Periwinkle Color: Meanings, Shades, and Color Codes

Is it periwinkle blue? Indigo? Or purple? In today’s article, you’ll learn everything about the periwinkle color, from the history and meaning of periwinkle to different shades and similar colors. And, of course, we can’t miss the colors that go with periwinkle.

What Color is Periwinkle?

Periwinkle is a light shade of indigo that is located between blue and purple on the color wheel. It can be described as a pale purplish blue, as it is derived from the indigo color family.

In addition, the color periwinkle is also known as light blue violet or lavender blue. However, it looks similar to tropical violet.

In the Munsell color system, periwinkle is a pastel purple-blue or a tint of purple-blue.

Periwinkle color codes

Is Periwinkle Blue or Purple?

Periwinkle is a pale shade of blue with an underlying purple note. In short, periwinkle is a light purplish blue. 

The color from which periwinkle is derived is indigo, a purplish dark blue.

Periwinkle is also known as lavender blue, and their hex codes are similar, if not the same.

Is Periwinkle a Blue Violet?

Yes, periwinkle can be considered a blue-violet since it is a pale variation of indigo, which lies between blue and violet on the visible color spectrum. 

In addition, indigo (dark purplish blue) is one of the seven spectral colors.

Is Periwinkle Warm or Cool?

Periwinkle is usually a cool color because it is a pale shade of indigo or purplish-blue. 

Indigo is a dark purplish blue, lying between blue and violet on the visible spectrum. Furthermore, indigo is a cool color.

Periwinkle Hex Codes

Light and dark periwinkle color

The Periwinkle hex code is #CCCCFF. This color is a mixture of blue and purple and falls between the two on the color wheel. In contrast to lavender, this color leans more toward the blue side.

Periwinkle Color Meaning

Despite its short history as a color, the meaning of periwinkle is somewhat complex. 

This is because the color is closely linked to the periwinkle flower, which has a long history.

Meaning of Periwinkle

Periwinkle color meaning

Periwinkle represents peace, calm, and serenity. In addition, periwinkle is the color of friendship and speaks of memories, love, and womanhood.

In addition, this color falls between blue and purple on the color wheel. So it incorporates the attributes of both these colors, combining the wisdom and compassion of purple with the peace and relaxation of blue.

As a pale purple, periwinkle means devotion, justice, and impartiality.

On the other hand, as a pale blue-purple, this color can be associated with dignity, independence, peace, and devotion.

A Brief History of the Periwinkle Color

violet periwinkle flowers

The periwinkle color was mentioned only at the beginning of the 20th century. The name periwinkle comes from the Old English word “perwince,” derived from “pervinca,” the Late Latin word for the periwinkle plant.

In the 12th century, the plant name was found in Middle English as “parvink,” derived from the Old English word “perwince.” However, this word has its origins in Latin.

In Latin, this term is derived from “pervincire,” which means “to bind” or “to entwine.” More precisely, “per” means “thoroughly,” while “vincinre” means “to bind or fetter.” Therefore, it can be translated as “thoroughly bound.” [1]

So the name periwinkle is thought to come from the flower known as common periwinkle (Vinca minor). This is an evergreen plant with beautiful bluish-purple flowers.

Since 1520, the word has been given another association. Thus, “periwinkle” is thought to come from the Old English “pinewincle” and was associated with a group of edible snails (of the gastropod family) native to the northeast Atlantic Ocean.

It was actually a cultural variation on the Old English “pinewincle.” The term is composed of “pine” (which in Latin means “needle”) and “wincel,” which means “spiral shell.”

This association probably comes from the fact that people ate these snails long ago, removing their edible bodies from the shell using a “pin” or a sharp object.

Thus, this term comes more from the periwinkle flowers.

So periwinkle has always been a plant whose lovely flowers led to the creation of this color. This plant is native to Europe. Interestingly, the plant is poisonous and was known in the past as the ‘flower of death.’ This is because it was not used for noble purposes.

In Europe, these flowers were placed as garlands on the heads of those sentenced to death.

In Italy, periwinkle flowers were used to make wreaths for the graves of dead children. In the USA, these flowers were planted in cemeteries.

In Europe, these flowers symbolize fidelity and are often used in wedding bouquets.

Throughout history, this purplish blue has been used in many artworks. These include Old Oaks in Surrey (1890) by Jan Toorop and Portrait of Madame Monet (1874) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. 

Even Pantone has an exciting color called “Very Peri,” designated as the color of the year 2022. It’s a more intense shade of periwinkle blue.

The very peri hex code is #6667AB. Its Pantone color code is 17-3938.

Understanding the Color Theory


RGB is an additive color model that deals with light. This color model is used in digital design. The primary colors of RGB are red, green, and blue.

The combination of two primary colors of RGB creates the secondary colors cyan, magenta, and yellow. These are actually the subtractive primary colors.

Mixing a primary with a secondary color creates a tertiary color. Tertiary colors in the RGB space are orange, chartreuse, spring, azure, violet, and rose.

Violet is a bluish-purple tertiary color combining blue and magenta in the RGB space. The violet hex code is #7F00FF.

In addition, violet is one of the primary colors of the visible spectrum.


Is periwinkle blue or purple?

RYB is the traditional color model used in art. This is a subtractive color model that deals with lights.

The primary colors of the traditional color space (RYB) are red, yellow, and blue. 

Mixing two of these together creates a secondary color. 

The secondary colors of the RYB color space are orange, purple, and green. 

Mixing a primary with its adjacent secondary color gives you an intermediate color. 

Intermediate colors are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-purple (or blue-violet), blue-green, and yellow-green. They are also known as amber, vermillion, magenta, violet, teal, and chartreuse.

For example, violet is created by combining the primary color blue with the adjacent secondary color purple. This is an intermediate color in the RYB color space.

So, periwinkle is a shade of blue-violet (or blue-purple) and can be considered a tint of the intermediate color blue-purple.


CMYK is a subtractive color space used in the printing industry. Its primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. In printing, black is used to add blackness. Mixing two primary colors results in a secondary color. The secondary colors are actually the additive primary colors: red, green, and blue.

By blending a primary with a secondary color in CMYK, you get a tertiary color, just like in RGB. For example, mixing the primary color magenta with the secondary color blue, produces violet. 

In the CMYK color space, periwinkle sits between violet and blue on the CMYK color wheel. According to its CMYK value, periwinkle is a mixture of cyan and magenta at 20% each. Thus, its CMYK value is 20, 20, 0, 0. 

In CMYK, lower values represent lighter colors. When all CMYK values are 0, it means the absence of pigment.

Periwinkle Colors and Shades

Periwinkle colors

Periwinkle is a paler shade of tropical indigo. It can also be considered a light version of powder blue or slate blue.


Hex: #C2C2FF

Light Powder Blue

Light Tropical Indigo
Hex: #9999FF

Medium Tropical Indigo
Hex: #8585FF

Medium Slate Blue
Hex: #7070FF

True Periwinkle

Periwinkle also has a bolder shade called ‘true periwinkle,’ similar to the flower of the same name.

True Periwinkle
Hex: #8E82FE

Dark Periwinkle

There’s also a dark periwinkle if you’re looking for a darker shade.

Dark periwinkle is a bright blue-violet shade that leans more towards violet. It can also be considered a pale version of indigo. The dark periwinkle hex code is #665FD1.

Dark Periwinkle
Hex: #665FD1

Lavender Web

However, periwinkle can also be lighter. For example, two periwinkle hex codes are even lighter: #D6D6FF and #D6D6FF. The last one is known as lavender web.

Lavender web with hex code #D6D6FF is a mixture of lavender and periwinkle.

Lavender Web
Hex: #D6D6FF

Periwinkle Blue

Periwinkle blue is a light violet-blue color but is more vibrant than periwinkle, which is a very pale purplish-blue. The periwinkle blue hex code is #8F99FB.

Periwinkle Blue
Hex: #8F99FB

Light Periwinkle

Light periwinkle with the hex code #C1C6FC is a very pale version of indigo. This color evokes neutralness and softness.

Light Periwinkle
Hex: #C1C6FC

Periwinkle vs. Lavender

When it comes to lavender vs. periwinkle, the difference is that lavender is a pale purple tinged with blue, while periwinkle is a pale purplish blue. So, while lavender contains more purple, periwinkle leans more towards blue.

However, there are also similar shades, for example, lavender blue and periwinkle.


Hex: #E6E6FA

What Colors Make Periwinkle

Now you know that periwinkle is a pale shade of the tertiary color blue-purple. But what colors make periwinkle? 

To make periwinkle paint color, mix three parts ultramarine blue (blue paint) with one part crimson lake (red paint) to make a dark purplish blue base. Then add titanium white until you reach the desired shade. The result will be a beautiful periwinkle color.

what colors make periwinkle

Alternatively, you can create a pink base by mixing red and white paint. Then add blue or violet until you reach the desired periwinkle shade. Or you can mix five-part magenta with six-part cyan – this subtractive mixture results in a grayish periwinkle.

Thus, periwinkle can also result from a mix of blue and purple. However, the factors influencing the final color are the colors’ biases. 

Specifically, each color is biased, leaning more or less towards another hue. For example, a mixture of blue and purple can make periwinkle, lavender, lilac, or even indigo.

Colors That Go with Periwinkle

Green is one of the colors that go with periwinkle (very peri)
Green and neutrals are colors that go with Periwinkle (Very peri)

Colors that go with periwinkle include pastel shades of yellow, orange, and green. These bolder colors go perfectly with the softness of periwinkle.

It also goes well with muted shades of blue and purple for a softer and feminine color scheme.

To achieve color harmony, you can combine periwinkles in a complementary, analogous, monochromatic, triadic, or tetradic color palette.

Have you ever wondered what complementary colors are? Those colors on the opposite side of the color wheel are considered complementary.

The complementary color to periwinkle is a light yellow-green version with the hex code #FFFFC2. It looks like a more vivid cream.

Periwinkle Complementary Colors

While shades of purple complement yellows, blue-violet shades (including periwinkle) match yellow-orange colors.

Periwinkle and Cream


Hex: #FFFFC2

True Periwinkle and Lemon Chiffon

True Periwinkle
Hex: #C1C6FC

Lemon Chiffon
Hex: #FCF7C1

Very Pery and Flax Yellow

Very Peri
Hex: #8F99FB

Flax Yellow
Hex: #FBF18F

Dark Periwinkle and Citron

Dark Periwinkle
Hex: #665FD1

Hex: #CAD15F

Monochromatic Scheme

Periwinkle pairs well with tropical indigo in a monochromatic color palette.


Tropical Indigo
Hex: #8F8FFF

Triadic Scheme

Periwinkle works well with pastel shades of lavender and sky blue in a triadic color palette. For example, it goes well with lighter versions of mauve and uranian blue.


Hex: #E1C2FF

Uranian Blue
Hex: #C2E1FF

Very Peri goes well with light sky blue (#8FCFFB) and floral lavender (#BB8FFB).


What does the color periwinkle look like?

Periwinkle is a shade of blue-purple. It has a light and muted tone. It’s often described as a mix between lavender and blue. It’s a calming and serene color. It’s named after the periwinkle flower, which has a similar color.

Lavender vs Periwinkle

Periwinkle is more blue than lavender, which is more of a light purple. However, both are muted, pastel tones and are named after the plant of the same name.

What are the Colors Similar to Periwinkle?

Some colors that are similar to periwinkle include lavender, powder blue, tropical indigo, and sky blue. These colors all have a similar calming effect.

Last Words

Periwinkle is a very light shade of purplish blue. More specifically, a pale blue with purple undertones. This colour is known as lavender blue. Its hex code is #CCCCFF. However, it is part of the tertiary blue-purple, or blue-violet, colour family.

When it comes to color meanings, periwinkle is a delicate color associated with calm and serenity. At the same time, periwinkle is associated with memories and friendship. Furthermore, as a cold color, it brings to mind cold, ice, and winter.

On the other hand, like violet, it can be perceived as immature and childish.

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