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What is the very blue shade of purple?

What is the very blue shade of purple?

The very blue shades of purple are some of the most intriguing and visually stunning colors that exist. Ranging from rich, deep violets to soft, pale lavenders, these shades capture the imagination and inspire creativity. In this article, we will explore the qualities that define the blue shades of purple, examine notable examples, and discuss why these colors have such an enduring appeal.

Defining the Blue Shades of Purple

On the color wheel, purple sits between red and blue. By adding more blue to purple hues, we shift toward the cooler end of the spectrum, producing shades that take on an increasingly blue cast. Some key characteristics of blue-toned purples include:

  • They have a deeper, richer, more saturated appearance than pink or red-based purples.
  • They are often described as regal, luxurious, or mystical.
  • They create a soothing, tranquil ambiance.
  • They complementary contrast warm colors like yellow or orange.

The amount of blue added defines how vivid the purple will look. Lavender contains just a touch of blue mixed with red or pink. On the other end of the scale, vivid violet is intensely saturated with blue.

Notable Blue Shade Varieties

Many distinctive shades of purple exhibit a strong blue undertone. Here are some of the most iconic:

Royal Purple

Rich, decadent royal purple is a traditional color of royalty, ceremony, and luxury. Historically, the rarity and cost of the dye used to produce this color meant only the nobility could afford fabrics dyed this color. Today it conveys elegance, ambition, and flair.

Electric Purple

Vibrant electric or neon purple has an energizing, futuristic quality. The bright blue undertone gives it an artificial, psychedelic appearance. Visually loud and dynamic, this shade became emblematic of the 1980s and video arcade culture.


Soft, pale lavender contains just a hint of blue, making it feel gentle and delicate. It brings to mind spring blossoms and femininity. Lavender is widely used for its soothing, calming effect.


Periwinkle has light blue rather than red undertones, giving this pale purple a cooler, crisper feel. Associated with friendship, this versatile pastel can work for either masculine or feminine palettes.


Named after the blue-purple iris flower, this medium hue falls halfway between violet and blue. Iris purple has an earthy, organic sensibility.

Shade Name Blue Undertone Key Characteristics
Royal Purple Strong Rich, luxurious, regal
Electric Purple Strong Vibrant, futuristic, psychedelic
Lavender Subtle Soft, delicate, soothing
Periwinkle Medium-strong Cool, crisp, friendly
Iris Balanced Earthy, organic

The Appeal of Blue-Toned Purples

What explains the enduring popularity of blue-infused purple hues? Several factors contribute to these colors’ aesthetic appeal and symbolic associations:

Harmony and Balance

Blue purples strike a pleasing balance between warm and cool tones on the color wheel. This blend allows them to harmonize with a wide range of palettes and settings.

Regal Heritage

Historically, the nobility prized rich purple dyes not only for their beauty but their scarcity. Today blue purples retain those royal and luxurious connotations.

Unique Visual Impact

Neither purely warm nor cool, blue purples have an eye-catching intermediate tonality. Their complexity creates visual interest.

Spiritual Mystique

Linked symbolically with imagination, mystery and spirituality, blue purples have an exotic, esoteric allure.

Soothing Ambiance

While vibrant purples energize, softer lavender and periwinkle shades have a gently soothing effect. Their mellowness is relaxing.

Uplifting Properties

Psychologically, purple is associated with inspiration, creativity, and wisdom. Its combo of red passion and blue calm makes it stimulating yet thoughtful.

Complementary Contrast

Placed against a warm color like yellow or orange, the blue in purple becomes even more pronounced, creating appealing, high-contrast combinations.

Reason Explanation
Harmony and Balance Blends warm and cool tones pleasingly
Regal Heritage Historic association with nobility
Unique Visual Impact Eye-catching intermediate tonality
Spiritual Mystique Linked to imagination and mystery
Soothing Ambiance Lavender and periwinkle are relaxing
Uplifting Properties Inspiring yet thoughtful
Complementary Contrast Pops against warm colors

Notable Examples in Culture

Blue purples have made iconic appearances across the cultural landscape. Here are some memorable places these shades show up:

Jacaranda Trees

Jacaranda trees produce vivid violet-blue flowers. Walking under the canopy of blooming jacarandas is a signature springtime experience in warm climates.

Fabergé Eggs

The ornamented Fabergé eggs commissioned by Russian tsars often featured brilliant enameling in blue-purple gemstone hues like amethyst, violet, and iris.

Purple Rain Album

The cover of Prince’s landmark 1984 album Purple Rain showed the musician against a brooding blue-purple sky. The moody, mystical tone matched the album’s electrifying funk/rock fusions.

Lavender Fields

The rolling lavender fields of Provence embody the soothing ambiance of this soft purple. Lavender cultivation in this region dates back to the 1920s.

Mountains of Misty Islands

James Gurney’s lavishly illustrated fantasy book Dinotopia portrays a mythical hidden island where humans and dinosaurs coexist in harmony. Scenes are suffused in luminous periwinkle light.

Purple Mountain’s Majesty

The lyrics of “America the Beautiful” reference the “purple mountain’s majesty,” likely an ode to the regal purple hues lighting up the Rockies at dusk.

Example Reason Showcases Blue Purple
Jacaranda Trees Vivid violet-blue blooms
Faberge Eggs Colored with gemstone purples
Purple Rain Album Mystical blue-purple cover
Lavender Fields Soft, soothing purple vista
Mountains of Misty Islands Periwinkle landscapes
Purple Mountain’s Majesty References regal Rocky Mountain purples

How to Use Blue-Toned Purples

Ready to experiment with adding blue purples to your own aesthetic? Here are some tips:

Paint and Décor

For big splashes of purple, paint walls in rich shades like majestic royal purple or mysterious electric purple. For softer accents, incorporate lavender and periwinkle into furnishings, pillows, curtains or rugs.

Fashion and Beauty

Incorporate pops of purple into your wardrobe with an iris blouse or periwinkle accessories. Play up blue undertones with a violet smoky eye or lavender lipstick.


Use blue-hour lighting to make landscapes shimmer with cool purple tones. Capture subjects against vibrant purple backgrounds for dramatic portraits.

Nature Photography

Focus on purple flowers like orchids, lilacs, chive blossoms and, of course, blue-purple irises. Backlight to heighten glow.

Event Planning

Coordination party décor like invitations, food, and lighting around different shades. Aim for regal royal purple for an elegant affair or fun electric purple for a lively kids’ bash.

Graphic Design

Explore using blue purples for branding elements, website color schemes, information graphics, and more. Contrast with warm accent colors.

Domain Use of Blue-Toned Purples
Paint and Décor Wall colors, furnishings, accents
Fashion and Beauty Clothing, makeup
Photography Backdrops, blue-hour lighting
Nature Photography Purple flowers, backlighting
Event Planning Invitations, décor, lighting
Graphic Design Branding, color schemes, info graphics


The mystical, regal quality of blue-toned purples has fascinated artists and designers across cultures and eras. From elegant royal purple to cheerful periwinkle, the nuanced shades of blue purple continue to draw the eye. Their rich history, symbolic associations, aesthetic harmony, and sheer visual magnetism give this versatile color range an enduring, evocative allure that creatives will no doubt continue exploring for years to come. Whether used subtly or dramatically, blue purples infuse any setting with imagination and spirit.