Pastels have a reputation for being snoozy and saccharine—but they don’t have to be. These alternative schemes are brimming with energy.
Pastels are ideal for spring-and-summer campaigns—but many brands avoid them for fear the colors are too sugar-coated or fuddy-duddy.
To prove those folks wrong (and more importantly, help them out!), we’ve come up with ten pastel color palettes that are anything but boring.
With sun-blushed schemes, neon combinations, and more, there’s something in this collection to convert even the most pastel-phobic marketers.
10 Punchy Pastel Palettes
Each palette includes a FREE swatch that can be applied to a wide range of designs, including social media posts and web banners. They also feature HEX codes so you can get to creating in no time.
1. Powder Cloud
An explosion of powdery pastel shades that balances cool and warm hues, this gradient palette will bring a fresh and balanced feel to any design.
Purple-tinted pink graduates to powder pink and baby blue, before culminating in a deep pastel blue.
2. Bleached Apricot
Reminiscent of sun-bleached vacations in Greece, this apricot-hued palette is summer encapsulated. Pastel peach, apricot, and mauve find an earthy, grounding companion in terracotta.
3. Night Flight
Capture the relaxed mood of boarding an evening flight with this sunset-inspired palette. Designed as an impactful gradient for web design or social media, this pastel purple-and-coral red scheme is unexpected and on-trend, making it the perfect fit for branding or website backgrounds.
4. Morning on the Left Bank
A gentle, contemporary take on pastels, this soothing palette balances a range of versatile and calming pastel swatches.
With its fashionable good looks, it’s a suitable match for lifestyle branding, or designs aimed at the retail, well-being, or beauty sectors.
5. Pastel Cabaret
Unleash your inner diva with this heady gradient palette that takes pastels over to the dark side.
Macaroon-worthy hues of pastel purple, pistachio, and sherbet lemon are given a 1980s edge when teamed with inky black.
6. Spring Fling
A fresh and contemporary scheme for seasonal campaigns over spring and summer, this punchy palette combines pink lavender and pastel purple with zingy aquamarine. The addition of rich navy blue helps this palette to feel sophisticated and grounded.
A good pastel palette for designs that otherwise might not be the best match for more saccharine pastel schemes.
7. Sherbet Coast
This oceanic scheme is inspired by windswept beach days. Pale sherbet lemon and mustard yellow bring the sunshine, while pastel sky blue and earthy brown complete this natural palette.
This is a versatile and grounded pastel scheme for interior design, products, or print advertising.
8. Lunch Out
Meet friends for a meal in the spring sunshine with this airy, delectable palette. This scheme brings a vintage mood to a wide range of designs, combining pastel orange with light seafoam green.
Decidedly fresh and clean, this palette is the perfect, well, palate-cleanser.
9. Grapefruit Gradient
A gradient scheme with a warm energy, this tequila sunset palette is an effortless choice for bringing instant summer vibes to seasonal marketing campaigns.
Pastel yellow deepens into richer orange and coral pink tones for a seamless sunset effect.
10. Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson is cinema’s undisputed king of pastels, with each movie featuring a delectable range of perfectly-pitched pastel hues.
This kooky pastel palette lifts its inspiration from the New England setting of Moonrise Kingdom, which follows two young runaways on a fictional 1960s island.
Channel Anderson’s quirky penchant for pastels with this sugar-coated scheme.
Cover image via HappyAprilBoy.