What Color Is Violet?

Violet is a rainbow color with a hint of mystery

violet shades
Shades of violet. © Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com. | Cool, Calming Colors | Warm, Exciting Colors | Mixed Cool/Warm Colors | Unifying Neutral Colors

"One of the colors of the rainbow, violet is a medium purple color named for the violet flower."  --Jacci Howard Bear's Desktop Publishing Colors and Color Meanings.

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 is:

  • a romantic color
  • a slightly mysterious color
  • a springtime color
  • an Easter color

The Meanings Associated With the Color Violet

Violet is a cool and warm color 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. 

Using Violet in Graphic Designs

Because violet is both a warm and cool color, it can be used 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. The Pantone color matches to the cobalt colors mentioned in this article are:

  • 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