Using Violet in Design: A Color of Spirituality and Luxury

Violet was the color of authority in Imperial Rome

Shades of purple

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Violet appears after blue and indigo in a rainbow. It's a slightly bluish-purple, although the named web color violet has a bit more of a red tone. On the color wheel, violet is halfway between blue and magenta.

Violet's Traditional Implications

  • A feminine color
  • A romantic color
  • A slightly mysterious color
  • A springtime color
  • An Easter color

Meanings Associated With the Color Violet

Violet is a combination of cool and warm colors that inspires the imagination and is a bit introspective. It can evoke spirituality and calm emotions. It shares many of the meanings of the color purple: royalty, nobility, luxury, and extravagance. Carrying the purple symbolism associated with the lighter shades of purple, violet conveys femininity and romance. 

In Christianity, violet signifies preparation and penitence, which is why it's the color of Lent, Advent, and funerals. It's one of the six common liturgical colors in Roman Catholicism.

In antiquity, violet became the color of authority because dyes were hard to come by and very expensive.

Using Violet in Graphic Designs

Because violet is both a warm and cool color, use it in design to create different reactions based on the colors you combine with it. Combine violet with pink for a feminine palette or go manly with dark violet, gray, and black

Yellow is opposite violet on the color wheel. Use yellow to draw a viewer's eye to important elements of your design. Violet also goes well with beige shades, where it stands out from the light neutral.

Specifying Shades of Violet for Print and Web Use

If you design for screen presentations, use the RGB formulations. Designers who work in HTML and CSS should use the Hex codes. If your design prints in ink on paper, use the CMYK breakdown (or spot colors) in your page layout files. 

  • Electric Violet: Hex #8f00ff | RGB 143,0,255 | CMYK 44,100,0,0
  • Violet (Web color): Hex #ee82ee | RGB: 238,130,238 | CMYK 0,45,0,7
  • Violet (Color wheel): Hex #7f00ff | RGB: 127,0,255 | CMYK 50,100,0,0
  • Violet Red (Web color violetred): Hex #d02090 | RGB 208,32,144 | CMYK 0,85,31,18
  • Violet Red 1: Hex #ff3e96 | RGB 255,62,150 | CMYK 0,76,41,0
  • Violet Red 2: Hex #ee3a8c | RGB 238,58,140 | CMYK 0,76,41,7
  • Violet Red 3: Hex #cd3278 | RGB 205,50,120 | CMYK 0,76,41,20
  • Violet Red 4: Hex #8b2252 | RGB 139,34,82 | CMYK 0,76,41,45
  • Dark Violet (Web color darkviolet): Hex #9400d3 | RGB 148,0,211 | CMYK 30,100,0,17
  • Blue Violet (Web color blueviolet): Hex #8a2be2 | RGB 138,43,226 | CMYK 39,81,0,11 

Spot Color Matches for Violet

If you are designing a one- or two-color job for print, using solid ink colors—not CMYK—is a more economical way to go. Most commercial printers use the Pantone Matching System, which is the most widely recognized spot color system in the U.S. PMS colors related to violet include:

  • Electric Violet: Pantone Solid Coated 7442 C 
  • Violet (Web color): Pantone Solid Coated 245 C 
  • Violet (Color wheel): Pantone Solid Coated 266 C 
  • Violet Red (Web color violetred): Pantone Solid Coated 240 C 
  • Violet Red 1: Pantone Solid Coated 212 C
  • Violet Red 2: Pantone Solid Coated 2039 C
  • Violet Red 3: Pantone Solid Coated 219 C
  • Violet Red 4: Pantone Solid Coated 7435 C
  • Dark Violet (Web color darkviolet): Pantone Solid Coated 2592 C 
  • Blue Violet (Web color blueviolet): Pantone Solid Coated 7442 C