Knowledge — 2 years ago

Ivory Color Meaning and Use

by Keren P.

Ivory Color, Color Ivory, What Color is Ivory

Color Ivory Information

Mention the word ivory to any clued-in fashionista and colors like pearl, opaline, milk-white, and off-white will jump in front of their eyes. All these are subtle varieties of light shades that fall under the description "ivory color", the color of elephant tusks and piano keys.  Some people also refer to it as ecru or cream.
The word ivory is also used to describe the characteristics of body cosmetics. An ivory cosmetic is one which has no artificial color or scent.

What is the difference between white and ivory colors?

White is a pure, pristine color that has no other colors mixed in it. Think of immaculate expanses of white snow or a glass of milk.  Ivory, on the other hand, is a shade of white that has the color yellow or cream mixed in it. The color ivory is called after the actual material ivory, which animal tusks are made of and has a slight yellow tinge to it. So, the difference between white and ivory is the percentage of white in them; white is, well, 100% white, while ivory can have a variety of other colors mixed in. If you are looking to decorate a room, bear in mind that white is generally more clinical, while ivory is considered warmer, and creates cozier spaces. The same goes for apparel. White clothes will have a more sporty look, while ivory will be more elegant.

Language and the mind

Ivory also finds extensive use in the language. It could assist a designer to see how a particular color could be perceived by others, in its positive aspects and also in its negative aspects. One excellent example is the "ivory tower" term. The two words convey different meanings to different individuals. For a few, ivory tower refers to a residence which is a refuge from all the troubles of the mortal world. For others, it conveys negativity. The term refers to a person living in a kind of residence which is both physically and mentally detached from reality. There could be an implication that the person has deliberately shut himself or herself out of the surrounding world. This phrase is used by many as an unflattering term to describe academia.

Ivory Color

As a color, ivory calms the mind. It has the identical purity of white but has more warmth and feels more peaceful. It is also a soft and clean color that conveys a sense of discreet prosperity. During Victorian times, elephant tusks were highly prized. They were frequently used in jewelry making and decorating highly expensive items of furniture and housewares. This natural substance also influenced the world of jewelry in other ways. Opal and pearl continue to be described as ivory shades even now. It is a coveted wedding gift for any couple when the partners complete 14 years of marriage. The color pearl is reserved for a couple's 30th wedding anniversary.

Using the Different Shades of Ivory

The different shade of Ivory is used as both main colors and also background colors; light and creamy different shades of ivory have a relaxing effect on the mind, which is why they are perfect for items that people look at every day. For instance, ivory is used for stationaries and business cards to have a positive impact on the observer.

Different Shades of Ivory

The elegant color is also very popular among brides, as it gives a regal undertone to the bridal dress. A rich and earthy ivory tone can suit women's skin tone better and look softer on photos than a blinding white. It is also the perfect background if a bride wants to add a little pop of color to her outfit with bright accents on their shoes, jewelry, purses or headpieces.

Different shades of ivory are also used in web design as a background for different projects. Traditional white can be quite bright when using it, even as a background, so the perfect replacement color is the beautiful ivory that softens any image and combines perfectly with many colors.


The ivory color is a versatile one and a true artist can create wonderful things from this particular color. This color holds multiple meanings depending on its use and how it is seen. Identical rules can be applied to other colors as well. The difference of ivory as a color, when compared with other colors, is the appeal and vibes which accompany it. For some sensitive souls, ivory is a color that helps not only to calm the mind but also promotes an inclusive attitude.

Color Ivory

A smidgen of ivory could be used to lighten up colors like turquoise, blue, purple, orange, and green. It can brighten them in medium or dark mode. This color when matched with pale green, light peach or light brown, will generate an earthy tone that is softer than other palettes of natural hues. The word ivory has a few connotations. One of them refers to people with an intellectual bent of mind. When the word refers to structures, it means a place of seclusion where one can gather energy to fight life's battles. On the other extreme end of the scale, the color can also describe a mentally ill individual.

Ivory is a mix of meanings of multiple colors. The word tan signifies nature's innate flexibility. It is a white material conveying innocence and purity. The color ivory is a crisp and clean one. It remains unpolluted by quality and color. In a sense, ivory can also be considered gold as it is valuable and highly expensive. In eastern cultures, ivory means prosperity and healing. Many of the world's traditions claim ivory to have medicinal properties. But please remember that the sale of elephant ivory tusks is illegal in many parts of the world!

What colors look best with ivory?

Ivory is a very good neutral base for many applications. In fashion it is the perfect background for elegant patterns, more sophisticated than pure white. It goes particularly well with warm shades of beige, sand, and camel such as tan leather. Jewellery - from gold to silver - also stands out beautifully against a backdrop of ivory color. In interiors, it looks perfectly at home when associated with natural fibers such as linen, rattan and wicker, or with warm wood essences. Its earthy warmth instantly makes spaces look comfortable, while its fairly neutral tone makes it compatible with a wide variety of colors. One of the most striking ways to use ivory is to contrast it with another rich color in a bold tone, such as a deep navy or emerald green. The freshness of ivory helps make the navy or emerald even more vivid without making a room too dark and foreboding.


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