The Ultimate Navy Blue Vs Dark Blue Comparison!

Our content may have affiliate links that can result in commissions for qualifying purchases, full details in our privacy policy.

There are a number of very popular dark blues out there that each have subtle advantages and disadvantages over each other depending on exactly what you are trying to do. Although the term “navy blue” is pretty much reserved for a specific shade of blue, the term “dark blue” tends to refer to a number of different shades of dark blue all under the same banner with navy blue sometimes being included in that.

As you can probably imagine, this does end up resulting in confusion so we often see people reaching out to ask for a dedicated navy blue vs dark blue comparison article. As we have noticed so many people reaching out to ask as well as so many people looking to try and workout if they should be using navy blue or another shade of dark blue, we have decided to publish our own ultimate guide going over the topic.

Now, there will be a level of personal preference that comes into play for this one as well as the specific goal for what you are working on coming into play too. That said though, we do hope that this article will be able to help as many of our readers as possible decided on going with navy blue or one of the other popular dark blues.

Navy Blue Vs Dark Blue Comparison

Navy Blue Top Left, Dark Blue Bottom Right.

As you can see from our navy blue vs dark blue color comparison above, both colors are very close to each other with there being a minimal difference to the eye. Keep in mind though, this is using the official dark blue hex code of #06038D for digital based artwork. When it comes to actual paints, inks, dyes, and pigments, there are actually a range of colors all covered under the dark blue banner.

Depending on the exact color that you are using, it can be lighter or darker than the color sample above making it hard to offer a direct comparison. This is why a common piece of advice offered from the arts and crafts community to anyone looking to use a shade of dark blue is to go with something with a specific pigment chart but we will go into this in more detail throughout the article.

Although navy blue is a very popular option for home design, arts and crafts, and fountain pen ink, other shades of blue are starting to take up with some of the other darker blue shades and hues already being more popular in arts and crafts. Due to the dark nature of these blues, they all tend to offer the same, limited level of versatility when mixed with other paints though due to the dark blue quickly and easily dominating any colors that it is mixed with.

The Dark Blue Color!

As we touched on earlier in the article, the dark blue color, especially dark blue paint tends to include a range of popular dark blue shades rather than be one single specific shade. For example, both Prussian blue paint and Phthalocyanine blue paint are both commonly bundled in with the dark blue terminology while also often being referred to by their actual names too.

This can make things confusing, especially for beginners who are new to home design or arts and crafts. In addition to this, different brands will also have different pigment charts for these colors that are commonly referred to as dark blue too. You can purchase a “Prussian blue” paint from two different brands, apply it to a surface and then wait for them to dry only for them to be slightly different to each other.

This is why we usually recommend that any of our readers who are interested in using a dark blue color, especially a paint for arts and crafts or home design stick with a specifically names color from a specific brand. Our personal preference is Prussian blue and we have articles online going over how to make Prussian blue at home as well as seven complimentary colors for Prussian blue that you may find helpful.

The Navy Blue Color!

Navy blue has an advantage of dark blue in the sense that navy blue is navy blue and apart from a slight variation in the pigment chart used for the color from brand to brand, you will almost always be getting the same color. This offers you better consistency with the color and allows you to have a much better idea of what you are going to be getting from your paint, dye, ink or pigment.

In addition to that, navy blue paint does tend to be cheaper than some of the other dark blue options too keeping you keep your costs down. This is due to navy blue paint using common, cheap pigments as while also having the demand there for brands to know their paints will sell.

If you are a beginner, this allows you to keep your costs as low as possible while still getting a very close match to some of the other dark blue colors on the market. If you are an intermediate or professional painter though, many people tend to migrate over to Prussian blue or one of the other darker blues as their skill level progresses.

Is Dark Blue The Same As Navy Blue?

We often see people reaching out to ask if dark blue is the same as navy blue and we can definitely see why and in some cases, people will refer to navy blue as dark blue. This means that navy blue is classed as a dark blue but not all dark blues are navy blue as the term generally includes a number of other dark blues too.

That said, to a beginner, many of these “dark blue” paints will usually look very similar to each other anyway with there often only being very subtle differences to the untrained eye. This is why many people end up migrating away from navy blue as their skills develop as they tend to prefer either Prussian blue paint or Phthalocyanine blue paint due to their subtle differences to regular navy blue.

This is what we meant back at the start of the article when your goals, personal preferences, and opinion will all come into play. Many beginners as well as some intermediates will still use the blanket term dark blue incorrectly classing navy blue as a dark blue. The majority of intermediates and professional will use the correct name for the specific color of the paint though as it makes everything so much easier.

Should You Use Navy Blue Or Dark Blue Paint?

When it comes down to the specific color that you use, we would always recommend that you try to go with a color from under the dark blue umbrella but one that has a specific name while also sticking to the same brand for your paint. This should ensure that you always get a very similar result out of your paint when dry and avoid issues with the different brands using different pigment charts for their paint production delivering a slightly different color.

As we touched on above, out preferred dark blue is definitely Prussian blue and it is one of the most common dark blue colors all over the world with it actually being more popular in the arts and crafts space than navy blue. Another very popular option is Phthalocyanine blue that has seen a spike in it’s popularity in recent years too.

There are more colors that all come under the dark blue umbrella but we recommend that you stick to either of them two or navy blue. The less popular options from the dark blue paint family do tend to be more expensive and harder to get making it a paint if you run out of your paint tube halfway through the job.


That brings our article going over our ultimate navy blue vs dark blue comparison. We we touched on earlier in the article, it is harder to offer a direct answer due to navy blue often being included within the dark blue umbrella. On top of this, personal preference as well as the goals for whatever you are working on at the time will also come into play too but there are plenty of suitable options.