Purple has long been associated with royalty, respect, rarity, and uniqueness. Today, the variety of brands using purple in their branding and logos have broadened the feelings, traits, and emotions the color is connected to.
Uses of purple
For most of human history, purple pigments and dyes were scarce and costly, so purple became associated with wealth and royalty. Some of this feel persists even to this day.
Brands like Hallmark, Taco Bell, Cadbury, Wonka, Aussie, and Yahoo! use the color purple in their logos, showcasing just how many different meanings and vibes the color can convey.
Popular culture has seen lots of focus on purple: From Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” to Prince’s signature color and famous album Purple Rain. Fans of novelty music may remember Sheb Wooley’s “The Purple People Eater” song from the late 1950’s. The Color Purple, a novel written by Alice Walker in the 1980’s, is still a Broadway favorite today.
In muted tones it’s considered a “power color.” In apparel, purple is common: lavenders in spring and summer, and rich dark purples for autumn and winter wear. Purple also commands enduring popularity for women’s formal wear.
Complementary and analogous colors
Purple is located opposite yellow on the color wheel, making yellow its complementary color. Because it is next to violet, blue, and red on the wheel, those are its analogous colors.
Purple is a secondary color, made from mixing two primary colors: Red and blue. Often, the names “violet” and “purple” are used interchangeably, though violet technically has a bluer base than true purple.
Is purple right for your brand?
The meanings associated with the color purple are so vast that there are many reasons for a brand to use it as a dominant color in a branding color scheme. However, there aren’t as many brands using purple compared to other colors.
A brand selecting purple for their logo might do so to capitalize on the traits purple carries with it: Creativity, wisdom, power, magic, and wealth. Make sure your brand’s values and mission align with some of the common purple meanings before settling on this as a color.
Read next: Color: Black Speaks of Elegance and Luxury