The Opposite of Blue in RYB, RGB, and CMYK Color Models

What color is the exact opposite of blue? Well, it depends on the color system you’re looking at. If we’re talking about the traditional art world’s red, yellow, blue (RYB) setup, then orange sits directly across from blue. But, in the digital world where screens use red, green, blue (RGB), blue’s opposite is yellow.

Let’s dive into how blue’s opposite varies across different color systems:

1. In the RYB color system: Orange is blue’s opposite. They’re on opposite sides of the color wheel, making them really stand out when you put them next to each other.


HEX: #FFA500

RGB: (255, 165, 0)

2. In the RGB color system: Yellow is what you get when you mix the other two primary colors, red and green. That makes yellow the opposite of blue.



RGB: (255, 255, 0)

3. In the CMYK color system, used for printing: Blue (or cyan in printing terms) finds its opposite in red. This is because mixing magenta and yellow inks gives you a red color.


HEX: #FF0000

RGB: (255, 0, 0)

When it comes to what our eyes see as the most striking opposite to blue, it often boils down to shades of orange or yellow-orange. These colors are on the far end of the color spectrum from blue, providing a powerful visual contrast.

Hailey van Braam
Hailey van Braam

Hailey graduated from the University of Amsterdam with a MA degree in Cognitive Psychology. Her main interests are biological and behavioral psychology.

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