Valentine’s Day is a holiday dedicated to love. So it’s no wonder that shades of red, pink, and sometimes white dominate Valentine’s Day designs. Red is an intense color that has long been associated with romantic love. White is a color of purity, and mixing it with red gives you pink — the color of soft, sweet, playful love.
Of course, if you’ve worked with color for any length of time, you know that there are endless varieties of these colors. And if you use the right shades in the right designs, you might just melt the hearts of your audience!
Valentine’s Day Color Palettes
Prepare to be inspired by these beautiful Valentine’s Day color palettes. Hex codes are included if you want to use the colors in your next design.
1. Pink Skies
Names: Rose red, Indian red, Light coral, Cherry blossom pink, Pale dogwood
Hex Codes: #C00645, #D05D65, #E1848C, #EAA8AC, #E7CDCE
Pink and red are the quintessential colors of Valentine’s Day. But to some, the contrast between bright crimson and pale pink is jarring, even garish. This palette creates a smooth gradient between the two shades. You can still create a pink and red design, but the many colors in between give the finished product a sleeker, more modern look.
2. Cookie Bouquet
Names: Magenta (pantone), Amaranth pink, Fairy tale, White, Pink lavender
Hex Codes: #DA437F, #EB9CBC, #F2C5D6, #FBFCFE, #D6B2D7
The above example image holds incredible color, from the rainbow of macarons to the scattering of bright flowers. You certainly can use all of these shades in a single design if you wish. But if you want to keep things simpler, you might consider using the more limited palette shown above.
Even in abbreviated form, this is a grouping of colors with incredible range. Emphasize quiet, gentle florals by using more of Amaranth Pink, Fairy Tale, and Pink Lavender. Or if you want your design to be bright and vivid, use more Pantone Magenta and incorporate lots of White for bold contrast!
3. Vintage Rose
Names: Chinese violet, Puce, Amaranth pink, Thistle, Tea rose (red)
Hex Codes: #945B88, #C8839F, #D19CB3, #E2CADE, #F3C2C6
One of the most beautiful things about floral tones is their versatility. Brighter shades look just like the petals of newly blooming wildflowers. And dustier shades like the ones above have an unmistakably vintage air.
The five colors above all have a muted look, so it’s no wonder they work so nicely together. But because they vary so dramatically in terms of coolness and warmth, you can still use them to create highly dynamic designs.
4. Blue Burst
Names: Verdigris, Tiffany blue, White, Mimi pink, Cherry blossom pink
Hex Codes: #69BABB, #76C8C7, #FEFDFD, #FBD8DE, #FBB9C6
There’s no denying it — shades of soft pink and soft blue look great together. That said, this probably isn’t the first combination you think of when you imagine Valentine’s Day palettes.
The example picture includes more blue than you might expect, but it still looks unmistakably like a Valentine’s Day graphic. The teal-tinged Verdigris and Tiffany Blue create a high-contrast background for the billowing pink clouds and cheerful hearts.
5. Watercolor Moon
Names: French rose, Carnation pink, Pale purple, Jordy blue, Vista blue
Hex Codes: #FF4294, #FD9DCD, #FFE3FC, #92B8E4, #799EE4
Watercolor-style designs have a certain serenity to them. If you’re looking to create a Valentine’s Day design with a peaceful vibe, using a gradient palette in a watercolor style is a great way to go.
That said, even if you use an entirely different style, the palette above is ideal for Valentine’s Day designs. If you’re going for a high-contrast, colorblocked look, try placing French Rose right next to Vista Blue. But if you want a gentler look, blend Pale Purple into Carnation Pink and then French Rose. Likewise, you can blend Jordy Blue into Vista Blue.
6. Ruby Glow
Names: Cornell red, Fire engine red, Persian red, Brilliant rose, Tea rose (red)
Hex Codes: #AB1415, #C9271C, #D43D32, #FC5A9F, #FDD0D5
Red and pink are the two colors most closely associated with Valentine’s Day, and this versatile palette includes multiple shades of both. But if you’ve worked with color for any length of time, you know that you should be careful when it comes to red. This is an intense color that can add some dynamism to a design, but if you overdo it, it can completely throw the whole project out of balance.
At first glance, the above palette seems like a difficult one to use effectively. Cornell Red, Fire Engine Red, and Persian Red are three bold, intense red shades. But you also have Brilliant Rose, an energetic hot pink. Red Tea Rose is the only quiet color of the bunch.
The example image offers a suggestion for using these seemingly disparate shades. As you can see, most of the background is a soft, neutral shade. This neutral backdrop showcases bursts of bright colors, but those bursts are small enough that they won’t overwhelm an audience.
7. Magenta and Lace
Names: Razzmatazz, Magenta, Orchid pink, Pink, Old lace
Hex Codes: #F10166, #F90E91, #FFC4D8, #F9BCC3, #FAF4E7
This striking color palette has a lot of depth, and its various shades really run the full gamut of saturation. Razzmatazz and Magenta are ultra-bright and ultra-saturated, so they’re perfect for giving your design a burst of energy.
The rest of the palette has a soft, almost vintage-inspired appeal. The appropriately named Orchid Pink is useful for floral designs, and the warm-tinged Pink and Old Lace can give your next project some old-school charm.
8. Tulip Tree
Names: Chinese violet, Sky magenta, Lilac, Plum (web), Tea green
Hex Codes: #9D6991, #AF6B98, #BCA4BF, #DC9DC8, #C7E9C4
Is purple a Valentine’s Day color? It might not be your typical red or pink, but if you’re looking for a slightly offbeat floral palette, the above array of purples (plus leafy Tea Green) might be just right. Purple palettes are cooler and mellower than red and pink ones. And as you can see in the example photo, they’re also great for rustic-inspired designs.
Names: Tickle me pink, Bright pink (crayola), Rusty red, Engineering orange, Dark red
Hex Codes: #FF8AB3, #F95579, #E5173E, #B70108, #8C0105
If you look at the above color palette without the context of the example image, it might seem like it would be extremely difficult to successfully integrate them into a single project. But as you can see, if you carefully shade Rusty Red, Engineering Orange, and Dark Red, you can create the striking 3D look you see with the tiny hearts in the picture.
The reds in this palette are intense, but so are Tickle Me Pink and Crayola Bright Pink. If you want to keep things in balance (and avoid bowling over your audience with bright colors), take some inspiration from the example image and incorporate a healthy dose of white.
10. Blue Blooms
Names: Mountbatten pink, Thistle, Columbia blue, Cherry blossom pink, Amaranth pink
Hex Codes: #9A7E94, #D6B8CC, #B2CEDF, #EFAABD, #E6A4B5
This color palette has a lot of range, and you can use it to create dynamic designs. But because each of these colors has a slight dustiness to it, any project you create with the group will likely have a quiet energy.
The frosted cookies in the example image show you how colorblocking these different shades can work. But because Mountbatten Pink and Thistle form a gradient (as do Cherry Blossom Pink and Amaranth Pink), you also might consider using these shades in a swirling, watercolor-style design.
11. Sugar Snow
Names: Plum, Sky magenta, Thulian pink, Lavender pink, Fire engine red
Hex Codes: #874C84, #AD70A3, #DC7DAD, #FBB4D6, #D71721
The glimmering tiny hearts in the example image look a lot like sugar sprinkles. And even though the design itself is a simple one, the careful shading and darker background help create the illusion of depth.
This palette is a somewhat unusual one. The shades of pink and purple look fairly natural together, but Fire Engine Red sticks out. But if you’re looking to create a design with a red focal point, this is a great palette to choose.
Names: Persian red, Tickle me pink, Tea rose (red), Champagne pink, Baby powder
Hex Codes: #D42C34, #FE7FA4, #FFC6C5, #FEE8DB, #FEFCF7
The example design above is a somewhat unusual one — it almost looks like two separate graphics. On the left is a high-energy combination of vivid reds and pinks. On the right is a warm, vintage-style design with a calmer feel. You can use the above color palette to create either one.
Of course, if the design you’re making involves text, the color of that text is an important element as well. In the example above, the deep cocoa brown is an ideal text color. It’s dark enough to stand out, but it’s warm enough to blend in with the design’s general energy. Given the soft, vintage-inspired colors of the design, black would be too harsh of a color.
13. Cupid’s Arrow
Names: Isabelline, Melon, Fire engine red, Cornell red, Falu red
Hex Codes: #F2EFEA, #E9B4AE, #D5191D, #BD0114, #701711
The beautifully balanced color palette above is perfect for creating high-contrast designs. And while you could certainly incorporate more colors into your project, this palette really has all that you need. Falu Red is dark enough that it can be used to ground a project, Isabelline is light enough to be a backdrop color, and the remaining three shades still have plenty of variety between them.
Names: Brilliant rose, Persian pink, Cherry blossom pink, Lavender pink, Orchid pink
Hex Codes: #DE4EA5, #F78ED1, #F3ACC1, #F8B0CC, #FCBAD1
Unfortunately, some designers resort to trite, tired designs when creating Valentine’s Day graphics. But the designer of this example picture certainly did not! This pretty design is original and visually striking, and it also has an eye-catching color palette.
Brilliant Rose and Persian Pink are bright enough to really stand out. The rest of the colors are similar enough to craft a monochromatic palette. Adding a touch of green like you see in the example design is all you need to round out your color scheme.
15. Cartoon Bloom
Names: Tiffany blue, Non photo blue, Desert sand, Misty rose, Melon
Hex Codes: #98C4C1, #ABD9D7, #F1CFB4, #FEE5E0, #EBABA2
Not all Valentine’s Day designs have to stick to the typical color palette. Some, like the one above, incorporate hints of red and pink into an entirely unexpected color scheme.
This particular color scheme is perfect if you want your Valentine’s Day design to make your audience think of spring. And that’s not just because the example image features so many flowers! Pastels have a dreamy, springlike feel, so this collection of soft blues, gentle pinks, and even a hint of peach is perfectly light and refreshing.
16. Rose Taupe
Names: Blush, Persian pink, Mimi pink, Lavender blush, Misty rose
Hex Codes: #E24980, #FB88C1, #FED1D8, #FEF1F8, #F3DBD4
The spring-inspired color palette above is a beautiful one. But if you want your Valentine’s Day design to give off cozy, wintery vibes, this palette might be just right. Misty Rose is the color of a warm, cozy sweater, and Lavender Blush is essentially white with the barest hint of pink — the perfect background shade for a project centered on Valentine’s Day!
Names: Rojo, Red (cmyk), Bright pink (crayola), Tea rose (red), Ivory
Hex Codes: #DC231F, #FB2C2A, #FE6180, #FFC3C5, #FFFFF3
Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrating love. But it’s also a holiday celebrating sweet treats! The example image above captures both the sweet floral aroma of roses and the sugary goodness of cupcakes.
The image is nicely balanced, but if you choose this particular palette, be careful with both Rojo and CMYK Red. When these super-bright crimson shades are counterbalanced with enough white (or another calmer shade), they make a great addition to any design. But if you use too much of either (or both), the excess red can be jarring and unpleasant.
Names: Off red (rgb), Light red, Cherry blossom pink, Thistle, Cosmic latte
Hex Codes: #EB0001, #FF8690, #FFAEB3, #CAAFC6, #FCF4DF
Some research has indicated the color pink makes people crave sugar. And when you combine this pretty pink background with that pile of sprinkles in the middle, it might just make you want a cupcake!
If you take a look at the five colors of the palette above, you’ll see that — like a handful of other color palettes on the list — this one includes a vivid shade of red that doesn’t quite match up with the other shades. The example image successfully integrates it as an accent color: if you look closely, you can see that only two sprinkles (the ones on either side of the word “love”) are RGB Off Red, but that little touch is just enough.
19. Chocolate Roses
Names: Fire engine red, Red (pantone), Folly, Burnt umber, Caput mortuum
Hex Codes: #C9001C, #F90D36, #F91A4E, #843D29, #632D21
Chocolates are one of the quintessential Valentine’s Day candies, and this picture captures the rich coloring of both milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Its associated color palette is intense and warm-leaning, so if you aren’t careful, these five shades can quickly get overwhelming.
The example image offers you a strategy for balancing out the heat of the various red shades (and the warmer undertones of the shades of brown). The cool white backdrop, the coolness of the green leaves and stems, and the black accent of the chalkboard complete the design beautifully.
Names: Red (ncs), Rose red, Puce, Sky magenta, Fandango
Hex Codes: #B51E3F, #C53256, #D48AAB, #C966A6, #AB3392
This color palette’s example image is a refreshing juxtaposition of vintage and modern. The bouquet of flowers looks like the kind of image you might find on a vintage Valentine’s Day card. But when you look at the vase, you see that its uniquely geometric shape makes it look decidedly modern.
Despite that difference, the two work well together. The vase is also a fascinating example of how carefully shading Puce, Sky Magenta, and Fandango can give you a striking 3D effect.
21. Walk in the Park
Names: Rosewood, Madder, Rusty red, Cherry blossom pink, Puce
Hex Codes: #6B1115, #A31D30, #D92A3B, #F9B9CA, #CE8E94
This pretty, almost monochromatic palette centers around red and pink, but it does so in a unique way. Rusty Red and Cherry Blossom Pink are the classic red and pink shades that most people associate with the holiday. But this palette incorporates them into unusual gradients.
Dark, near-brown Rosewood can keep the design grounded as it fades into Madder, and finally to Rusty Red. And Cherry Blossom Pink can rest comfortably against a dusty background of Puce.
22. Tea Lights
Names: Platinum, Seasalt, Lavender blush, Misty rose, Amaranth pink
Hex Codes: #D8DDE0, #F9F9F7, #F1E4EE, #EFD6DA, #E599B3
Looking for a Valentine’s Day palette that’s soft and wonderfully calming? This is the perfect one to choose. Silvery Platinum and cool-tinged Sea Salt have the potential to form a truly striking backdrop. Lavender Blush, Misty Rose, and Amaranth Pink are all floral-inspired shades great for flowery designs. They’re also quiet enough to be used for swirling, watercolor-like backgrounds.
23. At Sunset
Names: Bittersweet, Salmon, Wheat, Imperial red, Fire brick
Hex Codes: #EE6F60, #FD8067, #FFE4BB, #EE343A, #B61B25
This color palette’s example image commands attention. The colors themselves beautifully capture the light of the setting sun. And thanks to the way the image is structured, your eye is pulled to the focal point: the glowing sun right above the couple.
The palette incorporates pink and purple, but it’s far from your typical collection of Valentine’s Day colors. Bittersweet and Salmon have a beautiful glow that goes nicely with the sunny yellow of Wheat. Imperial Red comes close to the traditional red of many Valentine’s Day designs, and Fire Brick is deep, muted, and grounding.
Names: Rose pompadour, Carnation pink, White, Amaranth pink, Thulian pink
Hex Codes: #EE688E, #FEA9CE, #FAFCFB, #EF9CBF, #BC7295
Do you love pink? If so, this colorful array might be exactly right for your next design. The shades are different enough that they can clearly stand out from one another, but they’re similar enough that any design using all of them can still have a smooth, cohesive look.
These shades of pink are ideal for floral designs — most of them are named after flowers. But they’re also reminiscent of frosting, candies, and other sweet treats!
Names: Coral pink, Melon, Platinum, Cherry blossom pink, Fire brick
Hex Codes: #F79F99, #FDC4B8, #DFE0E2, #EEB1B8, #B80220
Speaking of frosting, this color palette also might remind you of walking into a bakery. But because there’s so much range across its different shades, you can use it for just about anything.
As with most Valentine’s Day palettes, this one is made up primarily of warmer colors. However, if you choose to use cool Platinum as a background color as the example image does, it can help keep your design balanced.
Names: Brilliant rose, Persian pink, Lavender pink, Anti-flash white, Tea green
Hex Codes: #EC52AA, #FA7ACC, #FCA2D8, #EFEFEF, #C4D399
Pink blooms are an especially beautiful symbol of Valentine’s Day, and this palette captures their delicate charm. Brilliant Rose, Persian Pink, and Lavender Pink are all brimming with energy. But because Anti-Flash White is a cool-leaning white and Tea Green is a cool but muted green, the three warmer shades won’t overwhelm your audience.
27. Cherry Blossom
Names: Rose pompadour, Cherry blossom pink, Pale dogwood, Bright pink (crayola), Rose red
Hex Codes: #E38097, #F5B0C5, #FBD1C3, #EA5374, #CB2357
This pretty array of colors might remind you of a fruit sorbet. Crayola Bright Pink and Rose Red have purplish undertones that give them a raspberry-like hue. Rose Pompadour and Cherry Blossom Pink have a pretty, floral color that’s also close to that of strawberry ice cream, and Pale Dogwood is pleasantly peachy.
This color collection is also more versatile than you might think. When you first look at the five colors in the palette, you might think that Pale Dogwood is the obvious choice for a background color. But as you can see in the example image, Crayola Bright Pink makes a memorable backdrop as well!
28. Calm and Folly
Names: Ash gray, Tiffany blue, Mint green, Baker-miller pink, Folly
Hex Codes: #99B8B3, #ACDBD5, #C8E7E1, #F891AD, #F23555
Of all the color palettes on our list, this one might just be the most calming. Ash Gray, Tiffany Blue, and Mint Green are soothing, mellow shades. You may also recognize Baker-Miller Pink — this is the shade that’s been shown in studies to calm people down and reduce aggressive behavior.
Folly is the brightest color of the bunch, and it doesn’t have quite the calming vibe as the rest of the palette. But when it’s used as an accent color (as you see in the example image), it simply adds some interest without taking away from the overall relaxed energy.
Names: Lavender blush, Amaranth pink, Rose pompadour, Cerise, Cardinal
Hex Codes: #FAEEEE, #ECA1B6, #E37B96, #D7315B, #C51943
Even if you aren’t planning on creating an ombre-style design, a gradient palette like the one above can be a great way to give your project a smooth, seamless look. This interesting palette involves a light-dark gradient, but this gradient also covers a lot of ground.
Lavender Blush is essentially a shade of white with a little touch of pink, and it moves into the slightly more saturated Amaranth Pink and Rose Pompadour. Energetic Cerise and rich Cardinal offer you an opportunity to add a splash of intense color!
30. Just a Splash
Names: Brilliant rose, Persian pink, Lavender pink, Celestial blue, Dun
Hex Codes: #F35AA2, #F983C1, #F3A4CB, #2C93CF, #DCCBBA
Last on the list is a beautiful but highly unusual color palette. Brilliant Rose, Persian Pink, Lavender Pink, and even Dun are ordinary enough for a Valentine’s Day palette. But Celestial Blue takes the whole color collection to the next level. This calming, sky-inspired shade creates a beautiful contrast with the palette’s various shades of pink.
It might not be the first color you think of when you imagine Valentine’s Day. But if you take even a quick look at the example image, you’ll see that it works beautifully with sweet shades of pink.
Using Valentine’s Day Colors in Your Designs
Whether you’re designing a card, an ad, or a website update, there’s no shortage of design opportunities surrounding Valentine’s Day. And as you see above, the realm of Valentine’s Day colors extends far beyond cherry red and candy pink.
Of course, finding the right colors is only a small step in the design process. Once you’ve chosen your color palette, it’s time to plan how to use each of those colors. Here are a few tips to help you create your best designs yet.
Choose an Overarching Style
There’s a Valentine’s Day design for every taste. Before you start, it can be helpful to have a general idea of the vibe you’re going for. Do you want a vintage-style design with warm whites and dusty pink roses? Something more modern and geometric? Or maybe something styled more like a cartoon?
In many cases, it’s wise to have a specific style in mind before you start choosing colors. But if you prefer, you can select your colors first and then let them inspire you!
Use Red With Caution
If you’ve been in the design field for any length of time, you already know that it’s always wise to use caution with red and other high-energy colors. But because red is a color so closely connected to Valentine’s Day, it can be hard to find a balance.
In many designs, you want to prominently feature red, but you don’t want to use so much red that your audience gets overwhelmed. Red is closely connected to love and passion, but it’s also connected to aggression. So if your design includes a large amount of red, your viewers might start to feel agitated or uneasy if they look at it too long — and that’s definitely not the effect you want from a design celebrating Valentine’s Day!
Don’t Forget Your Fonts
You can design just about anything with a Valentine’s Day theme. But because many Valentine’s Day designs are cards, text is frequently an integral part of the design.
Some inexperienced graphic designers focus so much on the design itself that when it comes time to add text, they rush through it. But the wrong text (meaning the wrong font style, color, or size) can make even the most beautiful design look amateurish.
So, which font is right for your design? That depends on the exact style of your project, but here are a few general tips for selecting the right font (and color) for your design:
- In most cases, it’s best to avoid overused, old-school fonts like Times New Roman.
- When it comes to color, choose something that contrasts enough to be easily readable but not so much that it looks overly harsh.
- Remember that effects like shadowing can add interest — just don’t overuse them.
Of course, when it comes to choosing a font, just about everyone always seems to have an opinion. Take your time when making a decision, but trust your eye!
This Valentine’s Day, What Will You Create?
Every holiday presents artists and designers with new challenges and opportunities. The color palettes above might give you a starting point to build a classic design — or maybe even something entirely new.