What’s not to love about pastel colors?
They’re soft and elegant yet bold enough to make a statement. Whether used for website backgrounds, product packaging designs, or illustrations, pastel color palettes can bring subtle beauty and depth to any project.
What Are Pastel Colors?
But what exactly are pastel colors? Pastels are hues or tints that are lighter in value or less saturated than their original color. They’re often associated with sweetness and innocence but can also be used to create a modern, sophisticated aesthetic. Pastel colors range from delicate blues to subtle greens and purples.
Why Choose a Pastel Color Palette?
When used correctly, an airy pastel color palette can create a dream-like atmosphere or evoke a sense of nostalgia. They can also be used to make bold statements when paired with bright colors. Here are some of the best reasons to use pastels in your design projects:
- Bring an air of sophistication and elegance to any project.
- Create a feeling of calmness and serenity.
- Create captivating contrast when paired with bold or darker accents.
- Provide a gentle backdrop that doesn’t overpower other elements in the design.
- Versatile enough for practically any type of design style – from minimalistic to eclectic!
Best Pastel Color Palettes
Ready to explore all the possibilities of pastel color palettes? Let’s look at some inspiring combinations. All the color palettes below are inspired by the photographs above them. If you click on the photograph, it will take you to the source of the image.
Let’s start things off with a playful palette! This combination of soft pastel yellow, green, gold, and pink is sure to create an eye-catching, fun and stylish design even without a lot of color saturation.
Try this palette with gentle pastel pink and purples for a dreamy, romantic vibe. The muted tones evoke feelings of nostalgia and bring subtle romance to any design.
This serene palette is ideal for your nature-inspired projects. In this combination, we see pastel tones of taupe and muted greens. This palette of neutral pastel colors is perfect for evoking a calming yet eye-catching look.
The bold colors of macarons inspired this pastel color scheme, combining baby blue, pale purple, deep purple, and pastel orange. This pastel palette is perfect for adding a whimsical bit of color to any design.
Inspired by the sunrise, this pastel color palette is sure to bring brightness and energy to any design. This combination of soft pink, purple, and pastel blue is perfect for brightening up any project.
Perfect for creating a whimsical vibe, this palette was inspired by the pastel shades of the rainbow. The bright color combination of light pinks, blues, and yellows creates a soft yet vibrant aesthetic.
This dreamy color palette was inspired by a soft, romantic floral design. The muted colors of gray, dusty pink, butter yellow, and green help to create a romantic, subdued design.
This delightful palette was created with the soft colors of sweet marshmallow treats in mind. Pale colors like light green, soft purple, and pale pink can create a fun, child-like feel.
Pastel Birthday Cake
Birthday cake inspired our next pastel palette — gold, teal, white, and soft yellow. This cheerful combination is perfect for creating designs that have a festive and celebratory feel.
Pastel Birthday Cake 2
We’re still celebrating! Here are more pastel color hex codes inspired by the favorite birthday cake colors. Yellow, dusty pink, teal, and purple combine for an eye-catching and joyful look.
This boho feather photo inspired our next set of pastel hex codes, with purple, baby pink, gold, and bright teal. This range of colors is sure to evoke feelings of freedom and adventure.
Inspired by a colorful illustration, this pastel color palette is an adventure in color. With shades of pink, dusty blue, yellow, and gold, this combination is perfect for creating a cheerful, playful vibe.
This pastel color palette is a day at the beach! With pretty pastel colors like gorgeous teals and pink, this combination is perfect for creating ocean-inspired designs.
The warm colors of the Southwest inspire our next pastel palette, featuring muted earthy tones of green and brown. This pastel color combination perfectly adds a rustic, cozy touch to any project.
Next, we have a pastel palette inspired by the soft colors of fresh eggs. The neutral palette of blue, brown, and tan blend together for an earthy and natural look.
A pastel pink sunrise inspired this all-pink color scheme option. The combination of pinks evokes feelings of joy and happiness, making it perfect for projects that need a burst of cheer.
Pastel Gift Boxes
Pastel gift boxes in bold shades of pink and green inspired our next palette. This beautiful color combination is perfect for creating packaging designs that stand out from the crowd.
Interior design inspired this pastel palette, a collection of pastels in green and brown. The subtle earthy tones in this combination will add warmth and sophistication to a wide range of designs.
Spring flowers inspired this colorful palette, featuring light green and complementary colors purple and canary yellow. The brighter colors in this palette are full of life and energy that will bring vibrancy to any project.
A delicate stack of macarons inspired our next palette in shades of pastel pink, cameo pink, gray, and brown. This combination is perfect for creating designs that feel sweet and elegant.
Try this pastel color palette inspired by fresh flowers for a modern, upbeat vibe. Shades of bold pink, teal, and punchy ochre create a vibrant, cheerful aesthetic.
Inspired by the beach at sunrise, this pastel color palette features cool tones of blue and cream with pastel shades of purple and pink. This beach-inspired color palette is perfect for creating romantic and dreamy designs.
Colorful Easter Eggs
Colorful Easter eggs inspired this pastel color palette in shades of teal, green, and peach. This combination is perfect for conveying a cheerful, festive mood.
Orange, brown, and dusty pink combine for a sophisticated and modern look in this pastel palette. This combination of shades is perfect for designs that call for a warm and inviting aesthetic.
Finally, here are pastel color codes inspired by fashion and florals. This chic color palette with shades of soft pink, bold pink, millennial pink, and gold come together to create a feminine and modern look.
Related reading: How to Choose Your Brand Colors
When to Use a Pastel Color Palette
Pastel color palettes are perfect for creating designs that portray a soft and delicate atmosphere. They can be used to create cheerful and playful designs, romantic and sophisticated, or modern and contemporary.
The beauty of pastel color palettes is that they’re versatile and can be used for various projects. Whether you’re designing logos, websites, or packaging, pastel colors will make your work stand out from the crowd.
Final Thoughts on Pastel Color Palettes
Pastel color palettes are an excellent choice for adding a touch of softness and sophistication to your designs. With their versatile range of hues, pastel colors allow you to create dreamy and romantic designs as well as modern, playful ones. Because of that, the pastel color trend is here to stay. Experiment with different combinations of colors to create the perfect look for your project.