Neutral colors


The main categories of colors are primary, secondary, and tertiary. From these categories come an infinite number of combinations that offer infinite shades. However, there is a category whose shades are for everyday use but which do not seem to be reflected in the different color circles used. We are talking about neutral colors . By definition, they are those that have a low intensity and saturation. They have equal amounts of primary colors. Among the neutral colors we find white, black and all shades of gray.


What are neutral colors?

They are called neutral colors to those having as a fundamental feature one low intensity and low saturation . A second characteristic is that they have equal proportions of the three primary colors, usually blue, red, and yellow. These colors range from white to black, through the entire range of gray.

  • Which are?
  • Characteristics of neutral colors
  • What are they for
  • What do they combine with
  • How they differ from cool colors
  • Importance
  • Examples

Which are?

Neutral colors have their own tonal palette. Where the most prominent are:

  • White : This is the brightest color and is created from the combination of all colors.
  • Black : It is the opposite of white. It’s about the absence of colors. Although if we combine the primary colors that make up the CMYK model, we get black.
  • Grayscale : the palette of neutral colors is completed with the grayscale that is between black and white.

Some currents studying colors and their theories, incorporate beige and light browns to the list of neutral colors . Other currents prefer to call these natural colors.

Characteristics of neutral colors

The main characteristics of neutral colors are:

  • They are colors of low intensity and little saturation
  • They are the result of the combination of the three primary colors in equal proportion
  • The light that these colors project does not have a chroma, so there is no prominent color.

What are they for

The low intensity and low saturation of neutral colors make them the most chosen for decoration and painting of environments. By not reflecting chroma, these colors are ideal for creating calm and quiet environments.

In decoration, they play a prominent role. Always in relation to what they transmit within the emotions and moods. In addition to home decoration, neutral colors are chosen for work environments, offices, studies and all those places where harmony, tranquility and calm have to be generated.

What do they combine with

  • They are used as a base in any decoration
  • Ability to match all other colors
  • Neutral colors can be used alone
  • Light tones are used to create a sense of space
  • With the dark tones it is sought to generate elegance and cozy spaces

How they differ from cool colors

The cool colors are those on the color wheel are derived from the blue. This primary color is considered the cold color par excellence. Just as red is considered the warm color with the greatest impact.

On the contrary, neutral colors when reflecting light lacking chroma are said to be neutral in temperature as well. Neither cold nor warm.


Neutral colors stand out for their use in decoration and coloring of environments. In recent years, trends have developed in furniture design, paint tones and other decorative objects.


  • White
  • Black
  • Grayscale
  • Light brown and beige scale (better known as natural colors)

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