Blue vs Cyan – Difference Between Blue and Cyan

What is your favorite color is a common question that has been asked and answered by everyone. And one of the popular replies to this age-old question is the lovely color of blue. But, when you ask the girl with the perpetually paint-splattered clothes, she would probably say cyan. Blue and cyan are shades of colors that have subtle differences.

Blue vs Cyan

The main difference between blue and cyan is that blue is a primary color. On the other hand, cyan is a secondary color. Primary colors make up the base of every existing color and are namely red, blue, and yellow. Secondary colors are formed by mixing the primary colors in various permutations and combinations.

Blue vs Cyan

Blue is the color of the sky and the ocean. We live on a blue planet. A soothing color, it emits a pleasant aura and is despised by none. The color of our world, blue, is one of the three colors that make up the primary level of the color wheel.

Cyan can be described as an enticing cousin of blue. With a green tint added to the color blue, cyan is a spell-binding color. It is the shade of the seawater hit by the sunlight. Cyan is commonly described as blue-green, with undertones of both the shades included in its palette.

Comparison Table Between Blue and Cyan

Parameters of ComparisonBlueCyan
Color wheelPrimary colorSecondary color
OriginSince it is a base color, it cannot be formed by mixing other colors.This color can be obtained by mixing blue and green. Sometimes, the color red is included in its formation.
FrequencyHas a higher frequency, by comparison.Comparatively lower rate of frequency.
WavelengthThe wavelength of this color is lower.Cyan has a higher wavelength.
SymbolismThis color stands for serenity, wisdom, and stability.This color symbolizes relaxation.
ExamplesThe color of the sky.The color of the ocean when the light hits it, making it translucent blue-green.

What is Blue?

Blue is the color of beauty and sadness. This color occupies a third of the primary shades and is a fundamental part of the RYB color model that is categorized under the traditional color theory.

This color is usually pitted as lying on the edge of violet and cyan. The color blue is visible on the light spectrum between the colors mentioned above.

The human eye perceives colors based on their wavelength. According to this, blue features dominant wavelengths that range between four fifty to four hundred and ninety-five nanometers.

Blue can result in a varying hue of shades. This is majorly dependent on its presence added with other colors. For example, azure is the resultant color of blue and green. However, the amount of green infused in blue can change the color to cyan. Blue mixed with violet results in a color termed ultramarine.

Undoubtedly, a major portion of our world features the color blue. The optical illusion that gives way to the color of the sky is called the Rayleigh scattering. Similarly, the reason why objects at a distance appear blue is known as the aerial perspective.

This color is given a high amount of symbolism. It is commonly perceived as the color of harmony, infinity, confidence, and sadness. It even has a phrase named after it, “feeling blue,” which refers to an individual feeling a sense of melancholy.

What is Cyan?

Cyan, a beautiful word, signifies a beautiful shade of color that many know. And loved by even more, despite confusing the color with others.

This color is categorized under the subtractive color system, which consists of the spectral power distribution caused by light. It is also known as the CMYK mode of colors. Typically classified as a secondary color, cyan is a mix of green and blue.

This color is visible on the light spectrum and is used in the system of additive colors that are used in the creation of colors required to be able to run the display on various screens such as televisions and computers.

The color has a four hundred and ninety to five hundred and twenty nm wavelength that is stimulated by the colors in the light. This lies amongst the blue and green color’s wavelengths.

Cyan is also pitted as a complement to the color red. Besides mixing blue and green in a stipulated ratio, cyan can also be produced by removing red from grey. 

Fascinatingly, the addition of cyan and red can create white light when the proportions are right. Cyan is considered to be a derivative of a primary color. It forms its own color wheel along with magenta and yellow.

Cyan is associated with rationality and cleanliness. 

Main Differences Between Blue and Cyan

  1. Blue and cyan are closely related colors. While the former is a primary color, the latter is considered a secondary color.
  2. When compared, the color blue has a higher frequency rate than its counterpart.
  3. However, unlike the level of frequency, blue has a lower wavelength, while cyan has a noticeably higher wavelength rate.
  4. Blue is a foundational color and cannot be recreated. Cyan is either produced by adding blue and green or subtracting red from grey.
  5. Blue is often held as a beacon for wisdom and sadness. Cyan is considered an epitome of relaxation due to its strong similarity to the color of the sea.

Conclusion

Blue has several colors that are a result of its various variation. Cyan, turquoise, aquamarine, teal, electric blue are some of the colors that are often simply termed blue, despite their differences.

The color of your favorite dress is probably better described as cyan rather than blue-green. While blue is a soft, pleasant color, cyan is a striking and bold shade.

Blue is also one of the primary colors that make up a third of all colors, while cyan is a derivative of the color blue.

Both the colors have several symbolic meanings associated with them, such as serenity and relaxation.

References

  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/ed070p612
  2. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2021/ra/d1ra04351j
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