PANTONE Color Institute

Purple - The Rainbow’s Most Complex Color


Pantone Color Institute
September 1, 2015

The purple family – the most enigmatic of all shades – is a combination of the excitement of red and the tranquility of blue. In this marriage of two diametrically opposed emotions, a critical balancing act always exists. The redder the purple, the hotter and more passionate while the blue- based purples are more contemplative. As the rainbow’s most complex color, it is no wonder that those who prefer the uniqueness inherent in this extraordinary hue in all of its different tones and tints tend toward being highly creative and relish the idea of not conforming.

Purple - The Rainbow’s Most Complex Color
A sampling of some of our newest purples

With the consumer’s desire for artistic expression continuing to grow, purple hues have been in soaring in popularity. We have embraced the more multi-dimensional aspect of purple, by including a collection of purple hues in the 210 new color additions to our PANTONE FASHION, HOME + INTERIORS color palette. These include vibrant red- based purples such as Grape Kiss and Charisma, several grayed down purples with blue undertones suggestive of Arctic Dust and Plum Truffle, an array of softer mid tones, i.e. Lilac Breeze, Purple Rose, and some more mystical purples including Purple Sapphire and the smoky Violet Indigo.

From the passionate red-violet Willowherb to the strong and silent Violet Indigo, this family of color which has always been a mainstay in color cosmetics and fashion accessories has transitioned into a lifestyle shade range penetrating into mass consumer levels of fashion, interiors, soft furnishings and package design. An important color family to consider including into your seasonal color palettes, the purples are a genderless shade range that depending on its enigmatic undertone can express a range of color messages from mystery, cosmic energy, spirituality and action to contemplation, innovation, and harmony.

Information extracted with permissions from the following sources:
Colors for Your Every Mood, Leatrice Eiseman, author – Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute, PANTONEVIEW Color Trend Forecasts
Pantone Color Institute Consumer Color Research

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