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29 Different Shades of Purple

Today we are talking PURPLE! Shades of purple names, CMYK colors and even some fun paint examples of different purple shades. Picking the right purple color is super important so this post is for my purple pals!

Fun Making Shades of Purple With Paint Video!

How To Make Purple

Here is an overview of how to make purple from different combinations of red and blue, but if you want more, I have a whole post about How To Make Purple!

I am going to show the CMYK shades of purple colors. CMYK is a designers way of saying how much Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K) is in a color!

Cyan is a little lighter-brighter blue than what we sometimes think of blue, Magenta is a pinky-red, Yellow is yellow and Black is black.

The CMYK colors of “Royal Purple” which is what I think of as “true purple” are 70 Cyan and 100 Magenta. So as will see in the video, how I mix paint with this is to use a blob of magenta (red) and then 3/4-ish as much of cyan (blue).

Royal Purple CMYK

So here is the thing. Pantone is the Queen of Color so if you want to find EXACT colors for a brand or printing a 10,000 piece mailing, I would for sure check with them. After that, just know that there are no real color “rules”.

Your periwinkle may be a little more blue than my idea of periwinkle. I am making this post as a reference for me so I can know what kinds of purple there are!

Red Purples Versus Blue Purples

Doing the research on this article I found some amazing differences in shades of purple! They really fall into two camps…

Red Purples that are more of a warm tone like burgundy or dubonnet.

Blue Purples are cooler in tone like aubergine or lavender.

The nice thing about being an artist is that I can start with a color I like (I am a cool tone purple person) and then add in a little more red for depth!

29 Different Shades of Purple


Amethyst's color comes from the gemstones of the same name. It is a kind of lighter purple and is one of the classic jewel tones.

Amethyst Stones In A Bowl

Amethyst CMYK Color C 44, M 73, Y 0, K 0 (so a blob of red and then about 2/3 as much blue)


Aubergine is one of my very favorite colors! It is based on the dark purple color of Aubergine eggplants.

Aubergine colored eggplants

Aubergine CMYK C 78, M 94, Y 30, K 19


Burgundy is a reddish purple color based on the wine from the Burgundy region of France! Burgundy is a much more red saturated version of purple than say a magenta.

Burgundy Wine Color

Burgundy CMYK C 0, M 100, Y 75, K 50

Burgundy CMYK Color


Claret is another ones of the wine colored purples. I have to say that my idea of burgundy was closer to claret than the red-red burgundy.

Claret CMYK C 41, M 99, Y 55, K 45


Interesting fact! There have been two cars with the color Dubonnet… a Ford and Chevy! This is Ford Dubonnet designed by the winemaker of the same name in the 1930s… crazy cool! Colors are so darn fun!

Ford Dubonnet Circa 1936 (source

Dubonnet CMYK


Fig is such an awesome deep purple color… it is almost heading into tones of brown but keeps just to this side of it! It is based on the skin of fruits of the same name.

Fig Purple Colour

Fig CMYK C 59, M 74, Y 52, K 45

Fig CMYK Color


Seeing as so many of the purple colors are based on wine varieties, it is no wonder that grape is a purple color! That said, I feel like the “Official Grape Color” is that of the artificial kind, no bother, it is for sure purple!

Grape Purple Color

Grape CMYK C 71, M 91, Y 0, K 0

Grape CMYK Color


Heather is the very palest of the blue purples! For sure you would need to add a bunch of white to this to make this tint of purple.

Heather CMYK C 27, M 19, Y 6, K 0


Okay, there appears to be a bit of a controversy around heliotrope. The color I am showing you is a “purply plum” color that Pantone calls heliotrope. That said, a lot of the web colors for this are much more on the lines of a pink.

Heliotrope CMYK C 75, M 82, Y 25, K 10

Indigo Violet

I am surprised how much red is in indigo violet based on indigo die being so dark and blue. Indigo purple is for a true purply looking purple!

Indigo purple color

Indigo CMYK C 86, M 100, Y 10 yellow and K 7

Indigo Purple Color CMYK


Lavender is AWESOME! The smell, the beauty and I use it a lot in my essential oils blends… but honestly, it is a gorgeous purple color too! Like heather, this one will need white to get it to the right light tint of purple.

Lavender purple color

Lavender CMYK C 51, M 67, Y 0, K 0

Lavender CMYK Color


Lilac is a super soft, spring color! Definitely you will need to tint this one with white to get that dreamy, light purple color.

Lilac CMYK C 20, M 39, Y 1, K 0

Lilac CMYK Color


Yes, Magenta is one of the “main” colors in CMYK so you would think that it would be 100% Magenta to make it, but nope! As with all colors it is a little deeper and richer with other a hint of blue and yellow thrown in!

Magenta CMYK C 27, M 96, Y 12, K 0


Mauve is very cool dark purple color. It has NO red in it at all so it gets all its color from blue, yellow and black.

Mauve CMYK C 0, M 35, Y 22, K 40

Mauve CMYK Color


Mulberry the color is named after the berry. In berry form it is uper dark and almost black, but as you can see here, when it is in liquid form it is deep, cool purple color.

Mulberry purple color

Mulberry CMYK C 37, M 99, Y 64, K 49


Orchid is a really pretty, pink based purple color based on the flower by the same name! That said as a color it is a little bit all over. I went with the Pantone color of the year for 2014, Radiant Orchid. Some of the other orchid colors are a bit more pink!

Orchid purple color

Orchid CMYK C 32, M 73, Y 1, K 0

Orchid Purple Color CMYK


Another flower purple here! Pansy is a super cute color in the cool end of the purple spectrum.

Pandy Purple Color

Pansy CMYK C 45, M 100, Y 44, K 29


This is the lightest purple with just a hint of red and even less blue. It is perfect for spring.

Periwinkle CMYK C 18, M 12, Y 0, K 0


Plum is based on the fruit plum. It is a super nice medium purple cool color.

Plum purple color

Plum CMYK C 64, M 96, Y 30, K 17

Plum CMYK Purple Color


Puce is a super muddy pinky-purple color. It is on the cool side.

Puce CMYK C 26, M 51, Y 33, K 1

Puce CMYK Purple Color


This is one of the brightest, most colorful psychedelic purple colors so far! It is a pinky, purple color.

Red-Violet CMYK C 25, M 94, Y 0, K 0

Red Violet CMYK Color

Royal Purple

Royal Purple is the color of royalty. It was only affordable for royalty because of the cost of the purple dye to make such a deep purple color in the ancient world.

Royal Purple Dog

Royal Purple CMYK C 70, M 100, Y 0, K 0

Royal Purple CMYK


Thistle is a wild plant, and I think the thistle color is based on the inside of the flower.

Thistle Purple Color

Thistle CMYK C13, M 26, Y 2, K 0

Thistle CMYK Color

Tyrian Purple

This is one of the only super cool, reddish purple also know as Phoenician red. It is a beautiful color that is very vibrant and strong and is made from natural dye.

Tyrian Purple CMYK C 47, M 100, Y 46, K 42

Tyrian Purple CMYK Color


I LOVE this color of purple. It is a deep, dusty purple color that is way over on the cool side of things.

Veronica CMYK C 65, M 65, Y 18, K 2


Violets are super pretty in the wild and the CMYK color is super bright and friendly! It is a super electric purple pinkish color.

Violet Purple Color

Violet CMYK C 53, M 89, Y 0, K 0

Violet CMYK Color


Wine is a reddish purple color! I don't know about you but all this wine talk has made me kind of thirsty.

Wine CMYK C 38, M 100, Y 48, K28


Wisteria is another one of those super soft pale purple colors. It is super similar in color composition to lilac.

Wisteria Purple Color

Wisteria CMYK C 22, M 39, Y 0, K 0

Shade of Purple Wrapup

It has been super fun to write this post! I did not know how many shades of purple were based on wine and flowers, honestly, purple is such a pretty color!