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Color Theory from Raving Software: A Look at Purple

By November 14, 2017May 23rd, 2020Design Tips

How to use purple in your business's branding

This is part of our ongoing “Design Tips for Clients” series. Whether you’re one of our clients or you’re looking to learn about design, we’ll give you an introduction to color, typography, industry jargon and much more.

It may not seem like it, but purple is actually used by a lot of companies, such as Fed-Ex, Hallmark, and Yahoo!, as well as sport teams (the Baltimore Ravens) and entertainment mediums (the SYFY channel).

Though it’s not a bright color, purple does help businesses and their websites to stand out. In previous articles, we mentioned that green and blue are popular in design right now. Sometimes, however, you need to veer away from what’s popular. Like clothes, different colors go through cycles of popularity. Ultimately, the colors you use in your design need to fit your business.


Different meanings of the color purple

    Some meanings of purple:

  • Romance
  • Royalty
  • Luxury
  • Comfort
  • Dignity
  • Ambition
  • Creativity
  • Magic
  • Mystery
  • Power

Usually, purple is connected to products or services that target women. However, that doesn’t mean purple can’t be used by businesses to target men. As mentioned above, there are sports teams and television channels that use purple in their branding. It comes down to which purple you use and how it is implemented in your design.

Different color palettes that use purple

Purple can be used to convey a sense of luxury, ambition, or power. These traits, while not exclusive to men, are traditionally considered “masculine.” So if you were trying to sell a product or service and convey these values in branding, you could use a dark purple in the design color palette. The context of the color used sends the same message to all visitors, regardless of if they are male or female.

When we talk about context, we are referring to the entire color palette, photos used, typefaces used, and the product or service of the business. All of these aspects work together to send a message to consumers. Your color choice is important because colors are used to convey the desired message.

In our earlier example, we said a dark purple could be used to convey a message of luxury, ambition, or power. In order to ensure this is the message received by a visitor, you would most likely pair this dark purple with white and grays. You could also include a few other colors, such as gold or a dark red.

    Other color palette examples:

  • A light purple is best suited for fragrance or other traditionally feminine products.
  • A bright purple with red and pink are good for creating a romantic tone.
  • A rich purple with gold can give a sense of royalty.
  • A dark purple paired with dark reds and blues can convey a tone of mystery.

In the end, it comes down to knowing your audience and what will work best to attract it.


Overuse, or general misuse, is possible with all color choices. Not only do your colors need to complement each other, but there also needs to be enough contrast within your color scheme. Remember that colors often have a purpose within your design, such as prompting your visitors to complete a task.


Resources: “How to Use the Psychology of Color to Increase Website Conversions” from kissmetrics and “Color Theory 101” by James George.

Is there a design topic you want to know more about? Let us know in the comments or contact us through email.

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