Pastel colors are popular for the feel they give and the life they bring to a design without having to be too harsh and loud.
Pastel colors are oftentimes used to portray a neat, clean, soft, but also serene and beautiful scenery or design.
One misconception of pastel colors is that they are dull and lack life when in fact, it is the complete opposite when used with the right color combinations.
Using the wrong pastel colors together can be quite irritating but once properly mixed, the colors become more alive and convey a clearer design.
The use of pastel colors has also started to become very powerful in the minimalist world as it portrays a soft yet really playful combination.
When trying to find the right color combination, it is important to look at references to see what type of results you might expect.
Pastel color example: Blue
Pastel blue is a pale form of regular blue with the code #AEC6CF.
While there are other shades that could be similar to pastel blue like sky blue, light blue, and even powdered blue, the unique tone actually gives it a fresh look with the right color combination.
Although the names pastel blue and baby blue are oftentimes used interchangeably, they are still often considered different colors on the color hex chart when used by developers and web designers.
Generally, baby blue is quite brighter while pastel looks more muted.
In order to make pastel blue, a small amount of blue has to be mixed with a white base until a soft pastel hue is reached.
How pastel blue started
Pastel blue took its name from the official art medium of pastels which was a powdered pigment that creates low saturated and soft hues.
The very first “pastel” word started back in the 1660s while pastels started to become a popular medium among artists in the 18th century.
Some of the most popular pastel colors you might have already seen include lemon, mint, periwinkle, mauve, lilac, and lavender.
Pastels were also very popular among architecture, fashion, and furniture in the 18th century during a popular period known as the Rococo era.
The popularity of pastel was increased due to being favored by Marie Antoinette during her official reign.
A lot of portraits actually show the Queen of Versailles in what seems to be her popular pastel blue gowns.
Pastel started gaining popularity once again in the 1980s when the more muted hues were featured even more prominently in the popular Miami Vice show and were being favored by interior designers.
Today, there is a lot of pastel-hued architecture used in Miami’s art deco district and even certain parts of Spain, Cuba, Morocco, and Hong Kong.
The aesthetically-pleasing appearance is often sought out by photographers and artists alike.
The appearance is also sought out by web developers as it provides an aesthetically pleasing touch to an otherwise digital platform.
What does pastel blue mean?
Pastel blue is a peaceful and soothing color. Psychologists now say that shades of blue are considered very calming due to its likeness of the ocean and sky.
Pastel blue has a gentle appearance which means it is most likely to make a calming impression.
Pastel can be used to represent an otherwise soft or romantic appearance.
Another misconception is that pastels are feminine when in fact they are not.
Instead, certain colors like pastel blue provide a very gender-neutral color.
Due to the similarity pastel blue has with baby blue, the color is commonly used by infants and other child-friendly merchandise.
Another advantage of pastel is that due to its softness, it can be considered a good color to represent youth and innocence.
Other pastel colors usually signify a toned down version of the color’s counterpart emotions.
For example, pastel yellow is still bright but has a more mature feel compared to radiant yellow that can be too energetic.
Making use of pastel blue
Pastel blue has a calm and muted appearance so when used in designs, it gives off a feeling of a calm approach instead of an aggressive and harsh approach.
A little splash of pastel blue also helps tone down and create a relaxing mood.
Let’s say you have a website about motherhood or family, which can be sometimes stressful, using pastel colors for the website can help sooth the mood giving a calming feeling that everything will be okay.
When selling cosmetics, if you are trying to sell classy cosmetics with maybe a little vintage feel to them, feminine pastel colors help do the trick.
Pastel blue can also be used in corporate settings since it eases out the stress of complexity which corporate entities tend to give off.
The muted appearance gives off a non-attacking feel which makes it easier to relay to clients without coming off too strong.
Color combinations that go well with pastel blue
Pastel blue is considered one of the most versatile colors out there that can easily be used with many shades.
Pastel works best most of the time along other pastel hues creating a fashion-forward palette. Pastel blue can be quite calming alongside a crisp white or even enthusiastic when next to coral.
Pastel blue also works well with soft grey and other neutral colors like cream, beige, and nude.
It is important to stay away from using pastel with high-saturated and bright colors like red since the contrast would make the color look washed out.
With the right combination, pastel will be able to portray a more calm and relaxing version of what it’s otherwise energetic color counterparts might portray.
For example, pastel doesn’t have to be boring.
Pastel blue goes well with the following colors:
- Dusty rose
- Rose quartz
- Off white
How to use pastel blue
Using pastel blue for different types of products and other platforms gives it a more approachable appeal.
Choosing pastel as your color combination comes with a number of advantages. Here are the different things you might be able to use pastel for:
Websites that use pastel colors oftentimes give a more minimalistic, clean, and softer feel.
The wide pastel spaces with minimal text gives more focus on what is really being highlighted.
Websites that use pastel have a more relaxing feel.
When using pastel as a website color, try not to put too much text and depending on the color, you might have to make the text white instead of black.
Dark text on a pastel background can look a bit irritating depending on the font. If you absolutely must, try using a more minimalist font.
- Cosmetic products
When using pastel colors on cosmetic products, this can be an excuse to use pastel versions of otherwise radiant colors that you might not want to use on a regular basis.
Pastel colors or pastel shades usually look more natural and thus give a leeway to use colors that might seem unnatural if they weren’t pastel.
For example, lavender would be a cosmetic product you would want to use but you might not want to use purple.
The good thing about pastel is that it provides some sort of natural substitute for colors you wouldn’t use otherwise.
- Kid products
Pastel is great for kids! Not only does it come in cute color shades, it also gives a really calming effect. Bright colors can feel energetic which is why pastel colors are good to use for night clothes and other kid products that need to be relaxing.
Kid toys are often made in bright colors so if you want a product color that would relax them, pastel wo
uld be the right choice. When making kid products, use pastel on products that need to calm them.
- Other products
Pastel can be technically used for anything and if you’re going for a more matured, a more calm product, using pastel could help.
Examples of other products range from a wide range of decor, electronics, and anything else.
Although pastel might not make the products as eye-catching as bright colors.
They make the products pleasing to look at and even more pleasing to have.
The good thing about pastel is that the longer you look at it, the more calming it actually becomes.
Pastel packaging is always exciting to look at and although it might not look like candy, pastel packaging gives off an elegant feel to what is being unwrapped.
Pastel can also convey a sense of luxury due to its cleanliness and muted colors.
While it might not shine bright like gold or diamonds, it gives a really clean and really cozy feel to the packaging.
The thing about pastel is that it makes you want to take your time and enjoy the color instead of intensely looking at it then losing interest due to it being too bright.
Pastel colored furniture gives a somewhat retro but still a very modern feel.
Pastel colored furniture usually goes well with minimalistic designed furniture.
Although some pastel colors might work well with classic furniture, this is not always the case.
Pastel, although owning a piece of history, still has a futuristic but also timeless touch due to it being used during the Rococo era, the 80s, and also with minimalist designs.
The color can be used to either show a classic design or a more modern design.
- Corporate Cards
Pastel looks good on flat surfaces when there is little variation of the color.
While a corporate card might be a small surface, it still provides an opportunity for pastel to be widely spread all over.
Pastel blue as a calling card makes it less boring, more calming, and more inviting.
Pastel colors might seem far out for corporate materials but they actually work well especially if they are used in an industry that has to deal with calm emotions.
- Product photoshoots
Products can be highlighted with a pastel background.
Instead of providing a radiant focus on the product, it magnifies the color of the product due to its contrast. It can be used strategically to give a calming emphasis on the product.
Although it might not be a good background color for bright food, it is certainly a good color for healthy food and drinks.
Pastel is also a good color for pastries since it doesn’t come off as too sweet but rather gives off a creamy or light expectation.
Pastel color logos have a different approach to design since they do not come across as too bold or too aggressive.
Instead, they attract consumers by giving them a soothing and relaxing feel.
A pastel logo might not feel like something new.
In fact, it has a very “familiar” or almost nostalgic feeling which makes it easier to build rapport with consumers.
This design technique approaches the consumer in a very neutral way until they become accustomed to the design itself despite it being new.
The good thing about pastel in fashion is that it doesn’t scream but rather demands attention in a non-intrusive way.
Pastel fashion might not feel contemporary which is a good thing. Pastel colors work well in retro fashion and futuristic fashion.
Fashion goes beyond clothes but it can also influence music and other cultures.
The indie scene has been using a lot of pastel to signify a rather calming and abstract message.
Indie tends to not come off as strong which is exactly something pastel helps achieve.
Using pastel for design is a clever way of getting a message across without having to scream it.
Although using pastel might require much thought, successfully incorporating the colors into the design gives it a whole different feel.
It is important to be smart when using pastels to avoid visual irritation due to the wrong color combination being used.
Pastel is a color that although outside of your comfort zone can make the design feel comfortable.
The light, calm, and relaxing pastel tone provides an inviting and non-threatening approach.
Give your designs a new soothing feeling with the right use of pastel colors.