Meet Velvet Violet, a standout shade from our latest Color Trends report, and learn how to include the magnetic hue in your next branding project.
Regal and graceful, this dark and molten purple is an understated, yet impactful, color that pairs beautifully with vibrant shades such as emerald green or neons.
Read on to discover the history and psychology of this deep purple hue, and pick up tips for using Velvet Violet in branding, websites, and print designs. Or, skip to the end of the article to find ten on-trend Velvet Violet color palettes to use in your next project.
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Image via Africa Studio.
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Introducing Velvet Violet
A subtle, deep purple shade that whispers rather than shouts, Velvet Violet is smooth and seductive, with a molten, mellow character. This enigmatic hue is a rich violet-purple, with a balance of blue and red undertones.
As a darker purple shade, it has a regal rather than flamboyant mood. It’s the perfect color choice for elevating designs, giving them a more luxurious feel.
Images via Kryvenok Anastasiia, Marie C Fields, Olena Tur, and Villedieu Christophe.
Where Is Velvet Violet on a Color Wheel?
Red and blue are the two primary colors used to create purple. A greater quantity of red results in purple; a greater quantity of blue results in violet.
Velvet Violet is not a true blue-violet, but it balances blue and red undertones, making it feel at once both warm and cool, energizing and calming.
Images via Delbars, Olga.Reshetnyak, Suzanne Tucker, and Belight.
On a traditional color wheel, Velvet Violet sits between red-purple and blue-violet. As a darker tint of purple, Velvet Violet also contains a small dose of black, giving it a slightly moodier, deeper personality than other purples.
Discover more about the nuanced differences between purple and violet in our guide to the meaning and psychology of purple.
Color wheel image adapted from contributor Antun Hirsman.
Velvet Violet’s Complementary Color
Velvet Violet sits opposite to golden yellow on the color spectrum, making this warm, luxurious yellow its complementary partner.
Pair Velvet Violet with metallic gold or warm orange-infused yellow to bring a sense of old-school luxury to packaging or branding.
Velvet Violet’s Analogous Colors
On a color wheel, Velvet Violet is nestled between purple and violet, which are its true analogous colors. For a palette with more complexity, go one step further and team it with dark blue and rosy pink, which sit on either side of purple and violet.
Velvet Violet’s Triadic Colors
Sitting across from Velvet Violet in a triangular formation on the color wheel is green and orange. Try a deep golden yellow-orange to bring warmth to a scheme, and team with rich forest green or emerald for a balanced palette.
The Meaning and Psychology of Velvet Violet
Purple holds an ambiguous position in the world of color. Theoretically, it doesn’t occupy a space on the light spectrum as it’s a mix of two spectral colors—red and blue.
Perhaps the color’s scientifically elusive nature partly explains its historical associations with ambiguitymystery, and magic. Long linked to royalty and luxury, purple’s first connections with aristocracy were established through the use of Tyrian purple, a rare and expensive dye sourced from mollusks as early as the 15th century BC.
Roman magistrates first adopted the color, and it was later used to color ceremonial costumes worn by Byzantine emperors and Catholic bishops. In the centuries that followed, purple solidified its cultural place as a color of nobility and ceremony.
Image via Suzanne Tucker.
Purple has also found a home with those who have experienced social marginalization. It’s often used in association with the LGBTQ+ community, and is the symbolic color of Spirit Day, an annual event that raises awareness about bullying experienced by LGBTQ+ youth.
Psychologically, purple is the most complex and enigmatic of all colors. It’s said to provoke feelings of nostalgia and contemplation, and is also considered the most intellectual of all colors, symbolic of wisdom and spirituality.
While pale purples are associated with femininity, frivolity, and flamboyance, dark purples can provoke completely contrasting feelings of sadness and lethargy.
Violet, which has a heavier balance of blue compared to purple’s red undertones, holds a clearer position than purple both scientifically and culturally. On the visible spectrum, violet appears between blue and invisible ultraviolet, and is one of the seven colors identified by Isaac Newton when he divided the spectrum of visible light in the 17th century.
With its higher level of blue, violet is a cooler tone than purple, but its red undertones gives it an aspect of vibrancy and energy. Violet is symbolic of wisdom and sensitivity and, as a result, is often used in association with humanitarian or charitable causes and companies.
Image via Marie C Fields.
Velvet Violet, which occupies a middle ground between purple and violet, combines aspects of both hues. Embodying purple’s mystery and regality, it nonetheless sheds purple’s lethargy with its vibrant violet undertones.
If you’re looking for a color that has depth and magnetism, Velvet Violet will bring both to your design projects and marketing campaigns.
Image via Delbars.
How to Design with Velvet Violet
Velvet Violet is a versatile and enigmatic color that doesn’t have any steadfast associations with particular genders, industries, or age groups. It can make designs feel more immersive and captivating, and its dark tone makes it adaptable for pairing with much brighter and vivid hues, such as neons or metallics.
Give packaging or brand designs a luxurious look by teaming Velvet Violet with metallic swatches, such as gold, silver, or platinum. Department store Liberty London has used a variation of Velvet Violet paired with metallic pale gold to give its packaging a timeless and high-end feel for decades.
Iconic department store Liberty London uses a combination of violet-purple and a complementary pale gold hue to up the luxury factor of its products. The color combination was preserved by design agency Pentagram for their recent refresh of the Liberty brand identity.
In interior design, Velvet Violet makes for an unusual, but versatile, color choice. If you want to use the tone in a subtle way, team violet bedding or artwork with deep dove gray for a sophisticated and calming result.
On walls, this deep jewel hue gives an enveloping effect, making it perfect for cozier spaces such as bedrooms and home offices.
Bring out Velvet Violet’s subdued, sophisticated quality by teaming it with deep gray or moss green in interior schemes. Image via Photographee.eu.
Because of Velvet Violet’s depth, it can be used as a neutral tone when paired with bright, electric colors. Pair with purple’s complementary color, yellow, for a surprisingly versatile scheme. Image via Aquarius Studio.
Velvet Violet offers a unique color foundation for fashion design, and can be used alongside other deep colors such as dark teal or olive green for a sophisticated palette that gives a nod to vintage clothing styles. Or, allow Velvet Violet to act as an alternative to black or navy when teamed with bright or neon tones, or orange or yellow.
Images via FashionStock.com and andersphoto.
Velvet Violet: 10 Color Palettes to Inspire
Velvet Violet can be teamed with a wide range of colors, from luxurious metallics to electric neons, to create complex, mesmerizing palettes for print designs, web projects, and marketing campaigns.
Scroll down to discover ten on-trend and versatile Velvet Violet palettes, and save your favorites to a Pinterest board or your computer.
1. Regal Figs
This rich, ruby-tinted palette makes the most of Velvet Violet’s depth. This is a cozy, luxurious scheme that would work beautifully for interior design.
Image via Elvira Gal.
2. Velvet Dusk
Team Velvet Violet with sunset-hued pastels to create a soothing scheme that gives a lighter, airier feel to this dark purple color.
Image via Olga.Reshetnyak.
Inspired by the ethereal neon hues of the Northern Lights, this scheme teams Velvet Violet with inky midnight blue, lilac, and neon green for an electric palette with a soothing soul. Try this contrasting scheme on websites and apps to make the most of the bold neon.
Image via Daniel Schreiber.
4. Lake House
Take a weekend break with this enigmatic palette inspired by the otherworldly hues achieved through infrared photography. In this scheme, Velvet Violet teams with pastel blue, blue-violet, and pastel lavender for a calm, cool-hued result.
Image via SSokolov.
5. Violet Lily
Yellow is purple’s complementary color companion, so this scheme—which combines neon yellow and golden yellow—is effortlessly attractive. Try this complementary scheme on brand designs, logos, or web banners for instant style.
Image via moomsabuy.
6. Purple Peacock
Iridescent feathers inspired this neon palette, which has a distinctly nocturnal mood. Balancing cool neon turquoise with neon pink, Velvet Violet and rich dark plum create a contrasting undertone.
Image via Bachkova Natalia.
7. Artichoke Heart
Here, dark sage green is combined with dusky lavender and navy blue, making Velvet Violet a sophisticated accent color. This more subdued palette would work for interiors or lifestyle branding.
Image via Nanna_Kirkegaard.
8. Light Show
Light up your social media templates or print designs with this bold, contemporary palette that combines Velvet Violet with tangerine orange and dark blue. With its contrasting clear-cut hues, this is a good palette choice for brand identities and logos that need to be highly visible.
Image via solarseven.
9. Park Walk
Fall isn’t only restricted to a palette of burnt reds and oranges. In this autumnal-themed scheme, Velvet Violet and pale mauve are unexpected but natural companions to rusty hues.
Image via Lauren Proctor.
10. Teal Reflections
Green-tinted teals work wonderfully alongside berry and purple colors, and make for an unusual palette that can be used for a wide range of projects—poster designs, website layouts—you name it.
Image via Golubovy.
Want to discover more beautiful colors to use in your designs? You can find a whole spectrum of these beauties with our new color tool that helps to bring your web and print projects to life.
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Cover image via moomsabuy.
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