What’s the Difference Between Violet and Indigo?

Violet and indigo are closely related colors on the spectrum, yet not identical. Their differences are subtle, which may cause confusion if unfamiliar with color theory. Both hues fall between red and blue on the spectrum.

Isaac Newton famously identified violet as one of his colors when he divided visible light with a prism in 1672. Although violet can be seen under natural lighting conditions, purple cannot and thus should not be considered pure when painting.

Violet and indigo differ by having different mixtures of red and blue pigment, while indigo is created using equal parts blue and red hues. Both wavelengths fall into the blue-purple range; however, violet has a greater ratio of red-to-blue pigmentation making it more vibrant than its indigo counterpart.

Indigo and violet colors differ due to context and culture; while indigo symbolizes spirituality and meditation, violet has more playful associations. Both colors can be found used widely across fashion and design; your choice will depend on which shade best matches your desired aesthetic effect.

What’s the difference between violet and indigo? Indigo is a color found between blue and violet on the spectrum, providing an intermediate point between these primary hues that is sometimes confused with either violet or blue. But contrary to popular belief, indigo is closer to blue than violet due to being created through mixing blue and red primary colors with an equal mixture ratio (3 parts blue to 1 part red). This produces an inky shade with distinct violet undertones.

Pantone describes indigo as being “deep and rich with an undertone of violet”, while Farrow and Ball describes it as being “blue with violet red undertones”. Due to this discrepancy it can be difficult to differentiate between indigo and violet without looking at a color wheel.

People often argue that indigo should not be classified as its own color; it should rather fall within either violet or blue categories instead. But this distinction is only determined by convention; no definitive answers exist regarding what makes indigo different from violet and blue shades, given all of which could potentially qualify.

Indigo is an exhilarating hue that brings energy and life to any space. Perfect for living rooms or bedrooms alike, its vibrant yet soothing shade works beautifully in neutral or warm-tone settings; plus its hint of red can create a cozy and welcoming bedroom atmosphere paired with wood furniture or earthy tones. Indigo can even be used fashionably for creating sophisticated looks that exude elegance and sophistication.

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