Off White Color

Off-White Color – All About Shades and Tones of Off-White Color

What do you think of when you consider an off-white color? If you are thinking of a pale white that has a slight yellow tint to it, you will be correct. However, there also seems to be a huge variety of shades of off-white. So, to get a better understanding of the off-white color, let us dig a little deeper into the off-white color, its meaning, and what colors work best with it!



What Is Off-White Color?

When considering an off-white color vs. white, there is a noticeable difference. However, Is off-white a color? Technically, white is not considered a color at all, however, off-white tends to have various color undertones, so it can be seen as a color. Many would say that there is no single off-white color and that this is more of a general term for many different off-white colors. However, there is an off-white hex code, namely #faf9f6, that you can find when searching online. Many of the colors considered to be off-white also have their own off-white color codes. You can have a look at all the more common shades of off-white in the table below.

Here you will be able to see each off-white hex code as well as other off-white color codes used for digital designs and printing. These off-white colors include ivory, White Smoke, eggshell, cream, bone, and vanilla.

These colors used by web designers are only a handful of examples, and there are over 150 off-white variations. You can also get just as many off-white paint colors that can have either warm or cool undertones. This means that the main white color can have undertones of yellow, blue, green, and gray. These colors can look very different online, so always test out your paint colors in various light settings to make sure you choose the correct color. Here are the various shades of off-white mentioned above, which have undertones ranging from yellow and orange to gray. Honeydew has a slight green undertone, while snow white has a grayish-blue tint.

Off White Hex Code

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Off-White#faf9f60, 0, 2, 2250, 249, 246 
Ivory#fffff00, 0, 6, 0255, 255, 240 
White Smoke#f5f5f50, 0, 0, 4245, 245, 245 
Eggshell#f0ead60, 3, 11, 6240, 234, 214 
Cream#fffdd00, 1, 18, 0255, 253, 208 
Bone#e3dac90, 4, 11, 11227, 218, 201 
Vanilla#f3e5ab0, 6, 30, 5243, 229, 171 
Honeydew#f0fff06, 0, 6, 0240, 255, 240 
Snow White#f3f6fb3, 2, 0, 2243, 246, 251 



Off-White Color: A Brief History

White, as seen as a color, has been around since prehistoric times, when chalk and calcite were used for cave drawings. In Ancient Egypt, you would have seen priestesses and priests wearing white, as it represented purity. Ancient Greece and Rome also saw white as a sacred color. Romans, on various occasions or for various purposes, were known to wear white togas. White has also been, and still is, a strong symbol of virtue, purity, and humility in many religions.

White wedding dresses have also become a symbol of virginity and modesty, while white doctors’ coats and nurses’ outfits have become a symbol of cleanliness and purity.

Off White Color Code

Since there is a range of off-white colors, some have a place in history, while others have only more recently come into the light. For example, the ivory color was first documented in 1385, according to A Dictionary of Color by Maerz and Paul. Vanilla, on the other hand, was only documented as a color in 1925. The various off-white colors have become popular wall colors for interior designs as well as in fashion. One of the more well-known fashion labels from designer Virgil Abloh, is known as Off-White.


Meaning of the Off-White Color

White plays an important part in the meaning of the off-white color. White is seen as a color of purity and cleanliness, and most off-white variations have similar associations. Since white has been linked with religion, it symbolizes spirituality, faith, innocence, and goodness. White is also the color that represents peace, calmness, hope, and comfort. White is also seen as representing new beginnings, which is why it is included in things like debutante balls and weddings.

When it comes to off-white colors containing a yellow undertone, it becomes less sterile and is seen as a warmer variation.



What Colors Go With Off-White?

Is off-white a color? Strictly speaking, white is not a color, which is why it is considered a neutral color that works well with all other colors. However, white can be paired with black to create a nice contrast. Other neutrals that off-white pairs well with include gray, taupe, and beige. The various shades of off-white carry undertones and are also considered neutral and go well with most colors as well.

However, when pure white is paired with off-whites, it can make the white appear sullied, which might not be a good look.

Since cream can be described as a pale yellow, it works well with other muted or pastel colors. Ivory also has a slight yellow undertone and goes well with navy blue or maroon. When working with colors, the best way to decide what color works well with what, you need a basic understanding of color theory. You will learn about the color wheel and the various color combinations that you can use, which include some of the following.

Off White Color Chart

  • Complementary colors: These are colors positioned on opposite sides of what is described as a color wheel. Pairing these colors forms a contrast.
  • Analogous colors: Colors that are positioned close to each other on one side of the color wheel, such as yellow and red, are considered analogous.
  • Monochromatic colors: Taking a single color like yellow and then creating variations from lighter to darker shades.
  • Triadic colors: A three-color combination that also provides contrast and can be seen as a triangle when seeing it on the color wheel.

So, if you are looking for colors that stand out from one another and you have a yellow undertone, your shades of blue will work well. However, if you are looking for a more flowing color combination that is easy to look at, then analogous or monochromatic color combinations are best because it adds depth as well as interest. Below are some of the colors that go with off-white.

What is Off White Color

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Off-White#faf9f60, 0, 2, 2250, 249, 246 
Navy Blue#000080100, 100, 0, 500, 0, 128 
Dusty Rose#c9a9a60, 16, 17, 21201, 169, 166 
Gold#ffd7000, 16, 100, 0255, 215, 0 
Pistachio#93c57225, 0, 42, 23147, 197, 114 



How to Use Off-White

Off-white is a popular color that is used in paintings, fashion, and interior designs. If you are looking for an off-white color like ivory, you can most probably purchase an already-made paint color. However, you can also make your own off-white paint. Since most of the more popular off-whites have a slight yellow undertone, it can be quite simply achieved by adding small amounts of yellow or maybe brown to the white paint.


How to Create Off-White Interior Designs

The reason people choose off-white colors is that it is less intense than pure white and can provide more of a welcoming atmosphere. Off-white is the perfect neutral for walls and can provide the perfect backdrop for brighter contrasting accent colors, which can create a sophisticated, bold, and fun look.

You can also use off-white in different tones to create a monochromatic look that is layered.

Is Off White A Color

This means you can bring in off-white accessories like cushions, throws, rugs, and drapes, among other items. As we have learned, off-white is an entire spectrum of different variations, and deciding on the right one for your room can prove challenging. To make sure you choose the proper off-white, there are a few things to take into account.


Matching Tones

Before choosing an off-white color, consider the fixtures and other main features in the room. For example, wooden floors can be made of warm wood that has reddish or yellow tones. So, choose an off-white color with similar tones. Other features can include carpets, tiles, furniture, artwork, and architectural features. You might want to choose similar tones for the off-white wall color, to avoid any clashes in color. Even though an off-white can be subtle, when looking at your combination, something might just not look or feel right.

Say you have a sofa with pink undertones, it might clash with an off-white that has a slightly yellow or green undertone.

Once you have decided on the type of off-white you need, you can then search for paint colors from some of the top paint color manufacturers, such as Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. Below, you will find a few recommended paint colors you might find interesting.

Off White Color VS White

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
White Duck#e5dfd20, 3, 8, 10229, 223, 210 
Oyster White#e2ddd00, 2, 8, 11226, 221, 208 
Silver Satin#e4e1d90, 1, 5, 11228, 225, 217 
Soft Chamois#e8e5d80, 1, 7, 9232, 229, 216 


Consider Sunlight

If you are going to paint off-white walls, you need to take into account the lighting. For example, when you have a north-facing room, consider warmer-based yellow off-whites. Any off-white with a cooler tone like blue or green can make the space seem chillier. This is because the room receives less sunlight. South-facing rooms can receive a lot of sunlight.

So, you can choose warmer or cooler off-white tones.


White Ceilings

In many rooms, bright pure white is automatically what the ceiling is painted. This can automatically provide a focal point you do not want, as your eyes are drawn to it as you enter the room. Rather consider painting your ceiling an off-white color, even if it is a very subtle tone. This can create a more cohesive look instead of stark contrast.


As you can see, the off-white color is a little more complicated than it sounds. You have a wide variety of off-white colors to choose from, with many of them only providing subtle differences, so it can get a bit confusing. However, keep it simple and remember to take note of the undertone, which should help you choose more wisely!




Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Off-White Color?

When considering the off-white color vs. white, there is only a slight variation between the two and that is an undertone. The most well-known off-white colors have a slight yellow tone, but you can get quite a variety of off-white tones. For example, ivory and eggshell are classified as off-white tones.


What Colors Go With Off-White?

White is categorized as being a neutral color that goes well with all other colors. The various off-white colors can also act as neutrals and go well with most other colors. Other neutrals like black, beige, cream, ecru, and gray go with off-whites.


Is Beige an Off-White Color?

Beige can be considered a shade of white, however, it can also be seen as more of a shade of brown. Off-white shades are those that have only very subtle hints of color and appear more white.


Cite this Article

Charlene, Lewis, “Off-White Color – All About Shades and Tones of Off-White Color.” Art in Context. July 31, 2023. URL:

Lewis, C. (2023, 31 July). Off-White Color – All About Shades and Tones of Off-White Color. Art in Context.

Lewis, Charlene. “Off-White Color – All About Shades and Tones of Off-White Color.” Art in Context, July 31, 2023.

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