Pastel red: Don’t just think pink.

Learn how taking red to the lighter side can change its meaning in your designs.

When you hear the color “pastel red,” you may immediately think, “well, isn’t that just pink?” Pastel red is an often-overlooked red shade that’s lighter than its primary base but doesn’t quite cross into the pink hue. Keep reading to learn the different meanings associated with this blushing hue.

What does the color “pastel red” mean?

Pastel shades are usually formed by mixing white with the base color to create a lighter shade, but pastel red is an exception. Since white combined with red makes pink, pastel red must be created by mixing light orange with red. Thanks to the mix of passion from red and warmth from orange, pastel red evokes meanings of romance and love, making it the perfect shade for romantic gift wrappings and cards.

The pastel red hex code is #FF6961, and its RGB values are R: 255, G: 105, B: 97.

Pastel red color pairings and variations.

Pastel red is incredibly versatile and can pair well alongside everything from light pastels to bold primary colors. For a softer palette, try pairing it with pinks and soft greys. For a bolder look, pair it with bright whites or other primary colors. Pastel red is a bit bolder than other pastels, so it’s a great color to use in brighter graphic designs where you want the design to feel “bold” but still have a touch of softness.

Similar shades to pastel red include:

For more graphic design resources, check out the Adobe Design Discover hub and learn more tricks to elevate your design projects. Make everything from logos and icons to illustrations and poster art with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.