The meaning of the color Pastel Blue and color combinations to inspire your next design.
Pastel blue is a pale shade of blue. The pastel blue color code is #AEC6CF.
Other shades that are very similar to pastel blue include sky blue, powder blue and light blue. While the names “baby blue” and “pastel blue” are sometimes used interchangeably, they’re considered different colors on the hex chart used by web designers and developers—baby blue is brighter, while pastel blue is more muted.
To make pastel blue, mix a small amount of blue paint into a white base until you reach a soft pastel hue.
Pastel blue takes its name from the art medium of pastels, a powdered pigment that typically creates soft, low saturation hues. The word “pastel” first appeared in 1662, while pastels as a medium became popular with artists in the 18th century. Other commonly used pastel colors include mint, mauve, lemon, periwinkle, lavender and lilac.
Pastels were also a popular color palette across architecture, furniture and fashion in the 18th century, during what’s now known as the Rococo era. The soft tones were favored by Marie Antoinette during her reign—many portraits show the Queen of Versailles in pastel blue gowns.
More recently pastels enjoyed a resurgence in the 1980s, when the muted hues featured prominently in the hit show Miami Vice and were favored in interior design. Today, famous instances of pastel-hued architecture can be found in Miami’s art deco district and in parts of Cuba, Spain, Hong Kong and Morocco, where they’re regularly sought out by photographers for their aesthetically-pleasing appearance.
From around 2014 onwards, pastel blue and other muted shades like lilac and the hue known colloquially as “millennial pink” have been popular in fashion and design.
Pastel blue is a soothing, peaceful color. According to color psychology, most shades of blue are considered calming because of their likeness to the sky and the ocean; pastel blue’s gentle appearance means it is particularly likely to make that impression.
Pastel shades often appear soft and romantic. However, their current popularity in design means they aren’t necessarily considered feminine—pastel blue, in particular, is one of the more gender-neutral pastel hues.
Due to its similarity to baby blue, the color infant boys are traditionally dressed in, pastel blue is also likely to be associated with youth and innocence.
Pastel blue’s calming, muted appearance makes it easy on the eyes and therefore suitable for use in large amounts. A splash of pastel blue is also a good way to inject color into a design without it feeling overwhelming. In interior design, pastel blue is relaxing and inviting.
As blue is the color most associated with trust and reliability, pastel blue is also a good choice for business logos.
Pastel blue is a versatile color that can be matched with many shades. It works best alongside other pastel hues, where it creates a fashion-forward palette. Pastel blue can be calming and fresh alongside a crisp white or could be livened up next to coral. It matches well with soft greys and also works with neutrals like beige, cream and nude. You might avoid pairing pastel blue with bright, high-saturation colors like red, where it could look washed out.
The colors that pair well with pastel blue include:
Looking for a different hue? The following colors are related to pastel blue.
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