Royal Blue Color: Shades, Symbolism and Color Schemes

Royal blue is a deep, rich color associated with nobility and prestige. It can offer a regal feel to interior design or art and works in many color palettes. 

Royal Blue on the Color Wheel

Royal blue color

Royal blue sits under the broader category of blue, one of the primary colors on the color wheel. It’s located towards the purplish or indigo side. Colors next to royal blue include midnight blue, navy blue, baby blue, and sky blue.

You’ll find complementary colors on the opposite side of the color wheel. Orange is royal blue’s complementary color. Royal blue captures attention and creates a striking visual effect when paired with orange.

Royal blue also harmonizes with analogous colors, creating a balanced color scheme. Its analogous colors include shades of purple and deep blues. Regarding color temperature, royal blue leans more toward the cool side of the color wheel.


Symbolism and Meaning of Royal Blue

Royal blue is a cool color associated with introspection, calmness, and relaxation. In color psychology, royal blue represents dignity, power, and authority.

In Western culture, its deep, intense nature conveys a commanding presence that has been associated with rulers and monarchs throughout history. 

Royal blue is linked to spirituality, enlightenment, and wisdom in Eastern culture. The color signifies harmony, serenity, and balance. In Feng Shui, the color belongs to the water element. Royal blue attracts wealth, prosperity, and abundance.


Shades of Royal Blue

The three popular shades of royal blue are imperial blue, sapphire blue, and queen blue.

Queen Blue

Queen blue has a deep, intense blue hue with slight purple undertones. It symbolizes dignity, grace, and authority.

The medium tone of royal blue was named after Queen Elizabeth II, who often wore this shade of blue. It evokes the essence of queens and noble figures throughout history.

Imperial Blue

Imperial blue symbolizes luxury, power, and exclusivity.

It represents the authority and grandeur associated with monarchies and imperial figures. Imperial blue is named after Japan’s imperial family, who use it as their official color.

Sapphire Blue

Sapphire blue is a bright, vivid tone that evokes the allure of the precious gemstone it shares its name with. The shade signifies loyalty, truth, and wisdom.

Sapphire is linked to clarity, integrity, and purity. The shade’s deep blue color and dazzling qualities suit creative and artistic projects.

The Shades’ Main Characteristics

ShadeHex CodeHue AngleSaturationLightness
Royal Blue#4169E1225°72.7%56.9%
Queen Blue#436B95209°36.5%51.6%
Imperial Blue#005A92201°100%28.6%
Sapphire Blue#0F52BA216°88.5%37.3%

These shades of royal blue create different color schemes depending on the desired effect. For instance, analogous create harmony, while complementary colors create contrast. But, monochromatic colors introduce a sense of subtlety.


Color Combinations with Royal Blue

Classic Color Combinations

  1. Royal Blue and White: White’s crispness complements the richness of royal blue. Royal blue and white are common in nautical themes and coastal interior design.
  2. Royal Blue and Gold: Blending royal blue and gold evokes a sense of luxury and opulence. Royal blue’s deep hue offers a striking backdrop for the radiance of gold accents.
  3. Royal Blue and Silver: For a refined, voguish look, consider pairing royal blue with silver. The coolness of silver complements the intensity of royal blue.

Harmonious Color Combinations

  1. Royal Blue and Coral: The warmth and vibrancy of coral balance the coolness of royal blue. Pairing royal blue and coral is common in summer-themed designs.
  2. Royal Blue and Lemon Yellow: Royal blue and lemon yellow create a bold and stimulating combination. The pairing introduces energy and vibrancy, making it perfect for contemporary designs.
  3. Royal Blue and Emerald Green: Blending royal blue with emerald green results in a regal color palette. The deep green hue of emerald complements the intensity of royal blue.

Contrasting Color Combinations

  1. Royal Blue and Orange: The coolness of royal blue contrasts with the warmth and vibrancy of orange.

Analogous Color Scheme for Royal Blue

The analogous color scheme comprises colors next to royal blue on the color wheel. Using colors with a similar tone helps create a cohesive palette.

Analogous Color SchemeQualitiesCommon Applications
Royal Blue, Blue PurpleSerene and calming paletteInterior design, relaxation spaces
Royal Blue, Blue GreenFresh and nature-inspired pairingEnvironmental campaigns, outdoor events

Monochromatic Color Scheme for Royal Blue

A monochromatic color scheme consists of variations and shades of a single color. Using various tints, shades, and tones of blue creates a unified design. Here are the common possibilities within the monochromatic color scheme for blue:

Monochromatic Color SchemeQualitiesCommon Applications
Royal Blue, Light BlueCalm and serene atmosphereSpa and wellness centers, healthcare
Royal Blue, Navy BlueDeep and dramatic contrastFormal events, high-end fashion

Practical Applications of Royal Blue

Royal blue’s versatility and aesthetic appeal makes it perfect for creating various design elements.

Royal Blue in Graphic Design:

  • Branding and logos: Blue is the most popular choice for logo designs. Royal Blue creates memorable brand identities while evoking a sense of professionalism and credibility.
  • Web design and user interfaces: Royal blue’s deep and rich hue is an ideal primary color or an accent in web design and user interfaces. It helps establish a sense of hierarchy and navigation. The color’s contrast with lighter shades improves readability and draws attention to essential elements.

Royal Blue in Interior Design:

  • Statement walls and accents: Using royal blue to create a bold statement wall or as an accent color infuses a space with elegance. The color creates a luxurious ambiance in upscale hotels and high-end residential areas.
  • Upholstery and soft furnishings: Royal blue suits curtains, soft furnishings, and upholstery fabrics. It also adds a vibrant touch to neutral color schemes.