Is Plum a Perfect Color for Romance?

Plum can be the basis for both formal and casual designs

Plums in baskets on a cutting board on a table

Verdina Anna / Getty Images

Plum is purple, but just a very red-purple. The color plum is a dignified color suitable for many formal occasions. The dark shades are the color of the fruit of the same name, while the lighter shades are less formal and more fun. Plum colors range from almost black to quite bright. Plum is a cool and warm color with its mix of blue and red, and it shares some of the meanings of both colors—mystery and nobility in particular.

The Meaning of the Color Plum

Lighter shades of plum carry the purple symbolism associated with the lighter shades of purple. It's a color that's less girly than pink and often seen in springtime. Some shades of plum include lavender, orchid or violet. 

Plum is known as:

  • A feminine color
  • A romantic color
  • A royal color
  • A springtime color
  • An Easter color

Using the Color Plum in Design Files

Fresh Plum on a Tree
Steve Goossen / Getty Images

Plum is a rich color that has become popular for use at formal weddings, particularly in combination with light and medium shades of gray. This sophisticated color palette is suitable for accompanying wedding invitations and programs, as well as for any formal occasion.

Green is opposite plum on the color wheel, so the two colors pair well for less formal projects. Plum also pairs well with yellowish or bluish greens and with beige. If you need a pop of contrast, add a bright orange or chartreuse to your design. While dark plum works well with medium grays, the lighter plums require a very light gray or light beige, possibly teamed with pale aqua, to not be overwhelmed.

A Selection of Plum Shades

When you are working on a design project that is destined to print in ink on paper, use CMYK formulations for plum colors in your page layout software or choose a Pantone solid color. When your design will be viewed on a computer monitor, use the RGB color mode.

Use Hex codes when you work with HTML, CSS or SVG. A selection of plum colors includes:

  • Plum: Hex #8e4585 | RGB 143,69,133 | CMYK 0,51,6,44
  • Pale Plum: Hex #8b668b | RGB 139,102,139 | CMYK 0,27,0,45
  • Medium Plum: Hex #8e4a72 | RGB 142,74,114 | CMYK 0,48,20,44
  • Dusty Plum: Hex #77395d | RGB 119,57,93 | CMYK 0,52,22,53
  • Dark Plum: Hex #651e38 | RGB 101,30,56 | CMYK 30,100,30,60
  • Dark Plum Blossom: Hex #461f33 | RGB 70,31,51 | CMYK 0,56,27,73
  • Light Plum: Hex #dda0dd | RGB 221,160,221, CMYK 0,28,0,13
  • Orchid: Hex #da70d6 | RGB 218,112,214 | CMYK 0,49,2,15

Using Pantone Colors for Shades of Plum

When you use plum in a one or two-color print design, choosing a Pantone spot color is an economical choice. A spot color can also be used in a full-color print project when the color match is critical.

The range of plus shades include:

  • Plum: Pantone Solid Coated 7656 C
  • Pale Plum: Pantone Solid Coated 7661 C
  • Medium Plum: Pantone Solid Coated 682 C 
  • Dusty Plum: Pantone Solid Coated 5125 C 
  • Dark Plum: Pantone Solid Coated 690 C 
  • Dark Plum Blossom: Pantone Solid Coated 7645 C 
  • Light Plum: Pantone Solid Coated 251 C 
  • Orchid: Pantone Solid Coated 252 C 
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