I'm trying to articulate why I prefer dark shades of blue in an interface over dark shades of teal, especially since the color is on a dark gray background. To me, dark green feels "muddy" and hard to look at.

Is there a scientific or color theory explanation for this preference?

By the way, in case you are going to suggest that I just not use dark shades, I'm working on an app that will be used in a dark environment, so a light interface is not an option.

  • I recommend thinking about and looking up images of real life things related to mud and focusing on what colors are used Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 3:48
  • Well, I've been doing a little thinking about it and some research (but the research I've found is very fluffy and speculative). My current explanation to my client is that shades of yellow are essentially "browns" and would be better complimented by neutrals that are warm, aka "beiges". Since we are using a cool gray as the neutral, so cooler colors look more harmonious. However, I'm hoping for an answer that has more to do with the brain-eye physiology and transmitted light physics.
    – pixelfairy
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 16:50
  • (I can only edit for 5 minutes, please forgive typos above)
    – pixelfairy
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 16:57
  • For what it's worth, if the environment that you're designing for is substantially different to the well-lit office that you're no doubt designing in, then it's very important to view the final product in the dark environment it will be used in. Perhaps under the pale blue moonlight or the yellow tint of street lights, the teal doesn't look so muddy.
    – J.J
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 13:30
  • I think Zach is correct: there is an strong association with nature probably. I have read 19th century art treatises which suggest green is just bad and uncivilized and ought never be used. But I would just say that perhaps an appeal to science is a bad tactic, in general, for GD. Be bold and assertive of what you think is correct and stand by it.
    – Yorik
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 17:03


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