What to Know About Using the Color Indigo in Your Designs

Indigo embodies truthfulness and stability in designs

The color indigo shown on blueberries in a white bowl.

 Pamela Webb /Getty Images

One of the colors of the rainbow, indigo—a dark purplish-blue—gets its name from the indigo plant used to create the indigo dye. - Jacci Howard Bear's Desktop Publishing Colors and Color Meanings

Indigo appears between blue and violet in a rainbow. Purple grapes and blueberries are indigo. The deep blue of dark denim blue jeans is indigo. 

Indigo is a cool color that carries the blue symbolism associated with the dark shades of blue. Indigo conveys trust, truthfulness, and stability. It also borrows some of the authority and royalty of purple, as indigo was once considered a royal blue.​

Using Indigo Color in Design Files

When you plan a design project that will end up at a commercial printing company, use CMYK formulations for indigo in your page layout software or select a Pantone spot color. For display on a computer monitor, use RGB values. You need Hex designations when working with HTML, CSS, and SVG. Some indigos having more blue, while some have more violet. The many shades of indigo include:

  • Bright Indigo: Hex #4f69c6 | RGB 79,105,198 | CMYK 60,47,0,22
  • Denim: Hex #1560bd | RGB 21,96,189 | CMYK 89,49,0,26
  • Indigo: Hex #4b0082 | RGB 75,0,130 | CMYK 42,100,0,49
  • Electric Indigo: Hex #6f00ff | RGB 111,0,255 | CMYK 56,100,0,0
  • Indigo dye: Hex #00416a | RGB 0,65,106 | CMYK 100,39,0,58

Choosing Pantone Colors Closest to Indigo

When working with printed pieces, sometimes a solid color indigo, rather than a CMYK mix, is a more economical choice. The Pantone Matching System is the most widely recognized spot color system. Here are the Pantone colors suggested as best matches to indigo color.

  • Bright Indigo: Pantone Solid Coated 2366 C
  • Denim: Pantone Solid Uncoated 2728 U
  • Indigo: Pantone Solid Coated Medium Purple C
  • Electric Indigo: Pantone Solid Coated 266 C 
  • Indigo dye: Pantone Solid Coated 654 C