The association of pink with femininity is a traditional perspective that’s increasingly challenged in contemporary design. From the gentle to the vibrant, the calming to the assertive, and the sophisticated to the playful—it can convey a spectrum of impressions, much of which depends on the context and specific shade used.

Dive in to discover how to design with the color pink. Learn about its history, symbolism, the best color combinations, and discover our specially curated collection of pink-inspired images.

Explore Pink Collection

How to use pink in design projects effectively


History of the color pink

  • The first time a pink colour was mentioned was in 800 B.C. In Homer’s Odyssey, it is referenced as the rosy color of dawn. It was also referenced later in Ancient Rome — people used the Latin word “roseus,” which means “rose,” to describe the pink color.
  • During the Middle Ages and Renaissance era, the color pink was often used in religious paintings and symbolized the bonds between mothers and their children. In the 18th century, pink meaning first started to include luxury and femininity due to Madame de Pompadour, who was well-known for her love of that hue. Around that time, other royals across Europe started wearing pink items. The color was also used in interior design along with other pastel hues.
  • In the 19th century, pink was a common color among English males. Back then, English military uniforms were red, and pink was viewed as a lighter version of that hue. Blue, on the contrary, was considered a more delicate color, commonly associated with females.
  • This color pink meaning, however, changed in the mid-20th century, after World War II. As men started wearing darker colors, the brighter and pastel hues, including pink, were rebranded as feminine. This mostly happened because, in the postwar period, society was focusing on reestablishing women as homemakers and caregivers.
  • In the late 20th century, pink continued to be considered a baby girl color, but this changed in the 1990s. During that period, many Western cultures started viewing pink as a more gender-neutral color.

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Color psychology of pink

The rich and diverse history of pink greatly contributed to how this hue is perceived today. Depending on the context, the color pink meaning can be both positive and negative.

How pink can affect mental health

Pink is often considered to have a calming impact on humans. It can soothe a person and help create a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

This color is generally associated with feelings of warmth, affection, and love. Pink can also contribute to a sweet, innocent, or playful mood.

Pink colour meaning and the impression it can create also depends on its shade. For instance, fuchsia is a strong pink shade that is often associated with something energetic and confident. Calmer shades, on the other hand, are usually associated with tenderness and care.

How old is the color pink?

Positive associations with pink

One of the most common symbolic meanings of pink is love and romance. It is also often linked with positive aspects of traditional femininity, such as kindness, empathy, and gentle nature. A lighter pink color represents positive aspects of childhood and youthfulness — innocence and playfulness.

Negative associations with pink

Pink symbolic meaning can be negative — for instance, if the hue is used excessively. In this case, it may be perceived as overly sweet or even childish. Pink is also generally not the best color for professional or serious designs and contexts, as it can create a lighthearted and even shallow impression. Although the history of the color pink has been traditionally associated with femininity, the contemporary world is moving away from this stereotype.


Types and shades of pink

As mentioned above, the meaning of pink can differ depending on its shade. So, let’s explore several popular shades to feel the diversity of this color.

Bubblegum pink

It’s a vibrant and playful pink shade that resembles the color of classic bubblegum. Bubblegum pink is often associated with sweetness and youthful energy.

CMYK 0, 24, 14, 0
RGB 255, 195, 214

History of the color pink

Blush pink

This shade is delicate and soft, with a touch of peach. As its name states, it’s reminiscent of a subtle blush. Blush pink can be used to create a feeling of softness and delicacy.

CMYK 2, 26, 12, 0
RGB 242, 197, 208

Magenta pink

This shade is bold and intense, with a hint of magenta. It can be used to convey energy and vibrancy.

CMYK 0, 100, 0, 0
RGB 255, 0, 255

Rose pink

This is a romantic and elegant pink shade with a touch of red. It’s reminiscent of rose petals and is often used to create a feeling of romance, elegance, and timeless beauty.

CMYK 0, 100, 34, 0
RGB 255, 0, 127

Cotton candy pink

This shade is light and pastel, similar to cotton candy. It can be used to convey sweetness and nostalgia.

CMYK 0, 23, 14, 0
RGB 255, 182, 193

Why is pink the best color?

Hot pink

This a bold and intense pink shade with a hint of purple. Hot pink radiates passion and excitement, and can be used for bold expression and bold designs.

CMYK 0, 79, 11, 0
RGB 255, 105, 180

Salmon pink

This is a warm, peachy-pink shade comparable to the color of salmon. This shade can help create a sense of coziness. It is also often used to create a feeling of warmth and subtle elegance.

CMYK 0, 49, 18, 0
RGB 255, 145, 164


Facts about the color pink

  • The term “pink” is rooted in the fringed edges of a flower called “pinks” (17th century).
  • In Asian cultures, pink represents love and marriage, while in Japan, pink cherry blossoms symbolize renewal and the transience of life.
  • Flamingos acquire their pink hue from carotenoids in their diet. The richer this diet is, the more vibrant their feather color is.
  • The 1986 song and film “Pretty in Pink” is one of the many reasons why pink is associated with beauty and romance.
  • The phrase “in the pink” means in good health and spirits.

What Does The Color Pink Mean? Pink Symbolism Explained


How to use pink in design projects

With all the rich pink symbolism, you might wonder how to use this hue efficiently in your designs. Here are some traditional color combinations to help you out.

Pink with neutrals: combine pink with neutral tones like whites, grays, or beige for a balanced and elegant look. In such a combination, vibrant pink will stand out without overwhelming the overall design.

Pink with complementary colors: for pink, complementary colors can be navy blue, deep greens, or shades of teal. Such combinations can create striking contrasts and make designs look deeper and more sophisticated.

Pink in a monochrome color scheme: you can use different shades of pink in a single design. This will help make a visual look more interesting. At the same time, the color palette will remain cohesive and harmonious.

You can also consider the following tips to make your design projects with pink even more appealing and interesting.

  • Add textures like velvet, soft fabrics, or watercolor patterns to make pink more visually appealing. This is especially effective if you’re trying to create a luxurious or playful mood.
  • Combine pink with metallic accents such as gold or rose gold if you want to add a touch of glamor and sophistication to your designs. Metallics offer a great stylish contrast compared to the softness of pink.
  • Use pink as an accent color for specific elements like buttons, icons, or call-to-action elements. This will help you draw attention to key points in your design.
  • Pair pink with shades of green whenever you want to create a fresh and vibrant look. This combination works especially well for floral or botanical designs.
  • Ensure that your design is easy to read. You can achieve that by choosing appropriate text and background colors. Contrasting shades, such as white text on a deep pink background, are easy to read and also enhance visual appeal.

Color psychology of pink


A special collection of visuals with the color pink

To see how beautiful and different pink can be, check out our curated collection of visuals inspired by different shades of this hue. Discover diverse visuals that you can use in various design projects.

Explore Pink Collection

Abstract art

What does pink represent?

Nature and city

Popular Visuals with the Color Pink


Facts about the color pink


Types and shades of pink

Explore Pink Collection


To wrap up

The color pink means a lot of different things, depending on the context and country it is used in. Due to that, it is sometimes seen as controversial and difficult to use in your professional projects. However, this color is very diverse and can be universal. Learning its history and symbolism can help you use pink in your projects with more confidence and create a meaningful impact.

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What does pink represent?

Depending on the context and shade, pink can represent affection, tenderness, and compassion. It is often associated with love, warmth, and nurturing emotions.

What does pink stand for?

Pink is a diverse color that can stand for various meanings. Some of the most common associations with this hue include love, romance, and femininity. It can also symbolize playfulness, sweetness, and sensitivity.

What does pink look like?

Pink is a color ranging from light pastels to deeper hues, resembling rose petals. It is generally a warm and inviting color that can have a calming effect on a person.

Why is pink the best color?

Of course, the definition of the best color is subjective and largely depends on personal preferences. Pink is commonly liked because of its associations with positive emotions, romance, and a sense of nurturing. It can be appealing in various contexts.

How old is the color pink?

The color pink has a long history, starting in 800 B.C. However, this color became famous in Western fashion in the 18th century. Its popularity and symbolism have evolved over time, and its cultural significance has also changed.


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