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    Shades of Brown Color and the Comforting Aesthetic They Embody

    Hailey Savona Published: June 4, 2024 12 min read

    Discover a Variety of Brown Colors with Names and the Psychology Behind Them

    Brown is an often-ignored color. People think that the color of dirt is of little significance. Yet designers know that there is an amazing world hidden in the various shades of brown color.

    Imagine a cup of freshly brewed, foamy mug of cappuccino. What color would you call that? What about your guilty pleasure – a bar of rich and decadent chocolate that you love? That is right; both of those are brown.

    The brown family has a number of shades to choose from, from simple and drab hues to comforting, warm tones that will leave you wanting to snuggle and nap. So, the question is why is it that people associate brown with drab boredom? And what are the brown colors with names that we can use to challenge that perception?

    Join us as we explore the rich world of brown colors, and discover what shades and hues and used are professional graphic design services to raise the visual impact of their designs.

    Let’s begin.

    The Psychology of Brown – How Different Shades of Brown Color Affect Us

    Brown
    HEX #964B00 RGB 150, 75, 0 CMYK 0, 50, 100, 41
    Chocolate
    HEX #7B3F00 RGB 123, 63, 0 CMYK 0, 49, 100, 52
    Burnt umber
    HEX #8A3324 RGB 138, 51, 36 CMYK 0, 63, 74, 46
    Beige
    HEX #F5F5DC RGB 245, 245, 220 CMYK 0, 0, 10, 4
    Burnt Sienna
    HEX #E97451 RGB 233, 116, 81 CMYK 0, 50, 65, 9
    Taupe
    HEX #483C32 RGB 72, 60, 50 CMYK 0, 17, 31, 72
    Chestnut
    HEX #954535 RGB 149, 69, 53 CMYK 0, 54, 64, 42
    Copper
    HEX #B87333 RGB 184, 115, 51 CMYK 0, 38, 72, 28
    Tan
    HEX #D2B48C RGB 210, 180, 140 CMYK 0, 14, 33, 18
    Auburn
    HEX #A52A2A RGB 165, 42, 42 CMYK 0, 75, 75, 35
    Gold
    HEX #FFD700 RGB 255, 215, 0 CMYK 0, 16, 100, 0
    Bronze
    HEX #CD7F32 RGB 205, 127, 50 CMYK 0, 38, 76, 20
    Khaki
    HEX #C3B091 RGB 195, 176, 145 CMYK 0, 10, 26, 24
    Russet
    HEX #80461B RGB 128, 70, 27 CMYK 0, 45, 79, 50
    Camel
    HEX #C19A6B RGB 193, 154, 107 CMYK 0, 20, 45, 24
    Sepia
    HEX #704214 RGB 112, 66, 20 CMYK 0, 41, 82, 56
    Maroon
    HEX #800000 RGB 128, 0, 0 CMYK 0, 100, 100, 50
    Sienna
    HEX #A0522D RGB 160, 82, 45 CMYK 0, 49, 72, 37
    Burgundy
    HEX #800020 RGB 128, 0, 32 CMYK 0, 100, 75, 50
    Buff
    HEX #DAA06D RGB 218, 160, 109 CMYK 0, 27, 50, 15
    Ochre
    HEX #CC7722 RGB 204, 119, 34 CMYK 0, 42, 83, 20
    Bistre
    HEX #3D2B1F RGB 61, 43, 31 CMYK 0, 30, 49, 76
    Seal Brown
    HEX #321414 RGB 50, 20, 20 CMYK 0, 60, 60, 80
    Ecru
    HEX #C2B280 RGB 194, 178, 128 CMYK 0, 8, 34, 24
    Desert Sand
    HEX #EDC9AF RGB 237, 201, 175 CMYK 0, 15, 26, 7
    Light brown
    HEX #B5651D RGB 181, 101, 29 CMYK 0, 44, 84, 29
    Ash Brown
    HEX #98623C RGB 152, 98, 60 CMYK 0, 36, 61, 40
    Red Brown
    HEX #A52A2A RGB 165, 42, 42 CMYK 0, 75, 75, 35
    Honey Brown
    HEX #BA9238 RGB 186, 146, 56 CMYK 0, 22, 70, 27
    Medium Brown
    HEX #7F5112 RGB 127, 81, 18 CMYK 0, 36, 86, 50
    Golden brown
    HEX #996515 RGB 153, 101, 21 CMYK 0, 34, 86, 40
    Caramel
    HEX #FFD59A RGB 255, 213, 154 CMYK 0, 16, 40, 0
    Mushroom
    HEX #bdaca3 RGB 189, 172, 163 CMYK 0, 9, 14, 26
    Acorn
    HEX #D7A98C RGB 215, 169, 140 CMYK 0, 21, 35, 16
    Almond
    HEX #EFDECD RGB 239, 222, 205 CMYK 0, 7, 14, 6
    Birdseed
    HEX #E2C28E RGB 226, 194, 142 CMYK 0, 14, 37, 11
    Bitter Chocolate
    HEX #9E5B40 RGB 158, 91, 64 CMYK 0, 42, 59, 38
    Bone
    HEX #E3DAC9 RGB 227, 218, 201 CMYK 0, 4, 11, 11
    Brandy
    HEX #DCB68A RGB 220, 182, 138 CMYK 0, 17, 37, 14
    Brass
    HEX #B5A642 RGB 181, 166, 66 CMYK 0, 8, 64, 29
    Brown Coffee
    HEX #4A2C2A RGB 74, 44, 42 CMYK 0, 41, 43, 71
    Brown Red
    HEX #922B05 RGB 146, 43, 5 CMYK 0, 71, 97, 43
    Brown Sugar
    HEX #A17249 RGB 161, 114, 73 CMYK 0, 29, 55, 37
    Brownie
    HEX #964B00 RGB 150, 75, 0 CMYK 0, 50, 100, 41
    Cafe noir
    HEX #4B3621 RGB 75, 54, 33 CMYK 0, 28, 56, 71
    Chai
    HEX #B1832F RGB 177, 131, 47 CMYK 0, 26, 73, 31
    Champagne
    HEX #FAD6A5 RGB 250, 214, 165 CMYK 0, 14, 34, 2
    Cocoa Brown
    HEX #D2691E RGB 210, 105, 30 CMYK 0, 50, 86, 18
    Coffee
    HEX #6F4E37 RGB 111, 78, 55 CMYK 0, 30, 50, 56
    Dark Brown
    HEX #5C4033 RGB 92, 64, 51 CMYK 0, 30, 45, 64
    Dark Wood
    HEX #855E42 RGB 133, 94, 66 CMYK 0, 29, 50, 48
    Deep Brown
    HEX #410200 RGB 65, 2, 0 CMYK 0, 97, 100, 75

    Some shades of brown are quite common in use, especially in applications such as interior design. This is especially true for wood tones, such as oak, pine, and mahogany. According to color theory, that is because these shades of brown color evoke a sense of warmth, giving your space a cozy, welcoming vibe.

    It is one of reason that most men had their dens decorated in various shades of the brown family, from dark brown rugs and carpets to wood paneled walls and flooring. Unlike reds or blues, browns are easier on our eyes too, and like green soothe. And when combined together, the result is a vibe that relaxes and unwinds mind, body, and soul.

    In fact, why do you think woodland retreats are so popular with people nowadays? The mix of dark shades of green and subdued brown tones make for a soothing environment that is unmatched.

    But it isn’t just calm that brown exudes. It also gives off a warm energy that seeps into you, courtesy of its red and yellow parent colors. All of this combined results in a color family that forms a strong connection to the natural world around us, offering a great contrast to more ethereal shades like blue.

    20 Beautiful Shades of Brown Color That Leave Us Well Grounded

    Latte
    HEX #C5A582 RGB 197, 165, 130 CMYK 0, 16, 34, 23
    Mahogany
    HEX #C04000 RGB 192, 64, 0 CMYK 0, 67, 100, 25
    Maple Syrup
    HEX #BB9351 RGB 187, 147, 81 CMYK 0, 21, 57, 27
    Raw Umber
    HEX #826644 RGB 130, 102, 68 CMYK 0, 22, 48, 49
    Saddle brown
    HEX #8B4513 RGB 139, 69, 19 CMYK 0, 50, 86, 45
    Sand
    HEX #F6D7B0 RGB 246, 215, 176 CMYK 0, 13, 28, 4
    Tawny
    HEX #CD5700 RGB 205, 87, 0 CMYK 0, 58, 100, 20
    Walnut
    HEX #5C5248 RGB 92, 82, 72 CMYK 0, 11, 22, 64
    Wood Brown
    HEX #C19A6B RGB 193, 154, 107 CMYK 0, 20, 45, 24
    Affogato
    HEX #A88B70 RGB 168, 139, 112 CMYK 0, 17, 33, 34
    Aged Antics
    HEX #886B2E RGB 136, 107, 46 CMYK 0, 21, 66, 47
    Aged Pink
    HEX #c99f99 RGB 201, 159, 153 CMYK 0, 21, 24, 21
    Americano
    HEX #7A706C RGB 122, 112, 108 CMYK 0, 8, 11, 52
    Antique brass
    HEX #CD9575 RGB 205, 149, 117 CMYK 0, 27, 43, 20
    Ash Gray
    HEX #C1B5A9 RGB 193, 181, 169 CMYK 0, 6, 12, 24
    Ash White
    HEX #E9E4D4 RGB 233, 228, 212 CMYK 0, 2, 9, 9
    Baked Bread
    HEX #DACBA9 RGB 218, 203, 169 CMYK 0, 7, 22, 15
    Baked Potato
    HEX #B69E87 RGB 182, 158, 135 CMYK 0, 13, 26, 29
    Bakery Brown
    HEX #AB9078 RGB 171, 144, 120 CMYK 0, 16, 30, 33
    Bamboo
    HEX #E3DEC6 RGB 227, 222, 198 CMYK 0, 2, 13, 11
    Bark
    HEX #996633 RGB 153, 102, 51 CMYK 0, 33, 67, 40
    Beaver
    HEX #9F8170 RGB 159, 129, 112 CMYK 0, 19, 30, 38
    Beeswax
    HEX #E9D7AB RGB 233, 215, 171 CMYK 0, 8, 27, 9
    Beige Linen
    HEX #E2DAC6 RGB 226, 218, 198 CMYK 0, 4, 12, 11

    Now that we know the earthly connection of the shades of brown color, and their psychological impact on us, you might be raring to add some brown shades to your color palettes. The question is – which shades should you use?

    Let’s dive in and explore the top brown shades that can add a new life to your color palettes, and anchor your color combinations together. Let us start.

    Brass #B5A642

    Brass

    Let’s start with one of the three popular shades of metallic brown. Brass is a beautiful, dusky shade of yellow-brown, with light undertones of green and gray. A warm shade of brown, it gives its designs a certain metallic charm, combining the vintage charm of copper with the vitality of yellow. Overall, this shade is one of the most popular colors that start with B, and is a valuable addition to any color palette.

    Bronze #CD7F32

    Bronze

    While Brass is an alloy of copper that is lighter than its parent, bronze is the darker alloy of copper. Well, bronze is not exactly darker, but rather has an earthly tone to it, while copper seems lighter due to its warmer hue. And like brass, bronze can be a great accent shade for your color palettes, adding a comfortable earthly tone to your designs.

    Buff #FFC680

    Buff

    Buff is an interesting shade of brown that can also be called a warm tan, due to its higher concentration of orange. Despite that, its soft coloration means that it is considered a neutral shade of brown. However, in the presence of cooler shades in its palette, it will seem warmer than if used alone. And when used in combination with darker, warmer shades like ochre, or true neutrals like beige, Buff will transform into a brighter, more vivid color.

    Chestnut #954535

    Chestnut

    Chestnut is an interesting shade of brown, with a distinct red-maroon tone to it. The color is one of the darker warm shades of brown color, that pairs equally well with lighter shades like cyan, and darker, regal shades like dark blue. But it really works best with whitish neutrals, such as ivory. And unlike some of the other shades we have discussed, it isn’t much used as an accent color, but rather in textures and backdrop for some character.

    Camel #C19A6B

    Camel

    Camel is one of those nature-inspired shades of brown color from colors that start with C that is said to be reminiscent of camel hide. It is a lighter shade of the color, with some yellowish overtones, which makes it go perfectly with a number of different color groups. This trait is why camel-colored coats are usually used as overcoats, as they complement nearly any kind of pattern and color scheme. Somehow, the look of this shade lends a feeling of vintage nostalgia to its application, making it a great addition to your color palette.

    Burnt Sienna #882D17

    Sienna

    Burnt sienna is said to be one those reddish-brown shades that is often represented in the earth around us. Along with ochre and umber, which are also shades derived for different types of potting clay, they make up the three most popular heated clay tones. A versatile color, it pairs equally well with warmer tones like orange, dark shades like green or blue, or even pastels, neutral, and metallic shades like cream or copper.

    Chocolate #7B3F00

    Chocolate

    The color chocolate is reminiscent of the shade of creamy, sweet milk chocolate, rather than that of dark chocolate or the cacao beans. As such, it has a beautifully warm, comforting, and filling vibe to it that elevates any design that uses it. Interestingly, pairing it with light shades of pink color lend a sweetness to the color, just like pairing it with burnt orange makes it warmer. However, green is the preferred choice if you want to leverage chocolate’s maximum potential.

    Cordovan #893F45

    Cordovan

    Cordovan is a confusing color, as both the red and brown color families claim it as their own. This is similar to the case of magenta, which is often included in both shades of purple color and pink. In any case, it is the shade of cordovan leather, which is named after the city of Cordoba, where it originated. A dark, red-purplish-brown, it’s a color most often seen in high-end dress shows made out of shell cordovan, or English riding boots called the “Cordwainer”.

    Cinnamon #D2691E

    Cinnamon

    Cinnamon is an interesting shade that is named after the color of this ground spice. A warm, medium shade of brown, it pair surprisingly well with black, something many of its brothers have a hard time doing. Its versatile in other aspects as well, giving an elegant look with pastels and neutrals, gets warmer when paired with reds or oranges, and dials it back when paired with shades of blue.

    Tan #D2B48C

    Tan

    Tan is one of the most popular shades of brown, seen in everything from leather shows to belts, jackets, and more. It is one of those shades of brown color that are considered a true neutral. Complementing the color it is paired with, tan gives a coo, soothing vibe when paired with blues, while its warmth increases when paired with yellows, reds, or their tertiary colors. Moreover, it turns surprisingly elegant when paired with other neutrals like cream, off-white, and ivory, or even black.

    Fawn #E5AA70

    Fawn

    Fawn is a beautiful shade of orange-brown from colors that start with F that is meant to mimic the color of the fur of a baby deer. One of the lightest and warmest shades of brown color in this list, it is an exceedingly beautiful color that pairs well with almost all other shade out there due to its near-neutral tone. The combination of navy or royal blue with fawn is a popular choice for interior design. Moreover, its combinations with greens and other shades of brown gives a strong nature vibe, due to its earthy tone.

    Khaki #C3B091

    Khaki

    Khaki is a light shade of earthy brown with a significant gray tinge to it. It is also the color of one of the most heavyweight and long-lasting fabrics, which we know as the khaki fabric. The color is surprisingly low maintenance, pairing equally well with bright greens and natural greens. Moreover, it also pairs well with other neutral colors, as well as pure white, for an elegant, timeless look.

    Mahogany #C04000

    Mahogany

    Mahogany is a warm, reddish-brown shade of color, and one of the most beautiful shades of brown color we see in nature. Named for the mahogany tree, it pairs well with cool shades of blue, neutrals, white, gray, and even black. The rule however is, that the lighter the shade its paired with, the warmer mahogany looks. And the darker the paired shade, the more subdued it looks.

    Ochre #CC7722

    Ochre

    Ochre is one of the clay-toned shades of brown color that includes the likes of umber and sienna. The lightest shade among the three, ochre has a distinctive yellow tone to it, unlike the other two which are darker with more prominent red undertones. A rich shade, it can be toned down using neutrals like off-white and cream. Alternatively, pairing it with other rich, strong colors like purple or deep reds, it takes on an increased intensity that elevates the whole design. However, pairing ochre with eclectic colors like teal or royal blue result in unique, if attractive color palettes.

    Russet #80461B

    Russet

    Russet is one of the most interesting shades of brown color on this list. A medium brown shade, it has a subtle purple tone to it, that helps it pair well with various shades of blue. When paired with blue, it results is a stable vibe. Similarly, pairing it with warm shades of red and orange give us an autumnal vibe, while pairing it with greens give us a refreshing, natural feel.

    Taupe #483C32

    Taupe

    Taupe is one of those shades of brown color whose place on this list is often debated. A dark shade of brownish-gray, the color is said to represent the fur color of a French mole. Now, many people believe the color to be one-dimensional and boring. However, it makes for a great foundation shade, where you can combine it with dark, rich browns, warm orange and reds, and even bright turquoise.

    Umber #635147

    Umber

    Umber represents one of the oldest known pigments on this earth, one that has been used for millennia by humans. The darkest of the three clay pigments we have mentioned on this list, many acclaimed Renaissance painters used it to add shadows as an alternative to black. A versatile shade, it works well with a wide variety of shades, making it perfect to add to your color palette for mixing.

    Beige #F5F5DC

    Beige

    Beige represents the color of undyed wool, and is named thus in French. A light shade with just a hint of brown, it is one of the true neutral colors, meaning it adapts its perception according to the different scenarios. Pairing it with brown, earthy tones give us a subdued, eco-friendly vibe, while mixing it with other neutral and near-neutrals give it an upscale, elegant vibe.

    Sand #C2B280

     Sand

    Sand is an interesting shade of color, as it is designed to be a desaturated shade of bright yellow. Reminiscent of the color of common sand, it has a distinct yellow-gray vibe, with subtle undertones of brown. A neutral shade, it pairs well with a variety of colors, growing in warmth against softer shades of blue, while tempering and softening the impact of dark blues.

    Brown #964B00

    Brown

    It is a fact that people do not like brown. Many ignore it for being to boring, or earthy. Many ignore it for being too boring, even deep and beautiful brown shades like earthy brown from colors that start with E. Representing nature, it pairs well with green for a nature-friendly, soothing vibe, while adding it to pinks give us a fashionable look. But it is when paired with white that its best qualities are enhanced.

    More Shades of Brown Color

    Biscuit
    HEX #feedca RGB 254, 237, 202 CMYK 0, 7, 20, 0
    Bisque
    HEX #FFE4C4 RGB 255, 228, 196 CMYK 0, 11, 23, 0
    Blanched Almond
    HEX #FFEBCD RGB 255, 235, 205 CMYK 0, 8, 20, 0
    Bole
    HEX #79443B RGB 121, 68, 59 CMYK 0, 44, 51, 53
    Brilliant Beige
    HEX #efc5b5 RGB 239, 197, 181 CMYK 0, 18, 24, 6
    Brown (RYB)
    HEX #331800 RGB 51, 24, 0 CMYK 0, 53, 100, 80
    Brown Alpaca
    HEX #B86D29 RGB 184, 109, 41 CMYK 0, 41, 78, 28
    Brown Bear
    HEX #7F6244 RGB 127, 98, 68 CMYK 0, 23, 46, 50
    Brown Beige
    HEX #CC8833 RGB 204, 136, 51 CMYK 0, 33, 75, 20
    Brown Cream
    HEX #DFD0C0 RGB 223, 208, 192 CMYK 0, 7, 14, 13
    Brown Gray
    HEX #8D8468 RGB 141, 132, 104 CMYK 0, 6, 26, 45
    Brown Green
    HEX #706c11 RGB 112, 108, 17 CMYK 0, 4, 85, 56
    Brown Metal
    HEX #BBADA1 RGB 187, 173, 161 CMYK 0, 7, 14, 27
    Brown Rust
    HEX #AF593E RGB 175, 89, 62 CMYK 0, 49, 65, 31
    Brown Stone
    HEX #593C39 RGB 89, 60, 57 CMYK 0, 33, 36, 65
    Brown Sugar Glaze
    HEX #CF7A4B RGB 207, 122, 75 CMYK 0, 41, 64, 19
    Brownish Beige
    HEX #DBB483 RGB 219, 180, 131 CMYK 0, 18, 40, 14
    Brownish Gray
    HEX #86775F RGB 134, 119, 95 CMYK 0, 11, 29, 47
    Brownish Orange
    HEX #B05F03 RGB 176, 95, 3 CMYK 0, 46, 98, 31
    Brownish Pink
    HEX #c27e79 RGB 194, 126, 121 CMYK 0, 35, 38, 24
    Brownish Purple
    HEX #76424E RGB 118, 66, 78 CMYK 0, 44, 34, 54
    Brownish Red
    HEX #9E3623 RGB 158, 54, 35 CMYK 0, 66, 78, 38
    Brunette
    HEX #3A1F04 RGB 58, 31, 4 CMYK 0, 47, 93, 77
    Burlywood
    HEX #DEB887 RGB 222, 184, 135 CMYK 0, 17, 39, 13

    FAQs

    Is beige a shade of brown?
    Yes, beige is a shade of brown, and one of the few true neutrals in the family.
    Is tan a brown or a variant of beige?
    Tan is a distinct brown shade that may look similar to beige, but has a stronger brown affiliation.
    Is brown a luxury color?
    Yes, a few shades of brown like cordovan are considered luxury colors.

    Conclusion

    In summation, the various shades of brown color make for a color family that is versatile, yet closer and more uniform in visual impact than many of the other color families we have seen. This means that the brown family is universally a grounding color, and no matter the shade used, it helps connect us with nature. 

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