Being a dark shade of yellow green give olive inheritance from both of them with some balance. It suggests growth, life and youth inheriting that from green, but it also suggests speed, happiness and energy inherited from yellow.
How the color is made: olive is a balanced mixture of red and green in RGB color space, its RGB components: 128/255 red (~50% of red), 128/255 green (~50% of green), 0/255 blue (~37% of blue). But in CMYK color space, it consists of yellow (100%) and black (50%), with zero cyan and magenta.
History: olive got its name from olives which are naturally colored with this unique shade of green at the beginning stage of being ready to be grabbed. So the color can be found in paintings featuring olive trees, and of course other natural landscapes where dawn or dusk rays hit green grass.
Occurence: Olive is used in military clothing patterns - with tiny amounts - to add some feeling of blending with green views. Also it gives rusty vibe to yellowish metals in paintings, so the metals look more useful and helpful. Beside these usages we can see olive as a main color in Dominican Republic flag as it connotes nationalism for them.
Color in Action
Olive can be used in many mediums, for example in wet mediums it gives oily looks. And as discussed earlier, it gives metals rusty looks even in dry mediums. In screens, it neutralizes electronic feels by adding an organic touch. It was used in some blogs as it have a high contrast ratio with whites, and it is eye-comforting unlike black. Also, it can be used in fashion for which it gives autumn vibes and it seems very neutral with both light and dark skin tones.
Colors that go with Olive
Other rich (but not so vibrant) shades of green are great matches for olive. But for an earthy look and feel use mid-tone browns and dark yellows. Yet, for a very dynamic look and feel use use navy blue, but take care use olive as a main color and blue as an accent, in order to make a balanced graphic.
Olive Color Palettes and Schemes
Nature-inspired palettes that contains olive often contains other mid-tone and soft browns and yellows. Yet, deep browns, navy blue and teal teamed up with navy and used in moderation with each other (better to use light tones for secondary colors) make up for a really great an enthusiastic color palette.
Backgrounds and Seamless Patterns
Leaf and plant patterns are nicely rendered with olive especially intricate patterns. Also checks and plaids patterns are a good fit for olive green as the color is close to the color of the ground color in forests.