As with the other colors on the color wheel, the three pure colors from the violet spectrum have their own traits and personalities. This small color range has more than its share of interesting history (more later this week). In general, the name violet can refer to both the color violet and the violet spectrum, which includes blue-violet (#12), violet (#13), and red-violet (#14). Looking at these three colors, they have a similar tale as Goldilocks and the three bears: one color appears cool (blue-violet), one color appears warm (red-violet), and one color appears neither warm nor cool, but fairly neutral in temperature, relatively speaking.
Here are a few fun facts about these violet colors:
1. Historically, all of these violet colors were exorbitantly expensive and difficult to process. Consequently these colors were originally reserved solely for kings and other heads of state. As the process became less difficult and expensive, the laws regarding the violet colors became less restricted. In England, for instance, it eventually became legal for the king’s or queen’s spouse, mother, father, aunts, uncles, siblings, and children to wear violet.
2. Later, as the violet pigments became more accessible, religious leaders of high status were allowed to join the royalty in wearing this regal color. Today violet is used in religious ceremonies and events throughout the world.
3. Today violet still exudes a sense of high birth, wealth, power, and importance. You see this color used in advertisements for luxury products, such as high-end cars, expensive jewelry, elegant clothing, etc.
4. Violet exudes a sense of enlightenment and wisdom. The violets that promote this sense will be more in the blue-violet and violet range rather than the warmer red-violet range.
7. Violet is thought to be a spiritual color that promotes meditation. Leonardo de Vinci believed the flowing violet light from a church’s stained-glass window was more conducive to meditation than any other color.
8. Historically, violet has been used as a softer-than-black mourning color.
10. With England’s long-time association of only royalty using violet, it has become a commercial tradition to have many fine chocolates and other specialty eats wrapped in violet paper or cloth.
Today let’s take a closer look at these three unique violet colors.