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Creative and Independent Purple

Purple has a history of being a complex color with many different meanings. Combining the calming effects of blue and the intensity of red, it conjures various feelings from the viewer. Creative, mysterious, and regal, purple is a dynamic color for your commercial and interior design choices. 

Color Meaning and Symbolism 

Purple is the color of wealth, royalty, and luxury and a color that symbolizes bravery and independence. It is known to foster creativity, promote focus and introspection, and have a calming effect. However, like all colors, purple carries some negative meanings as well. In some cases, it represents sadness, particularly in European cultures, where it is sometimes connected to mourning. Purple can also be considered arrogant, emotional, and childish, particularly when used excessively. 

Photo credit: Kristen Julianna Photography


Purple has a long connection to the upper class and royalty because its dye was first made from sea snails in the Mediterranean. Since it took so many snails to produce even a small amount of dye, the color became extremely valuable and only accessible to members of the upper class who could afford it. In some societies, wearing the color was even protected by law. The elite didn’t want to see commoners in their exclusive and expensive color. However, that all changed in 1856 when chemist William Henry Perkins accidentally developed the first synthetic dye, a beautiful shade of purple, later named mauve. From there, it took off around the globe.

Purple has often been associated with change throughout history and was the color of many movements, most famously the Women’s Suffrage Movement. In popular culture, it has made many appearances as well. It has made its way into many famous songs, including Purple Rain by Prince, who famously wore the color frequently. The color has also been a staple for many well-known movie characters, including Ursula from Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Willy Wonka from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, to name a few. 

Designing with Purple 

In commercial design, purple adds a feeling of luxury to your spaces. Often used in high-end restaurants, spas, and nightclubs, deep shades can feel exclusive due to their roots with elite classes. It is also a sophisticated choice in creative workspaces, encouraging employees to think in unique and innovative ways. Since it has warm and cool tones and various shades, this color can be easily paired with other colors, making purple a versatile color choice for any space.  

Is this a color you have used in any of your commercial projects? Tag us on Instagram with your favorite projects! We love working with color and seeing how you use it. 

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Emma Becker

Emma Becker is a teaching artist and arts administrator working in the state of Rhode Island. She believes art, creativity, and self-expression are essential parts of education. The daughter of a weaver, she grew up surrounded by textiles and developed a deep respect for textiles and their makers.


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