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The meaning behind taupe

Anchor and coordinate your design with taupe, a combination of grey and brown that is both and neither at the same time.

About the color

Taupe is a somewhat dark, grey-brown shade that gets its name from the French word for “mole.” Usage of the color name is documented as far back as the early 1800s. The color meaning generally referred to that of a mole, but since the 1940s, taupe covers a range of shades that are typically grayish brown or brownish gray. The taupe hex code is #483C32.

Although taupe can best be defined as a neutral combination of grey and brown, you’ll find that it is neither color on its own. Among artists and designers, there is some debate regarding the different shades of taupe. The color is often associated with relaxation and contentment. It also conveys warmth and modernism. Taupe is also affiliated with being headstrong, which can evoke confidence or stubbornness. It’s not uncommon to find taupe in a palette in interior design as a base color or background.

While a range of grey-brown colors may be referred to as taupe, Pantone designates “Simply Taupe” as a light greyish brown. If you’re striving for a contemporary aesthetic of calmness and confidence, taupe lends itself as a reliable and versatile color that stands on its own or as a complementary neutral.

Type Value
HEX #483C32
RGB 72, 60, 50
CMYK 0, 0.17, 0.31, 0.72

Application in design

While Pantone Institute experts make recommendations on trends in color, taupe has the curious quality of being timeless while also evoking modern elegance. As a neutral, it can vary in temperature between warmer with red undertones or cooler with hints of green. It is often considered an update to beige or a fresh alternative to white in new construction and decor. Whether you’re looking for a main color or accent, taupe is quite versatile.

Taupe is generally an earthy color, and it balances well with creams and off-whites. When used in interior design or for website and HTML branding, it conveys an organic feeling. If you’re looking for colors that work well with taupe, pinks, and blues will work, depending on the value, or the lightness and darkness, of your taupe.

A taupe color scheme is often identified with luxury and opulence. It is one of the colors in Louis Vuitton branding and complements the brown and gold seen in many of that fashion brand’s products. Although the hex code for taupe is #483C32, remember that taupe includes a range of greyish-brown combinations. Taupe hex code(s) such as #635435, #7E6958, and #98860B provide shade variations that complement similar shades that work with the original dark taupe. It works well for soft textures such as drapery, linens, and cushions as well as hard surfaces such as flooring and painted walls. Natural stones and woods tend to have pigments that are some combination of brown and grey.

Give your designs a timeless touch with taupe.

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