What Color Is Lilac?

Lilac is a feminine color with a bit of nostalgia

Lilac shades
From Background to smallest circle: Lilac, rich lilac, deep lilac, French lilac. © Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com. | Cool, Calming Colors | Warm, Exciting Colors | Mixed Cool/Warm Colors | Unifying Neutral Colors

Named for the flower of the same name, there are several shades of lilac, a medium purple color. - Jacci Howard Bear's Desktop Publishing Colors and Color Meanings

The colors of lilac are on the violet side of purple but a bit duskier than lavender. The lilac flowers actually come in many colors, but the color called lilac is usually in the violet shades. Lilac is a feminine color that is often seen around springtime and Easter.

 Lilac is a cool and warm color with its mix of blue and red.

Lilac carries the purple symbolism associated with the lighter shades of purple. It's a feminine color with a bit of a maternal feeling. Like lavender, lilac can be a bit nostalgic. It goes well with black and dark green. For a lovely lilac mix, combine shades of lilac with greens, plums and mauve. Lilac is similar to lavender, pink and violet.

Using Lilac Color in Design Files

When you plan a design project destined for print, use CMYK formulations for lilac 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. Among the available lilac shades are:

  • Lilac: Hex #c8a2c8 | RGB 200,162,200 | CMYK 0,19,0,22
  • Medium Lilac: Hex #c17ecd | RGB 193,126,205 | CMYK 6,39,0,20
  • Rich Lilac: Hex #b666d2 | RGB 182,102,210 | CMYK 13,51,0,18
  • Deep Lilac: Hex #9955bb | RGB 153,85,187 | CMYK 18,55,0,27
  • Bright Lilac: Hex #9962bf | RGB 153,98,191 | CMYK 20,49,0,25
  • French Lilac: Hex #86608e | RGB 134,96,142 | CMYK 6,32,0,44

Choosing Pantone Colors Closest to Lilac

When working with printed pieces, sometimes a solid color lilac, 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 lilac colors.

  • Lilac: Pantone Solid Coated 257 C
  • Medium Lilac: Pantone Solid Coated 2573 C
  • Rich Lilac: Pantone Solid Coated 252 C
  • Deep Lilac: Pantone Solid Coated 7441 C
  • Bright Lilac: Pantone Solid Coated 7441 C
  • French Lilac: Pantone Solid Coated 2081 C

Because the eye can see more colors on a display than can be mixed with inks, some colors you see on your screen do not reproduce reliably in print.