In the 1950s pastels were all the rage in America. People not only wore pastel-colored clothing but decked out their entire houses, from bathroom tiles to kitchen appliances, with it. It handily symbolizes the superficial innocence and optimism of the era. Miami Vice Miami Vice (via NBC) In the 1980s, another period of exuberance and economic boom, pastels came roaring back. The return was motivated in part by the rise of preppy style, with its powdery polos and sweaters (The Official Preppy Handbook, published in 1980, spelled out the codes of this WASP-y aesthetic). Another instigator was the popular TV show Miami Vice (1984 – 1990), in which the star character, undercover detective James Crockett, literally wore something pastel-colored in almost every scene.
often framed against the similarly hued Art Deco architecture of the show’s Miami setting. Sure enough, here we are in the 2010s and pastels are back again, this time perhaps most pronouncedly in the world of digital design. Pastels are particularly well suited to any website or app that has large empty spaces to fill, because they are easy on the special leads and, as we discussed above, loaded with positive associations. Moreover, digital displays give designers a lot more finely-tuned color options than analog technologies did, meaning that the world of pastel can be expanded beyond its traditional Easter-y, retro or preppy parameters. Just take a look at these web pages: Phoenix creative studio Izumi Japanese Massage greeted by B/C designers greeted by B/C What do you think, are pastels here to stay this time? Tell us in the comments!