a greenish-blue color, while Teal is a medium to dark greenish-blue.

Key Differences

Cyan and Teal are both shades within the blue-green spectrum of colors. Cyan is often recognized as a primary color in the subtractive color system, especially in color printing. Teal, on the other hand, tends to be darker and more towards the green end of the blue-green spectrum.
In terms of color composition, Cyan is closer to a balanced mix of blue and green, resulting in a bright, vibrant shade. Teal incorporates a higher percentage of green, giving it a deeper, more muted tone.
In digital arts and printing, Cyan plays a significant role. It is one of the four main ink colors used in color printing, commonly referred to as CMYK (C for Cyan). Teal doesn't have the same foundational role in printing, but it's a favored choice in design and fashion for its soothing and sophisticated feel.
Cultural and symbolic meanings also differ. Cyan is often associated with freshness, energy, and vibrant creativity due to its brightness. In contrast, Teal is linked with elegance, tranquility, and sometimes even spirituality.
Both Cyan and Teal are popular in various industries, from fashion to interior design. While Cyan might be seen more in energetic, modern designs, Teal often graces more timeless, serene settings.

Comparison Chart

Color Spectrum

Medium to dark greenish-blue

Green vs. Blue

Balanced mix
More green



Usage in Printing

Primary color (CMYK system)
Not a primary color


Freshness, energy
Elegance, tranquility

Cyan and Teal Definitions


A greenish-blue hue.
The sky was a bright shade of Cyan.


A color resembling the shade of the teal duck's markings.
The bird's feathers were a beautiful Teal.


A color often used in digital displays.
The Cyan pixels were malfunctioning on the screen.


A shade often associated with sophistication and elegance.
The Teal curtains added a touch of luxury.


A primary subtractive color used in printing.
The printer was out of Cyan ink.


A color often used in fashion and interior design for its timeless appeal.
The Teal handbag was a best-seller this season.


A color that results from mixing equal parts of green and blue light.
When the lights merged, a Cyan glow appeared.


Any of several small dabbling ducks, chiefly of the genus Anas, often having brightly marked plumage.


A vibrant shade often linked with energy.
Her Cyan dress stood out at the party.


A moderate or dark bluish green to greenish blue.


A greenish blue, one of the subtractive primary colors.


(countable) Any of various small freshwater ducks of the genus Anas that are brightly coloured and have short necks.


A vibrant pale greenish-blue colour between blue and green in the visible spectrum; the complementary colour of red; the colour obtained by subtracting red from white light.


A dark, somewhat bluish-green colour; a dark cyan.


Of the colour cyan.


A politician who espouses environmentally and socially progressive but economically conservative ideas, especially in the context of a group of independent candidates who ran in the 2022 federal election.


A blue-green that is one of the primary pigments


Having a bluish-green colour


A bluish shade of green


Any one of several species of small fresh-water ducks of the genus Anas and the subgenera Querquedula and Nettion. The male is handsomely colored, and has a bright green or blue speculum on the wings.


A shade of green tinged with blue;
They painted it a light shade of bluish green


Any of various small short-necked dabbling river ducks of Europe and America


A bluish shade of green


A medium to dark greenish-blue color.
She painted her room in a calming Teal.


A hue that leans more towards green than blue.
The ocean had a Teal undertone near the shore.


Is Cyan a primary color in printing?

Yes, Cyan is a primary color in the subtractive CMYK color model.

In digital arts, which is more common, Cyan or Teal?

Cyan is foundational in digital arts, especially in printing.

Is Cyan always a bright color?

Typically, yes, Cyan is considered a vibrant greenish-blue.

Which is darker, Cyan or Teal?

Teal is usually darker than Cyan.

Does Teal lean more towards blue or green?

Teal leans more towards green.

Is Cyan used in RGB displays?

Yes, mixing green and blue light in RGB displays can produce Cyan.

How is Teal perceived in fashion?

Teal is seen as sophisticated and timeless in fashion.

Are Cyan and Teal considered cool colors?

Yes, both fall under the cool color category.

Does Teal have a bird named after it?

Yes, the Teal duck has a shade resembling the color.

Can Cyan be made by mixing blue and green paint?

Yes, mixing blue and green paint often results in a Cyan-like color.

Is Cyan found in the rainbow?

Not as a distinct band, but it can be seen in the transition between blue and green.

Are Teal and turquoise the same?

No, but they are closely related; Teal is generally darker than turquoise.

Does Cyan have any symbolic meanings?

Yes, it often symbolizes freshness, energy, and creativity.

Is Teal a color men can wear?

Absolutely, Teal is versatile and can be worn by anyone.

Can Teal be considered a shade of turquoise?

Yes, Teal is often considered a darker variant of turquoise.

What emotions does Teal often evoke?

Calmness, serenity, and sometimes spirituality.

Is Cyan common in nature?

While not as common as other colors, Cyan can be seen in certain skies, waters, and flowers.

Are there any famous artworks featuring Cyan prominently?

Yes, many modern and digital artworks use Cyan for its vibrant appeal.

Is Teal popular in interior design?

Yes, Teal is favored for its calming and elegant feel.

What industries favor the use of Teal?

Fashion, interior design, and sometimes branding.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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