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Purple is often associated with magic, mystery and creativity. But, this non-traditional hue can also have a polarizing effect, with people finding its luxurious and royal look too aloof and vain. Are you Team Purple? Let’s discover whether you should use Purple as your branding colour.
In this blog, we have developed a three-part system that takes a deep dive into Purple’s meaning, varieties and how to use this information in your branding.
Are you ready to dive into the most creative colour of all? The power of Purple is waiting!
Before we start – missed a part of our Branding Colour Series? Catch up below.
MEANING OF PURPLE
The Psychological Meaning of Purple
Meaning of Purple to you
Purple in Business
VARIETIES OF PURPLE
From lavender to Royal Purple, we share our favourite Purples
Purple & The Colour Wheel
Colours that go with Purple
PURPLE IN BRANDING
Matching to the Tone of your Business
Picking the Perfect Palette with Purple
When not to use Purple in your Branding
Purple may conjure up the feeling of relaxation, spirituality and femininity with the coolness of the purple fragrance floating in the air from Lavender, Lilac, and violets.
But, purple also goes hand-in-hand with luxury, royalty and wealth. And this can leave some feeling the arrogance of this colour uncomfortable. So, how can two very different meanings of one colour possibly be correct?
We believe it is based more on the shade of Purple rather than the colour itself. And to make it a little easier, we’ve created an icon guide below and broken it into Light, Bright and Dark Purple.
Original unedited icons from the Noun Project
How do you feel about Purple? Is it a colour you would like to incorporate into your branding? Or does it feel too whimsical, playful and too light-hearted?
Any experiences or memories you’ve had with Green will help determine how you feel about it.
Purple, for me, has wonderful childhood memories from the big friendly purple blob that is McDonald’s Grimace. To the catchy Halloween sing-a-long song of The Purple People Eater. And my love of Purple continued with the Prince of Purple with his purple-inspired classic, Purple Rain.
If you’re a personal brand, the key is to find a balance between the colours you like and the ones that will attract your ideal client.
Look at the icons above and pick which words sum up the way you feel about Purple. Or the way you want your business to be perceived. Doing this will be a great way to determine the shade of Purple that’s right for you.
Every colour makes us feel a certain way. Once you learn how to use the Indoor Clues, (more about that below) it will open your eyes to new options and feelings about colour.
Do you have Purple in your home? An easy way to start is with a small potted purple plant such as a potted violet or a bunch of lavender. Introducing it in small doses and lighter shades will allow you to slowly become accustomed to this powerful colour and decide whether it could work in your branding.
The question now becomes, Would your ideal client like Purple, and how would it make them feel?
In Part 1 of our Colour Guide series, “How (& where) to pick the perfect colours for your brand.” we explain everything about Colour Clues. Click here to download it – it will also answer any further questions you have.
As discussed earlier in The Psychological Meaning of Purple, picking the right shade of Purple that reflects your target audience is the key to using this bold, non-traditional, creative colour.
Here are some examples of how simply picking a different shade of purple gives a different meaning and look to a company.
Purple is popular amongst brands that want to look unique while still conveying mystery and nostalgia, and purple does all of that for these brands.
Purple isn’t an official branding colour of Disney. However, they have managed to incorporate it amongst the Villians of Disney.
Using characters such as Ursula from The Little Mermaid below and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, purple represents power, royalty and over-ambition. (Photo – Brian McGown Unsplash).
While also using it to incorporate the creativity and imagination side of purple in the dragon Figment – the unofficial mascot of Epcot.
Disney Parks Colour Trends
As mentioned in previous posts, Disney loves to create their version of a colour and use it throughout the parks.
Look out for Purple Potion on Minnie’s ears. Disney then took this unique purple and turned it into an Instagrammable Purple Wall and, due to its popularity, turned that into a backpack and sold it throughout the parks. Now that’s making good use of your colour branding!
Purple is both a COOL & Secondary colour. It’s made by mixing two primary colours (Blue + Red)
together. These primaries (Blue + Red) appear on either side of Purple on the colour wheel.
Many varieties of Purple may look similar to each other but have different names. From light to dark Purple we’ve compiled a cheat sheet of our favourites below (and included a few you may have never heard of!).
And to make it easy, we added the hex numbers. So you can start using them in your branding today. Press play on the image below.
To make Purple, mix Blue and Red.
Tints of Purple = Lighter varieties reflect the fun and youthful audience. It feels more approachable and friendly. Such as Lavender, Periwinkle Purple, Mulberry or Thistle.
Shades of Purple = Darker varieties attract a more mature audience. If your business is more traditional, a deeper purple such as Royal Purple, Eggplant, Plum or even Pompadour is a safer option.
One of the questions we often get asked is What colours go together? And the best way to ensure you always get it right is to use the Colour Wheel.
There are 12 hues (colours) on the wheel and consist of:
In this post, we’re focussing on Purple which, is a Secondary Colour.
Want Your Own Colour Wheel? Get it now in our FREE Guide
Using one hue (Purple) and adding increasing amounts of:
Using your MAIN colour Purple, with its opposite Yellow will create contrast and make the colours look brighter and more vibrant.
Use the Complimentary Colour Yellow in small amounts, making it more of a pop of added colour or an accent.
To avoid them overpowering each other, mix in tints, tones and shades.
Using a lighter shade of Yellow means it will fade back. Allowing the Purple to come forward.
Using your MAIN colour Purple, find the two similar supporting colours sitting next to each other.
In this case, it will be Blue-Purple + PURPLE + Red-Purple.
The undertones of these colours are similar. Which helps convey a low-contrast, friendly, harmonious mood and will appear easier on the eye.
When your MAIN colour is Purple, its complementary colour is Yellow. The two colours on each side of the Yellow are Yellow-Green and Yellow-Orange.
A combination like this creates a low-contrast palette of Analogous colours. And the opposite colour gives a pop of colour.
This time, we’re going to do the opposite of what we did with the complementary colour palette. Now the MAIN colour Purple is used as the Accent.
Picking colours that go with a powerful hue like purple can feel overwhelming. And how to make it work well with others?
Next up, we’re going to put into practice everything we’ve learnt about the Colour Wheel and test it out with the examples below.
As discussed earlier, a monochromatic palette refers to using one colour.
We love combining Purple with Purple because not only does it elevate the look, but the multiple shades of Purple create harmony together.
Try adding Light and Dark variations together.
The lighter shade will soften, while the darker one will be the highlight.
These analogous colours sit next to each other on the colour wheel.
Lavender + Turquoise
Grape + Baby Blue
Purple + Royal Blue
Light Purple + Navy Blue
Royal Purple + Cyan
This contrasting colour match complements each other beautifully.
Mauve + Moss Green
Aubergine + Olive Green
Beet + Sage
Vibrant Purple + Lime
Eggplant + Jade
These complementary colours always look great together as they create contrast.
Violet + Gold
Eggplant + Mustard
Lavender + Lemon
Soft Purple + Bright Yellow
Orchid + Marigold
Using a neutral colour like grey allows Purple to really pop.
Plum + Grey
Lavender + Dove Grey
Lilac + Soft Grey
Eggplant + Slate
Violet + Silver
With Purple and Red being neighbours on the colour wheel, Pink (as a tint of red) is a natural pairing.
Iris + Dusty Rose
Amethyst + Vibrant Pink
Lilac + Dusty Pink
Deep Plum + Powder Pink
Boysenberry + Blush Pink
The neutral hue of Brown is a wonderful pairing with Purple.
Plum + Tan
Purple + Rust
Pastel Purple + Walnut
Purple + Chestnut
Lavender + Ochre
Being colour neighbours on the Colour Wheel makes them the perfect pairing.
Violet + Poppy Red
Aubergine + Maroon
Royal Purple + Candy Apple Red
Periwinkle Purple + Lipstick Red
Lavender + Crimson
This cool and warm colour combination creates a wonderful balance.
Mauve + Cantaloupe
Violet + Orange
Eggplant + Peach
Indigo Purple + Punchy Orange
Fuchsia + Tangerine
Want more Purple Colour Combinations? Click the image below.
As discussed earlier, we break Purple into three options, light, bright and dark. Use this as a guide to help you pick the right shade of Purple for your branding.
Artistic. calming, cheerful, cosy, fantasy, feminine, innovative, intelligent, light-hearted, optimistic, playful, relaxing, romantic, sophisticated and whimsical.
Awareness, creativity, daring, fun, impact, independence, intuitive, loud, magical, royalty, spiritualism, stimulating, strong, wealth and youthfulness.
Ambition, bravery, courage, elegance, harmony, high value, importance, insight, luxury, mystery, nobility, peace, power, regal and wisdom.
Need help choosing your Brand Colour Palette? We’ve created a simple step-by-step process.
Grab our free guide as a handy download.
So you’ve picked Purple. Now you have to decide on the type of Purple, is it light, bright or dark?
If you feel stuck at this stage, just remember this colour creates harmony with the MAIN. Refer back to our tips earlier on Purple & The Colour Wheel and Colours that go with Purple to help you decide.
Why do you need neutrals in your brand colour palette? Because it creates balance.
Not sure which neutrals to pick? Go to page 16 of our free guide.
Your light neutral colour needs a partner. So now it’s time to pick a dark neutral colour for even more balance.
Our guide on page 16 explains everything.
This colour is used to make something on your website pop. Therefore it’s only used sparingly.
Page 22 of our free guide will explain more.
Once you have picked the right Purple for your business, add the hex code to your website.
View how it looks on both desktop and mobile. To create consistency only, use the one hex code number to ensure the Purple you chose is always the correct shade.
For print, instead of a hex code, you will need the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black) or Pantone, colour breakdown to ensure the Purple will print out the way you want.
Purple can be a very polarizing colour because it’s a non-traditional hue and not as commonly used in branding as Blue, Reds or Green. Therefore it can feel foreign or uncomfortable to some people.
Luxury brands love using purple due to the idea that Purple conveys wealth and royalty. However, some business professionals may not take Purple seriously. Believing it’s too immature, playful and not professional enough, so make sure you know your audience before adopting it.
That’s a wrap on Should you use Purple as your Branding Colour?
How do you feel about Purple now? Is it a colour that would suit your branding? Let us know. And in the meantime, follow us on Pinterest for more blog posts like this.
Want to discover other colours for your branding?
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About Lavinia & Tom
Hi, we're so glad you found us.
We love helping creatives like you finally have the website you’ve always wanted.