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What is the fancy color name for purple?

What is the fancy color name for purple?

Purple is a color that evokes feelings of nobility, extravagance, creativity, and mystery. Throughout history, shades of purple have been associated with royalty, spirituality, and magic. But beyond the common term “purple,” there are more specific names and variations of this rich, deep color.

The Origin of the Color Purple

The color purple originates from the purple dye obtained from a species of predatory sea snail known as Murex. These snails were found in the Mediterranean region, particularly off the coast of the ancient Phoenician city Tyre, which is now in modern-day Lebanon.

The Phoenicians discovered that the mucus from these snails turned a rich purple color when exposed to sunlight. The rarity and brilliance of this color made it highly desirable for textile dyeing. Fabric traders in Tyre established a robust industry harvesting Murex snails and extracting the precious purple dye.

Because the dye was so hard to obtain and costly to produce, purple fabrics became a status symbol afforded only by the wealthy and royalty in ancient societies. The color purple grew to represent luxury, ambition, and extravagance. This association continued through the rise of the Roman empire where purple retained its elite status. The term “Tyrian purple” emerged, named after the dye’s origin in Tyre.

Shades and Variations of Purple

When we think of purple today, we may picture a red-violet tone. But the color purple actually exists in a vast array of shades and hues. Here are some of the fancy names for different purple variations:

Amethyst – A medium purple tone that resembles the purple quartz stone.

Byzantium – A darker purple-red tone named after the ancient Byzantine Empire.

Fuchsia – A bright reddish-purple inspired by the fuchsia flower.

Heliotrope – A light purple with bluish undertones like the heliotrope flower.

Lavender – A soft, light purple like the lavender flower and its oil extract.

Lilac – A pale purple with pinkish undertones, named after the lilac flower.

Magenta – A reddish purple tone that leans toward pink.

Mauve – A pale purple with gray undertones, named after the mallow flower.

Orchid – A purple color inspired by the shades of orchid flowers.

Pansy – A lighter purple tone named after the pansy flower.

Periwinkle – A pale purple-blue named after the periwinkle flower.

Phlox – A bright bluish purple named after phlox flowers.

Plum – A reddish purple inspired by the color of plums.

Puce – A dark brownish purple color.

Thistle – A pale, subtle purple tone like the thistle plant.

Tyrian Purple – The classic rich, red-violet purple dye from ancient Tyre.

Ultramarine – A deep blue-violet, named after the semiprecious stone lapis lazuli that was used to produce the vibrant pigment ultramarine.

Veronica – A light blue-violet purple named after the veronica flower.

Violet – The classic purple tone that falls between red and blue hues.

Psychology of the Color Purple

Beyond having fancy names, shades of purple also evoke psychological responses. Here’s an overview of what different purple colors represent:

Red-violet/purple shades – Associated with passion, seduction, intimacy, and romance. Evokes vigor, power, ambition.

Blue-violet/purple shades – Evokes sophistication, wisdom, spirituality, and mysticism. Calming effect.

Light purple/lavender shades – Represents elegance, femininity, grace, and charm. Soothing, calming effect.

Dark purple/eggplant shades – Associated with wealth, extravagance, creativity, and magic. Evokes intrigue.

So a specific purple shade can elicit different moods and feelings based on its undertones and lightness/darkness. This makes purple an intriguing choice for branding, logos, interior design, visual arts, and beyond.

Finding and Using Fancy Purple Colors

If you’d like to incorporate a specific fancy shade of purple into a design or project, here are some ways to find and utilize purple colors:

– Browse paint swatches at hardware stores to peruse purples with creative names.

– Search for purple images on Pinterest or Photoshop color libraries.

– Use an online color code finder to lookup specific purple shades.

– Buy fabric swatches of purple fabrics like velvet in shades of interest.

– Search for “purple color palettes” online for multi-purple combinations.

– Use Adobe Color CC online to create and customize a purple palette.

– Buy colored pencils, markers, or paints in purple shades you like.

– Download a photo editing app to select and sample shades of purple.

– Consult a color theory guide on purple’s meaning and use.

There are endless possibilities to integrate purple elegantly and creatively, whether using a bold Byzantium or soft lilac tone. Keep purple’s mood associations in mind, and have fun with different fancy purple shades for your next project!


While purple is commonly thought of as a single color, there are actually dozens of fancy names and variations of shades of purple. From the rich Tyrian purple dye used in ancient societies to the calm, airy shades of lavender and periwinkle, different purples evoke different moods and feelings. The color’s history of royal significance also gives it an air of luxury and ambition. With so many purple options to choose from, it’s easy to incorporate the perfect purple tone into designs, branding, fashion, visual arts, and any project needing a touch of creativity and intrigue. Use color psychology guides and resources to pick the perfect purple shade for your needs.