What Are Cool Colors?

Cool colors include different shades of blue, green and purple. Sometimes they also include shades of gray. They are the opposite of warm colors, and their lower saturation gives off a calm, soothing effect.

The idea of cool and warm colors is a component of the color theory, which explains the visual and emotional effects of combining different colors. On a color wheel, cool colors are on one side and warm colors are on the other. Purple and green are placed closest to the warm colors. This means they can be mixed with other colors to create warm tones, depending on which color in the mix is more dominant. Using different color combinations is a way to create different visual effects.

Cool colors like blue, green and purple create a relaxing environment and do not overpower other colors or over-stimulate the human mind. They give the impression of receding in space, so they are used to make scenes appear larger, especially in interior design. Because they are calming, they work well as background colors or for creating placid scenes in art such as calm water or a blue sky. In contrast, warm colors, including red, yellow and orange, are loud and overpowering. They have a higher saturation and are used to make things stand out or to make a statement.