The Ultimate Guide to Using Pastel Colors for Your Designs

pastel colors

Table of Contents

Color is a powerful communication tool and a universal design language that can significantly impact the visual appeal of the designs and build emotional connections with clients. It is one of the most critical design elements that designers use to communicate the message behind a design on visual and psychological levels.

Colors can influence up to 90% of a viewer’s initial impression. From admiration to amusement, anger, anxiety, calmness, joy, nostalgia, appreciation of beauty, interest, cravings, relief, entrancement to virtually any emotion you can think of, using the right choice of colors in your design can impact your audience’s feelings and emotions and influence them to take your desired action.

Using the right colors in your design can accurately reflect the niche and your overall business marketing strategy. Beyond this, colors can create a design’s balance, harmony, and consistency. Hence, this blog will share exciting information about a distinct color palette – Pastel color palettes – what they are, why they are essential, and how to use them to create robust designs and send the right message to your audience.

What are Pastel Colors?

what are pastel colors
Visme

Pastel colors, also known as “tints,” are a part of a pale family of colors – often softer versions of primary and secondary colors – with high luminance (amount of light) and low saturation (intensity of color) in them.

These colors are created by adding white to the original color. Excellent example of pastel color is pale pink, mint green, peach, periwinkle, and lavender. To create more variations of pastel colors, you could add a certain amount of white to make it paler and softer.

pastel colors palette
InVideo

Using the pastel color wheel above, you can see that the color inside the black circle is lighter, with a white undertone, compared to the pure colors outside the black circle. Pastel color palettes can be created using analogous, complementary, monochromatic color harmonies with an additional luminance to the original colors.

Adding white colors to the bright colors allows you to create many versions of pastel color palettes for the design.

What is a Pastel Color Palette?

pastel colors hex code

A pastel color palette is a sequence or combination of two or more pastel colors that go well together (in sync) to create a harmonious look for your design. Pastel colors have many uses, such as web page design, picture editing, outfit design, home decor, etc.

You can choose from a wide variety of pastel colors for your designs. An excellent way to do this is using Pantone pastel colors, Tumblr, or other available pastel color generators. We have included 25 pastel color palettes that you can choose from with images and their respective hex codes, keep reading to learn more about them.

The Psychology of Pastel Colors

light pastel colors
MarketSplash

Pastel colors are subtle, calm colors that appeal to the eye of the audience and elicit a wide range of emotions, such as love, affection, joy, peace, satisfaction, calmness, romance, etc. These colors have no black or grey added to them. Instead, a certain amount of white is added to the colors to make them pastel.

In as much as adding white create a lighter and softer shade of color, it can also increase the value of the design and change its psychology. Pastel colors are generally considered feminine, delicate, and clean since colors are one of the first things that draw the audience’s attention to a design and influence their perception of the design subject; using soft and calming pastel colors can evoke your audience’s emotion and drive them to take your desired actions.

pretty pastel colors

Pastel colors are bold and soothing colors that have a unique way of tapping into people’s emotions. Although these colors are highly effective and attention-grabbing, you must understand your target audience and the goals you wish to achieve with your visual content before choosing a pastel color for your design.

This is mainly because people’s beliefs, thoughts, and choices are subjective. No two persons are the same; while some of your audience could see pastel colors as calm, beautiful, and attractive, others can perceive them as superficial and cold, with no meaning or attraction.

So to ensure your design appeals to every one of your target audiences, you must consider all the important factors concerning your business and clients.

Functions of Pastel Colors

Here are some of the functions of pastel colors.

1. They are inspirational

pastel colors hex

Pastel colors have a high visual appeal influence, giving them the power to inspire someone or uplift their mood just by looking at the design. Importantly these color palettes also serve as a constant reminder of positive feelings and increase the viewers optimism by looking at the design.

2. They have a calming effect

cute pastel colors

Pastel colors have lower saturation and higher luminance (whiteness) than pure or original colors, which gives them more calming power over the audience. Popular examples of pastel colors are pastel pink, baby blue, peach, lavender, pale yellow, mauve, and mint green. These colors can be used in a wide variety of designs.

Using these colors properly in your designs can create a strong feeling of calmness, cleanliness, and white space, making it easy for your audience to engage with your designs and understand the message clearly.

3. They are versatile

pastel colors clothes

Pastel colors are highly adaptable and can serve different purposes, from graphic design to web design, interior decor, branding and packaging design, campaigns, etc. Although they are sometimes associated with feminism and nurseries, they are also an excellent option for travel/vacation-related designs.

Beyond this, paste colors are a significant part of fashion, makeup, and skincare products. It cuts across various industries and people. Pastel colors allow designers to insert darker, more vibrant colors and elements to create more color accents.

4. They signify spring and vacation

The Victorian period heralded a social trend of the middle European class going on holiday, which also came with pastels. Since then, more people have embraced the culture of using soft colors for their beach and spring wear, among others, instead of the darker colors that are now profoundly associated with winter.

This exact reason/history explains why many business owners and designs choose pastel colors for spring or holiday-related themes, products, or designs.

5. They are simply beautiful

pastel colors hex codes

Aside from all the functions identified above, pastel color’s simple and direct function is its charm and attractiveness. Pastel color schemes can evoke various emotions from the audience and show elegance and a classy feel to product packaging, fashion designs, clothing, or even clean and minimalist looks on digital platforms.

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20 Pastel Color Palettes for 2024

Below are our 20 best pastel color palettes that you can use for your design this 2024.

5 Pastel Pink Combinations

Here are five pastel pink color combinations to inspire you for your designs.

Pastel Pink Combination #1: Herbivore Botanicals’ Pink Clay soap

pastel colors that go together
Herbivore Botanicals

Hex Codes: Pale Violet Red #DA836E | Burly Wood #E7B7A6 | White Smoke #F2F2F2 | Indian Red #CA705F | Burly Wood #DC9787

solid pastel colors

This pastel pink combination used on Herbivore Botanicals’ Pink Clay soap packaging balances the brighter coral hue of the soap. These pastel color combinations add depth and harmony to the design.

Pastel Pink Combination #2: Lee’s Tee’s Pink Chai Tea

warm pastel colors
Chai Tea

Hex Codes: Beige #F2DCD3 | Burly Wood #E7BDB3 | Dim Gray #3B3638 | White Smoke #F9F7F7 | Rosy Brown #C9A4A0

neutral pastel colors

The pale pink color of Lee’s Tee’s Pink Chai Tea packaging is perfect for the part. The color gives a calming and soothing feel which complements what the tea is meant to do – calm and soothe. This pale pastel color scheme is simple and attractive and can instantly influence a potential buyer to choose the product.

Pastel Pink Combination #3: Fresh

pastel colors list

Hex Codes: Violet #F274BC | Indian Red #CC5079 | Rosy Brown #CA9CA9 | White Snoke #F7F7F7 | Light Grey #CDC8CA

pastel colors combination
Canva

This pastel pink color combo by Skincare company, Fresh pairs with brighter shades and pale pink house to create an edgier look that makes the product packaging appear safe and sweet.

Pastel Pink Combination #4: Herbivore Botanicals

bright pastel colors

Hex Codes: Thistle #EED7DB | Tan #D6B7B1 | Rosy Brown #AE8094 | Dim Gray #85506E | Dim Gray #58443E

dark pastel colors

Herbivore Botanicals Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil uses these pastel shades to complement the product’s neutral packaging design and reflect the product’s soft effect on the skin.

Pastel Pink Combination #5: bakery Logo

pastel colors meaning
99Designs

Hex Codes: Plum #EACDD0 | White Smoke #FBF9F9 | Slate Gray #5A5B5B | Dark Sea Green #A3A6A3 | Gray #878384

These pastel palettes combine different variations of pale pinks and grays to create a perfect and attractive logo color for a confectionery business.

5 Pastel Purple Combinations

Here are five pastel purple color combinations to inspire you for your designs.

Purple Combination #1: Esthetics by Heather’s logo

pastel colors names

Hex Codes: Slate Gray #77628E | Dark Slate Blue #594665 | Dark Gray #A891A0 | White Smoke #EAE9E8 | Silver #C6B9C0

spring pastel colors

This pastel palette in Esthetics by Heather’s logo has a soft, calm, and clean look to the design.

Pastel Purple Combination #2: Herbivore Botanicals

solid pastel colors

Hex Codes: Light Steel #E0DCEB | Dark Slate Blue #6B436E | Light Slate Gray #9A83A3 | Slate Gray #737088 | Light Steel Blue #C0ADC5

how to make pastel colors

This pastel color palette uses shades of purple for Herbivore Botanicals Amethyst Exfoliation Body Polish’s main product photo. This color palette instantly screams class and elegance with a touch of clean design.

Pastel Purple Combination #3: DERMOVIA

pastel colors code

Hex Codes: Dark Salmon #E5B163 | Tan #D4B68E | Light Steel Blue #F0EEF4 | Dark Olive Green #563C2D | Light Slate Gray #978EA0

what is pastel colors

High-end Skincare line, Demorvia, in its Product “Lace Your Face” mask, uses varying shades of pastel purple to create a lavender-like color to communicate the calming and soothing experience users get from using the product.

Pastel Purple Combination #4: Cute and Mini logo

pastel colors aesthetic

Hex Codes: Light Steel Blue #BEC7D0 | White Smoke #EEE9EC | Slate Gray #536166 | Light Slate Gray #95999D | Dark Gray #AEABAA

soft pastel colors

This color palette combines pastel blue and pink to create the cute and mini brand logo design. This color combo gives the brand a fresh and modern look.

Pastel Purple Combination #5: Illustration

pastel colors wallpaper

Hex Codes: Beige #F3ECE4 | Thistle #E8CEDB | White #FBFBFB | Light Steel Blue #CCE0DB | Light Steel Blue #B8D1CB

all pastel colors

The overall look of this illustration gives a purple vibe, combining multiple – pink, yellow, and mint pastels to give a calm and soothing look and feel.

5 Pastel Blue Combinations

Here are five pastel blue color combinations to inspire you for your designs.

Pastel Blue Combination #1:

pastel colors background

Hex Codes: Light Steel Blue #B1BECD | Light Steel Blue #C9D1D8 | Light Steep Blue #ECEDED | Slate Gray #717D84 | Light Slate Gray #9CA4A4

pastel colors codes

Bon Mignon uses shades of pale blues and grays to create a soothing palette perfect for a baby nurse at home.

Pastel Blue Combination #2: Baby Cosmo

pastel colors codes

Hex Codes: Pale Violet Red #DC7684 | Burly Wood #E4CA99 | Light Steel Blue #EAF2F4 | Steel Blue #2D7F9D | Light Steel Blue #A4C9D7

fall pastel colors

Baby Cosmo product packaging combines bright hues of blue and pink to create a clean, vibrant, and soothing.

Pastel Blue Combination #3: Kiddie Scoop

pastel colors with hex codes
Canva

Hex Codes: Pale Goldenrod #F1D7BB | Powder Blue #AEDDE0 | White #FBFBFB | Gray #958676 | Dark Sea Green #A1B6B4

Kiddie Scoop combines pale peach, blue, and yellow to complement the brand products and catch customers’ attention.

Pastel Blue Combination #4: SunnyA’s logo

pastel colors background

Hex Codes: Khaki #F0DF93 | Antique White #F9F2D4 | Powder Blue #ABDBE3 | White #FBFBFB | Pale Goldenrod #EDE6B2

show me pastel colors

SunnyA’s logo design uses powder blue and a soft yellow font to complement the saturated colors of the rest of the design.

Pastel Blue Combination #5: Blueberry Bundt

pink pastel colors

Hex Codes: Dark Khaki #B5A25D | Tan #D3C99F | Light Slate Gray #A5B3C0 | Dark Slate Gray #3B3B46 | White #FAFBFA

aesthetic pastel colors

Cuppa Cake Tea’s Blueberry Bundt product packaging pairs brighter shades of yellow, gold, and white with pale blue to create this attractive, upbeat palette that instantly grabs anyone’s attention on the shelves.

5 Pastel Peach Combinations

Here are five pastel peach color combinations to inspire you for your designs.

Pastel Peach Combination #1: Beekman

pastel colors green

Hex Codes: Tan #D0B090 | Cadet Blue #64A49E | Light Steel Blue #DEE1E5 | Dark Slate Gray #3F4848 | Gray #818773

what do pastel colors represent

Beekman Goat Milk Soap’s packaging design pairs white, black, and olive green with pastel peach to create a modern and sophisticated design. It balances pastels with more neutral shades.

Pastel Peach Combination #2: Nora’s ice cream

best pastel colors

Hex Codes: Light Salmon #FCBC7B | Sandy Brown #F6A24E | Tan #E6CFC5 | Saddle Brown #A63D11 | Tan #CBA593

opposite of pastel colors

Nora’s Ice cream packaging uses a brighter pastel orange shade for the background of its product photo. This eye-popping design pairs pastel and a saturated shade to create visual interest in the simple color palette.

Pastel Peach Combination #3: Green in blue

Green in blue

Hex Codes: Chocolate #E97140 | Sandy Brown #ED8E63 | Beige #F6F0ED | Dim Gray #6A6767 | Dark Sea Green #A9B8B2

rainbow pastel colors

This Green In Blue design pairs peaches with darker pastels like dark mint and brighter coral color to create a clean, creative, original design.

Pastel Peach Combination #4: Peach of cake

cool pastel colors

Hex Codes: Light Salmon #FCB293 | Light Pink #FCBCA4 | Bisque #FCDBC4 | Beige #FCF8F5 | old Lace #FCECDC

feria pastel colors

This branding design by Peach of Cake uses different variations of peach shade to create visual interest, contrasting and complementing the brand name.

Pastel Peach Combination #5: Marie Alsleben

pastel colors outfit

Hex Codes: Antique White #FAE1D0 | Antique White #FBE4DC | Dark Salmon #E1B464 | White #FBFAF9 | Pale Goldenrod #EFD4A9

Marie Alsleben’ Wedding planning and design logo pairs peach with gold to create a classy, feminine, and sophisticated look for female-targeted businesses.

10 Application of Pastel Color Palettes

Below are some ways brands can incorporate pastel colors into their product design, branding, packaging design, interior design, and more.

1. For Jewelry Packaging Design

Various jewelry brands use pastel colors palette to create a cool, calm, and clean design that catches the eye. Also, considering that most of these brands are luxury brands, they use pastel tones to complement the brand.

An example of this is the packaging design by popular packaging brand, Tiffanny with pastel teal with blue and green shades to give off the feeling of freshness and luxury.

2. For Home Decor

blue pastel colors
Miniso

Another excellent use of pastel colors is for the brand packaging of home decor. Usually, these products add freshness and calmness to the house with aroma, aesthetics, and many more. An example is the scent diffuser by Miniso, a Japanese brand, which stands for calm vibes, meditative, and a soothing aroma.

The product packaging design’s smooth blend of pale blue and peach instantly gives a relaxing and soothing experience. Importantly, this color also excites the buyers about what the actual diffuser will do to their home.

3. For Chocolate

pastel colors shirts
John Lewis

Chocolates are deeply associated with sweetness and relaxation; hence, it is unsurprising that some brands design their chocolate packaging in pastel colors. Pastel colors mixed with other calm colors can communicate sweetness, freshness, and luxury.

An example is the Pink Champagne Truffles packaging design by Charbonnel et Walker. This design combines soft pink, teal, and white tones to give a cool, calm, yet refreshing look. Also, the type of packaging and pastel color gives off a luxury feel.

4. For Perfumes

muted pastel colors
Calvin Klein

Perfumes are forms of fragrances that appear perfect for many pastel colors. They usually have fresh, fruity, or floral fragrances associated with different feelings, from freshness to calmness. Calvin Klein uses this pale pink and gray blend to create a clean, minimalistic design that reinforces perfumes.

5. For Baby Products

define pastel colors
MEE MEE

Baby products are another popular use of pastel colors. Pastel colors are an excellent choice to communicate babies’ soft and delicate nature, from pale blue, pink, teal, yellow, and so on. Mee Mee’s product packaging combines pastel pink, blue, green, and lavender to reinforce softness.

6. For cosmetics

summer pastel colors
Huda beauty

If you have ever had to use any cosmetics or walked across their section at a store, you would understand the close relationship between cosmetic products and pastel colors. Most makeup brands use a pastel branding scheme with soft, pale pink, and nude shades to create a soft, winning look.

7. For Nature

pastel colors blue

We are surrounded by nature, which is often a beauty to behold. From the soft teal in oceans to pastel baby blue and orange in the sky, fruits, wood, flowers, pebbles, stones, and various species of land, water, and air animals, pastels are evident in many of these.

This also explains why using some forms of nature in graphic design tends to be attention-grabbing and beautiful.

8. For architecture

hex code for pastel colors
Depositphotos

Many architectural building is painted in gorgeous pastel palettes that catch the eye and give a calm and soothing experience. Seeing many parts of the world embrace the warm color palette in their architectural designs is interesting.

9. For Website

pastel colors definition
Designmodo

In the past few years, clean, minimalist designs have been created because they are calm and soothing. Pastel colors are an excellent choice for reducing fatigue and giving website users a calming experience that doesn’t put too much strain on their eyes.

A pastel website is a sight to behold and can directly influence how much time web users spend on a website.

10. For Fashion Designs

nice pastel colors
Creative Fashion

Over the years, modern fashion practices have had a pastel color trend. Many colors that used to be gender-based have now evolved to be gender-neutral. For example, baby pink used to be closely associated with girls, while blue was for men. But now, these colors have been integrated into fashion trends to be a good option for either men or women.

Notably, dark pastel palettes are now used to create beautiful fall color palettes or soothing spring colors, especially pastel yellow and pale pink.

6 Design Tips for Using Pastel Colors

Here are some helpful tips when using pastel shades in your brand, web, interior, or product design.

  1. Don’t just choose a pastel color palette because you like them. Instead, choose pastel colors that are part of your brand aesthetics to increase brand recognition. Consider classic pastel colors like sky blue, baby pink, and soft mint.
  2. Always use more than one pastel color to create a powerful, eye-catching effect.
  3. Pastel colors are flexible, so consider pairing them with soft metallic colors.
  4. Consider combining your pastel colors with accent colors to create a dynamic effect.
  5. When unsure which colors to pair with your pastel colors, consider pairing them with complementary colors.
  6. There are many pastel combinations out there to choose from. Before settling for any, test all the different pastel color combinations to see which fits your needs best.

Conclusion

Pastel colors are soft, calm, and soothing colors that are relatively pale compared to bold, pure colors. The high amount of white in these colors gives them a low saturation and high luminance. Pastel colors are best suited for interior decor, website design, product design, fashion, invitation cards, and photography. Aside from the decors and designs, photographers also use filters or effects to create gorgeous pastel compositions that stand the test of time.

Pastel colors are flexible and versatile color choices that can serve different needs. Ensure that you select colors that fit your brand and are complementary. We have provided six tips to consider when working with pastel colors.


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