Purple Vs Indigo

Purple Vs Indigo: Understanding the Key Differences

The color spectrum is a fascinating and complex aspect of our world that has intrigued humans for centuries. While many people focus on the primary colors like red, yellow, and blue, lesser-known colors such as purple and indigo have their fair share of followers too. These two shades have many similarities, and yet, they are distinct in their ways. This article will shed some light on the key differences between purple and indigo.

What is Purple?

Purple is a secondary color that lies between red and blue on the color wheel. It is created by mixing equal parts of red and blue colors. Purple is a versatile color that can evoke different meanings depending on the context. In ancient Rome, royalty and nobility were identified by purple robes, symbolizing wealth and power. The color purple is also associated with spirituality, creativity, and luxury.

In the world of psychology, purple is considered a soothing color that helps to calm the mind and is therefore uniquely suitable for meditation spaces, bedrooms, and living rooms. From a cultural perspective, purple has been used in different ways by different groups. For example, in the United States, purple is the color of pancreatic cancer awareness, while in Thailand, it is a symbol of mourning.

There are different shades of purple, from the lightest lavender to the darkest shade known as deep purple. Each variation has a unique meaning and effect on human emotions.

What is Indigo?

Indigo, on the other hand, is a tertiary color that lies between blue and violet on the color wheel. It is created by mixing blue and purple together. The color indigo has a rich history rooted in the world’s ancient civilizations, where it was used in textiles and dyeing fabrics.

Indigo is a dark color and has a calming effect, making it an excellent choice for bedrooms, living rooms, and meditation spaces, just like purple. Indigo is also associated with wisdom, integrity, and discipline. Different cultures have various meanings associated with the color indigo. For example, the Hindu religion associates indigo with the Ajna chakra, also known as the third eye chakra.

Indigo is a popular color for fashion, particularly in denim. Many people associate denim with the color blue, but denim’s natural color is indigo. It is also used in branding, such as the FedEx logo, where the purple and orange colors complement the indigo used in the company’s nameplate.

Key Differences Between Purple Vs Indigo

Although purple and indigo are often used interchangeably, these two colors are unique in their ways.

1. Hue and Saturation

The primary difference between purple and indigo is their hue and saturation. Purple is a reddish-blue color, whereas indigo is a bluish-violet color. In simpler terms, purple looks reddish, and indigo appears more bluish.

In terms of saturation, purple is a brighter and livelier color, while indigo is duller and darker.

2. Cultural and Historical Significance

Both purple and indigo have significant cultural and historical importance. Purple has historically been associated with royalty, power, and creativity. In contrast, indigo is a color that has more diverse cultural and historical significance. In Hinduism, indigo is associated with the Ajna chakra, while in the West, it is closely connected to denim fabric.

3. Symbolism and Emotions

While both purple and indigo have a calming effect, purple is often viewed as a more feminine color, while indigo is associated with masculinity. Purple conveys a sense of luxury, creativity, and spirituality, while indigo represents wisdom, integrity, and discipline.

4. Interchangeability

One of the key differences between purple and indigo is their interchangeability. Purple is often used as a catch-all color term that can represent a wide range of colors from lilac to violet. In contrast, indigo is well-defined as a color term, and its distinct shade is not easily replaceable.


In conclusion, purple and indigo are two unique colors that have significant cultural, historical, and emotional significance. While they share some similarities, the differences between the two colors are crucial. These differences extend from their hue and cultural significance to their symbolism and interchangeability. By understanding and appreciating the nuances of these colors, you will be able to make informed decisions when crafting your designs or selecting colors for your personal preferences.

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