10 Pastel Color Palettes That Won’t Put You (or Your Customers) to Sleep

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.  

Grapefruit sliced in half on a pedestal, pastel sky, and orange jellyfish in purple water
Images via UliAb, Lijphoto, and David Tamayo C.

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. 

Pastel blue cactus on purple-pink background, little girl with a pony tail colored in pastels, and a pastel gradient background
Images via Indigo Photo Club, Gorlov-KV, and MOMO STOCK.
A cloud of pastels emerging from a white frame
Image via Zamurovic Brothers.

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.  

An array of flat rocks on beige background, pastel pink village, and a fashion model on the catwalk in light pink dress
Images via Floral Deco, Oyigraphy, and FashionStock.com.
Beautiful high tower cosmopolitan residential urban condo
Image via Kilimanjaro STUDIOz.

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. 

Grapefruit sliced in half on a pedestal, pastel sky, and orange jellyfish in purple water
Images via UliAb, Lijphoto, and David Tamayo C.
The red tail of a plane against a red and purple sky
Image via wing-wing.

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. 

A sexy mess of a bed with pastel accents, pastel ocean and skyline, and baby blue vases containing pale pink roses
Images via Photographee.eu, Mattea Carson, and Andrej Rutar.
City landscape of Paris in pastel shades
Image via Feel good studio.

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

Closeup of a bouquet of pastel roses, pastel macaroons on a black background, and an abstract pastel color gradient background
Images via New Africa, Novac Vitali, and simplf.
Chinese chrested dog illuminated with neon gel lights
Image via Kasefoto.

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.

Glass podium and green leaf minimal scene ribbed on a purple background, green succulent on mint green background, and a jackal stranding in a green field with purple accents
Image via Light Stock, nnattalli, and Luciano Santandreu.
Minimalist coffee shop with mint green accents
Image via Gatot Adri.

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.

Yellow lighthouse against a green-blue sky, Hungarian hound on a sandy beach with light blue sky in the background, and pastel yellow facade of a building
Image via Bogdan Khmelnytskyi, Nastya Fokus, and Mauro Carli.
White vase on wooden table with fancy dining room interior in front of a white and blue wall
Image via Photographee.eu.

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.

Persimmon fruits and glasses of water on geometric pastel background, mint green coffee shop chair, and pastel pink and orange roses in a row
Images via Androlia, Andrekart Photography, and Biancaneve MoSt.
Noregian lobster on green and orange background
Image via UliAb.

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. 

Whole halved ripe juicy orange toned in pink gradient duotone background arranged diagonally, closeup of living coral, and closeup of pink peony flowers
Images via Olinda, jafara, and Nina Firsova.
Modern pastel interior with two armchairs and middle table with colorful pastel wall in the background
Image via visualstock.

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. 

Colorful tropical cocktails on a pastel peach chair in the pool, a red and white lighthouse with blue skies in the background, and a woman standing alone at the end of a pier with hazy sky in the background
Image via Ljuba3dArt, Paul cruse, and Aydin Hassan.
Multi-colored wall with windows and grass in Frederiksberg of Copenhagen
Image via kanguyen.

Cover image via HappyAprilBoy.

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