Indigo Colour and Its Place in the Rainbow


ROYGBIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) is an excellent acronym that helps you remember the colours in the rainbow. Without its use, certain shades are forgotten. More time often than not, it is indigo: a colour that is not quite blue and not quite purple. In today’s blog, we’ll talk about this penultimate arc on the rainbow and its place in the colour spectrum

What Is Indigo?

Coming from the Latin for Indian, this colour has a blue-ish purple hue. Named not because of the shade but because of the dye, the colour was exported originally from India. The dye is created naturally. By crushing the leaves of the indigofera plant, the colour is then fermented in water. Mixing these leaves with lye is the next step in the process. Then, pressing the leaves into cakes, drying, and finally powdering.

Isaac Newton named the hue as one of the prismatic colours of light and it still has a place in the optical spectrum today. However, modern day research has gathered that what Newton thought of as blue was a more aqua colour. It is believed that they colour he called indigo is what we might describe as blue. 

Different Tones

Distinguishing between different shades is often a difficult task especially between blue, indigo, and violet. What’s more, there are five major tones of this illusive colour:

In Nature and Culture

Naturally, the colour presents in: 

Appears in fashion and videogames:

Spiritually, the colour is positioned between blue and violet on the spectrum:

Its Place in the Rainbow

Today, many colour theorist argue that indigo should be removed from the rainbow. Like mentioned earlier, distinguishing between blue, violet, and indigo is rather difficult for the human eye. In fact, Newton only had seven colours in his spectrum because he thought the number had cosmic significance. Also, sticking to the belief that you needed seven colours in order from them to combine and create white. 

Regardless, of its place in the rainbow, one can’t deny the culture importance of indigo. Naturally occurring in nature and being the iconic colour of dark wash jeans it has played an important role in our cultural zeitgeist. This colour is mysterious, serious, elegant, and globally appealing. 

About the Author

Lydia B.

Lydia B.

Lydia B. is a Marketing Coordinator and Music Club Coach for Gooroo, a tutoring membership that matches students to tutors perfect for them based on their unique learning needs. Gooroo offers Math, English, SAT, Coding, Spanish tutoring, and more.