Violet is a bold color that has an air of sophistication and mystery to it! Not only is it a bright vibrant color but it is also incredibly eye-catching and has held a unique place in history being a favorite of royalty, emperors, ancient rulers, and the wealthiest of the wealthiest. Why? It was incredibly expensive and very rare!
Historically the violet color was made from the secretions of the Murex Sea Snail which is found in the Mediterranean Sea. If you wanted to extract the dye from these sea snails you needed tens of thousands of the snails to extract even small amounts. This obviously also meant that you needed a lot of labor and time to make the dye which resulted in the dye, called Tyrian Purple Dye, being highly valued.
Luckily today it is a lot easier to produce the violet color and it is found in just about everything from clothing to accessories, home decor, and cosmetics.
In design, violet is a visually striking color and it easily catches attention. It works well with other colors and it can be paired with both warm and cool colors. It also does a really good job as an accent color!
In this article, we’ll go over what violet looks like, along with its different shades and tints. We’ll look at some of the most popular violet colors and I’ll give you some ideas of colors it works well with. As always, I’ll give you hex codes and color swatches to help you decide on the perfect violet color for your website, branding, or design.
What Color Is Violet?
Violet is a color that is a bright and vibrant shade of purple. It falls between blue and purple on the color wheel and it is described as a deep, rich shade of purple with a bluish undertone or tint.
It gets its name from the Violet flower which is known for its beautiful purple petals. Its name is derived from the Latin word “viola”, which means “violet” or “violet-colored”.
Violet Hex Color Code & RGB Value
As I’m sure you know, you can use hex color does and RGB values to specify the exact color you would like to use on your website or designs. They both specify how much red, green, and blue are found within a specific color.
Violet Hex Color Code: #8F00FF
Violet RGB Value: RGB(143,0,255)
RGB codes are used for digital design. However, if you would like to print any of your designs you will need to convert to a CMYK code. For more info on why you would need to do this, check out our article on the differences between RGB values vs CMYK color codes and when you should use each of them in your designs.
What Does The Violet Color Look Like?
Violet is quite an intense shade of purple and it is sometimes also called electric violet. It can range from a more reddish hue to a bluer shade, but it is generally associated with a darker and more saturated version of purple
This is what violet looks like:
Hex Code: #8F00FF
RGB Value: RGB(143,0,255)
Violet vs Purple
Violet and purple are often used interchangeably however, when you place them next to each other you will notice the distinct differences between them! Purple has much more of a reddish undertone while violet leans a lot more towards a blue undertone.
Why do sometimes use the two interchangeably? When people refer to purple, they often are referring to the whole range of purple colors that are a blend of blue and red. These could include indigo, amethyst, lavender, magenta, etc.
Violet however is a specific color within the purple color range. It is known as a spectral color which means it is one of the colors in the visible light spectrum ie. it is one of the colors of the rainbow!
This is what violet and purple look like:
Is Violet Blue Or Purple?
The violet color falls within the range of the purple color spectrum. That said, it does have a bluish undertone so while it is found in the purple color range, it is found more towards the blue end of the purple spectrum.
This is what violet looks like against blue and purple:
Violet vs Indigo
Indigo is a shade of purple that is a lot darker and deeper than violet. It also has a stronger blue undertone and it often is debated whether indigo is in fact blue or purple.
This is what violet looks like versus indigo:
If you like the indigo color, don’t forget to check out our full Indigo Color Guide!
Violet vs Lilac
Lilac is also considered to be a shade of purple, however, it has a lot more of a pink hue to it. It is described as a pale or pastel-like purple shade.
This is what lilac and violet look like:
Violet vs Magenta
Magenta is an intense color that leans a lot more toward the pink side of the spectrum. It is brighter and more pink in color whereas violet is darker and more blue.
This is what violet looks like versus magenta:
Violet: A Color Of The Rainbow
Just like indigo, violet is also a color found in the rainbow! It is the 7th color and also the final one.
Violet has the shortest wavelength in the spectrum and it is found closest to the ultraviolet range which we can’t see.
Is Violet A Secondary Or Tertiary Color?
While violet is its own unique color, it is a shade of purple which is a secondary color in traditional color theory. Violet is therefore a shade of the secondary color purple.
PIN FOR LATER…
How To Create Violet
In digital design, you can create violet by combining blue and red light. Let’s take a look at Violet’s hex color code: #8F00FF. Hex codes specify how much red, green, and blue are found within a color and they are displayed in the following format: #RR,GG,BB. From Violet’s hex color code, you can see that there is no green within the code.
In art, you also create violet by mixing red and blue pigments together. Because of violet’s distinct blue undertone, you will need to use slightly more blue than red.
Popular Violet Colors
You are spoilt for choice with the color violet! There are many different variations of the color ranging from dark Russian Violet all the way to Light Violet and one of my favorites, African Violet.
Here are some color swatches of all the popular violet colors I could find. I hope that they inspire you as you choose colors for your brand or website!
Violet Color Shades, Tints & Tones
If you can’t find a specific violet color that you like then you should definitely look for a shade, tint, or tone of the color!
You can create different shades of violet by adding black to it. The color will become progressively darker the more black you add.
If you would like lighter colors then you could try a violet tint. Simply add white to it and the color will become progressively lighter until you get to soft pastel violet colors!
Tones Of Violet
Tones are colors that are a lot more muted and subdued than the original color. If you would like to use different violet tones, then simply add gray to the base color.
What Will Violet Look Like On Your Website?
If you would like to know what violet will look like on your website or in your designs then look no further! Here you will find a few examples of what it will look like with either a black or white background or with black or white text.
As you can see from the examples, violet works well with white. However, if you use black the contrast in the colors isn’t good and the readability is terrible.
What Colors Go Well With Violet?
If you are searching for colors that go well with violet then you could consider using the color wheel to help you out. In color theory, the color wheel can help you choose colors that either complement your base color or contrast against it creating eye-catching color combinations. Let’s look at a few of these. But first…
Where Is Violet Found On The Color Wheel?
On the color wheel, violet is found between blue and purple and it is a medium-shade color.
Violet Complementary Colors
Green is purple’s complementary color. Likewise, different shades of green will complement different shades of purple.
In this case, we have a rather bright green that complements violet. This green color looks incredibly similar to Chartreuse Green (check out our Chartreuse Color Guide if you want to learn more about the Chartreuse color).
Monochromatic Violet Color Palette
If you would like a more balanced and harmonious color palette then you can use shades and tints of the main color to create your palette. In this example I have used tints of violet, however, you can also use shades depending on the mood you are trying to create.
Analogous Violet Color Palettes
Colors that are found next to each other on the color wheel are called analogous colors. In this case, we have a hot pink paired with blue. This bright color combination is sure to draw attention! Remember though, if it is too bright then just use tints of each color instead.
Related: Hot Pink Color Palettes
Triadic Violet Color Combinations
If you would like something a little different then try a triadic color palette, these colors are spaced evenly around the color wheel.
Violet Tetradic Color Combinations
And last, but not least, if you like the idea of using complementary colors but would like more variety, then consider a tetradic color combination that uses two sets of complementary colors to create the color palette. This incredibly bright color combination could be a great option for products or services that are focused on children and learning.
Violet is a bright and vibrant color that is just as popular today as it was historically. Thankfully it is much easier to use today than it was back then!
If you love violet but find that it might be a little too bright for you then maybe consider using amethyst which is lighter and a lot more soft and delicate. You can find our full Amethyst Color Guide Here!