How to match a color with purple

Updated February 21, 2017

The colour purple was once a royal colour, not allowed to be worn by the peasantry. Because purple is a secondary colour, formed from the two primary colours of red and blue (or, more accurately, the pigments red and blue), it comes in a variety of shades that most people call purple. This leads to purples that are more red or more blue. Matching purple (and its many shades) depends mostly on determining which end of the colour range your shade of purple falls.

Identify your purple. Decide if it is a true, balanced purple or if it has more reddish or bluish undertones.

Match the purple with its undertones. A reddish purple matches with true red while a bluish purple matches with blue. If your purple is more toward a lilac or lavender, it matches with many paler shades of blue. Likewise, if it tends toward fuchsia, try it with pink. Most purples typically match with grey or black.

Contrast your purple by matching it with its colour wheel opposite of yellow. This is a popular pairing that tends to be very bright. For this, typically true (or balanced) purple is commonly used.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author