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Posted by AllDayShirts on to T-Shirt Color Guides
It’s crazy how much color production has evolved over the years. Before the 1800s, if you wanted to wear the color purple it would cost you an arm and a leg. It was pretty much a color exclusively worn by royalty and no one else.
Nowadays with modern technology and a little bit of creativity, you can pretty much create any color or shade you want out of thin air for very little cost.
With all of that choice comes great responsibility, however, as darkening, lightening, fading, brightening, or introducing a secondary color to a base color can dramatically alter the feeling that the color invokes and how it interacts with other colors in a design. If you’re a t-shirt designer getting bulk t-shirts offered in several shades and colors like the Gildan G500, it’s important to take your time and consider your design, what it is trying to accomplish, and what your customer wants if your t-shirts are up for sale.
One of the t-shirt colors you’ll commonly see offered in several different shades and versions is blue. It’s all around us in the sky and the ocean, and it’s likely that many of your customers will be requesting it since it’s highly regarded as the most popular favorite color. Alone, the base color blue represents calmness and stability, however, when altered into different shades what is associated with can change greatly.
For that reason, we created the ultimate guide to deciphering what shade of blue to use for your t-shirts. We utilized the Gildan G500 shades as an example due to its wide selection and the Gildan G500’s popularity and reliability in the industry.
Before diving into each color it’s important to address a common mistake. When looking at colors on a computer screen they’re not always accurately portrayed. They might look different in natural lighting or the visual capabilities of the computer may limit certain features of the color such as a neon hue. We will still include pictures of the color as a base, but it’s important to do some extra research on the color, look at multiple pictures of the color, or read guides like these:
Based on the sapphire gemstone, this is one of
three variations of the sapphire color group.
Antique Sapphire represents purity and is on the lighter side of the spectrum. It also has a slight green undertone. This means the color will work well with colors like light green, white or other cooler colors.
Antique Sapphire will not work well with more vibrant warm colors such as bright orange, yellow or red.
Carolina Blue is a very gentle shade of blue and gives off a calm natural feeling similar to taking a breath of fresh air outside in a park.
Carolina Blue is a very similar color to Sky Blue but is a tad more vibrant. Carolina Blue doesn’t have an obvious undertone making it more versatile but is a lighter and more faded version of the base blue color.
Carolina Blue works well with warmer natural colors such as light yellow, light orange, and light red and even with some darker greens.
Cobalt gives off a serious and trustworthy feeling. It is a darker shade of blue and has a purple undertone in it.
Cobalt is similar to a Midnight Blue and will typically only work well with darker colors like black or complete opposites like bright orange or bright yellow.
This is typically the case with darker colors.
Heather Navy is the long lost cousin of the blue family. It looks completely different from the base color blue and seems as if it belongs in the family of grays.
This is a classic example of a picture not being able to fully portray what the color actually looks like as Heather Navy contains a dark blue undertone making it quite deceiving.
Although gray is a neutral color the introduction of a dark blue undertone makes it less versatile but more effective when paired with the correct colors. This color is compatible with darker cooler colors such as dark purple, green, blue and black.
The Gildan G500 Heather Sapphire is a vivid light blue combined with little bits of black fabric throughout (not accurately represented in the picture) that gives a more worn look to it.
A color like this would work great with more faded designs with bright warm colors like orange, yellow and red. It’s a terrific color for contrasting bright colors with a faded look.
Indigo blue is a cross between blue and purple leaning more towards the blue side. It symbolizes depth and knowledge as it is a very similar color to a darker ocean.
The color works well with soft earth tones such as buttery yellow or brown. It also works really well with a faded red.
If you are trying to give off that feeling of comfort it is very important to pair it with very soft colors like a white, a beige, or a cream. It can also be used as an accent for darker designs that utilize black and dark blue.
Midnight is very similar to Cobalt but it has a much deeper purple undertone. It gives off a feeling of royalty and even mystery. It can be paired with the same colors as Cobalt such as black, bright yellow, and bright orange.
The difference is it will offer a more bold contrast than Cobalt and will probably work better with yellow while Cobalt would work better with orange.
Navy gives off a feeling of confidence and authority. It’s an extremely popular color used in a lot of professional settings.
Navy works extremely well with other shades of blue, specifically lighter ones. It can provide a great dark contrast with brighter colors like white.
When you take a look at this picture of neon blue it does not look so “in your face” like a neon color usually would. Over a computer screen, it’s hard to visually represent a neon hue as it’s created from the color’s interaction with exterior light.
Neon Blue gives off an energized and electric feeling and is associated with passion. In person, Neon Blue is very vivid and works great with bright orange, hot pink, and even silver.
Royal Blue is like an enhanced version of standard blue. It’s a brighter version of standard blue which gives off a feeling of confidence and authority, like a person of royalty.
Its brightness limits its versatility as it won’t work well with dark and warm colors like a red or dark and cool color like a purple. Any bright color really works well on it with the best being a bright orange.
Compared to Antique Sapphire regular Sapphire does not have as significant of a green undertone. It’s still associated with purity but works differently with other colors than Antique Sapphire would.
This color could work well with warmer colors like red, orange, and yellow. Brown also is a great option to pair with Sapphire.
Sky Blue is very similar to Carolina Blue. It’s comparable to a fresh breath of air that gives off a comforting and peaceful feeling.
To pick what colors to put on it just think about the sky itself. It works great with a cloudy white, a sunny yellow, and the colors of the horizon (red, orange, and brown).
Tropical Blue Gildan G500
Tropical Blue gives off a feeling of liveliness and nature. It’s extremely vivid and bright and works well with other colors found in the tropics.
Bright yellow, green, and red are excellent choices to pair with tropical blue. It’s definitely a color you don’t want to mix with black and purple or deeper shades of blue on.