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Does purple go with royal blue?

Does purple go with royal blue?

Purple and royal blue are both bold, regal colors that can look stunning when paired together in fashion, interior design, and other creative endeavors. However, combining these shades effectively does require some thought and planning. In this article, we’ll explore whether purple goes with royal blue and offer tips for stylishly coordinating these rich hues.

Defining Purple and Royal Blue

Before diving into color pairing, let’s clarify exactly what shades we mean by “purple” and “royal blue.”

Purple is a secondary color made by combining red and blue. It covers a wide range on the color wheel from reddish-purples to blueish-purples. For our purposes, we’ll focus on blueish-purples in the same family as royal blue.

Royal blue refers to a deep, rich blue shade close to ultramarine blue. It was named “royal” blue because it was once used for royal garments and paints. Royal blue has a hexadecimal code of #4169e1.

So when evaluating if purple goes with royal blue, we want to consider medium to deep purples with a blue undertone. Lavender and other soft pastel purples are likely too pale and pink to coordinate well with the boldness of royal blue.

The Color Wheel and Color Theory

According to basic color theory, purple and royal blue are analogous colors, meaning they sit side-by-side on the color wheel. Analogous color schemes use hues located right next to each other. This creates a cohesive look.

Analogous Color Scheme Example Color Pairings
Colors side-by-side on the color wheel Red & orange, yellow & green, blue & purple

Purple is located between red and blue, while royal blue sits between purple and green. This close proximity means they share common undertones that allow them to blend well.

Using the 60-30-10 ratio, you can create a soothing analogous palette with 60% royal blue, 30% purple, and 10% white. The white helps lighten and brighten the darker hues.

Complementary Colors

On the color wheel, purple’s complement (direct opposite) is yellow. This means royal blue and purple also work as a form of complementary color scheme when royal blue takes the place of yellow.

Complementary colors create very high contrast when placed side-by-side. But when used in the right ratios, they can make each other pop. Just don’t go overboard or your design can look jarring.

Complementary Color Scheme Example Color Pairings
Colors opposite each other on the color wheel Red & green, yellow & purple, blue & orange

A good rule of thumb is to use about 20% purple as the accent against 80% royal blue. The purple delivers visual interest while the more abundant blue prevents clashing.

Value and Intensity

When coordinating any colors, it helps to consider their value and intensity. Value refers to lightness or darkness while intensity describes how bright or dull a color appears.

For purple and royal blue to work in harmony, their values and intensities should be at similar levels. A light purple will look out of place beside a deep royal blue, while a bright purple risks clashing with a muted blue.

Matching the depth and saturation prevents one color from overpowering the other. Aim for a medium to deep purple with a softened brightness to suit a rich royal blue. Soft violets and lilacs can also tone down royal blue’s boldness.

Context for Color Pairing

The context where you plan to use purple and royal blue also guides how you might combine them. Some general guidelines include:

– Fashion: Use royal blue as the main color for clothing pieces and add purple accents with jewelry, bags, shoes, or other accessories.

– Interior design: Paint walls royal blue and add purple accents through soft furnishings like pillows, area rugs, and lampshades. Use motifs like flowers or paisleys to marry the colors.

– Graphic design: Combine the two colors for an eye-catching, creative effect in websites, logos, ads, or marketing materials. Use purple sparingly against a royal blue background.

– Events: Utilize both colors in moderation on invitations, signage, banners, and decorations for a bold, luxurious style.

– Food: Frost cakes or cupcakes royal blue and decorate with purple candies, flowers, or drizzle. Garnish purple foods like ube desserts with blueberries.

Examples of Purple and Royal Blue Color Palettes

Some examples of stylish color palettes featuring purple and royal blue include:

Elegant Royal Colors

– Royal Blue (#4169e1)
– Medium Purple (#c084fc)
– Lavender (#e6e6fa)
– White (#ffffff)

Vibrant Blueberry Purple

– Royal Blue (#3a5fcd)
– Vivid Purple (#962ff3)
– Pale Blue (#d9ecff)
– White (#ffffff)

Mystic Blues

– Royal Blue (#15317e)
– Dark Violet (#190a4d)
– Indigo (#190a4d)
– Blue Grey (#6c7b95)

Smooth Jazz

– Royal Blue (#274690)
– Wisteria (#a889d0)
– Periwinkle (#c3cde6)
– Pale Blue (#e9eff6)

Using Different Shades and Tones

Working with different shades and tones is another way to successfully coordinate purple and royal blue. Try pairing:

– A pale lavender with vivid royal blue
– Pastel purple with navy blue
– Eggplant purple with bright royal blue
– Plum with a mid-tone periwinkle blue
– Light lilac with muted slate blue

Combining lighter, softer purples with darker, brighter blues (or vice versa) creates visual interest through contrast. Just ensure there is enough balance between the shades to maintain cohesion.

Patterns and Prints

Prints and patterns offer another avenue for tastefully blending purple and royal blue together. Some ideas include:

– Florals with purple and blue blossoms
– Paisleys in the two colors
– Plaid or checkered designs
– Stripes, zigzags, or geometric prints
– Ombre or watercolor patterns that flow from one hue to the other

Repeating motifs are a great way to marry colors in moderation. Keep the patterns relatively small and use purple and blue delicately to prevent busyness.

Tips for Combining Purple and Royal Blue

Some key tips for stylishly pairing purple with royal blue include:

– Use purple sparingly as an accent against more abundant blue
– Match the depth and brightness of the colors
– Rely on white or pale blue to separate and neutralize
– Add textures like shimmer or metallic sheens for interest
– Ground with neutrals like gray, beige, white, or black
– Separate with another color like yellow or soft green
– Use purple for small details against royal blue backgrounds
– Incorporate both colors through printed motifs or patterns
– Shift tones and shades for greater contrast


In summary, purple and royal blue can absolutely be paired together elegantly. The key is using purple judiciously as the accent color against more dominant rich blue hues. Keeping their values and intensities similar, relying on white or pale blue as separators, using patterns or tonal variations, and adding textural contrast are all strategies for coordinating these regal colors successfully. With some thoughtful color mixing, you can use purple and royal blue to create sophisticated, memorable designs.