Article in App of the Week category.

Pastel is a beautiful way to store your favorite colors

In the world of developers, designers, and artists color managers are commonplace. Pastel differs by not only looking incredibly good, but being powerful and tightly…

pastel app

In the world of developers, designers, and artists color managers are commonplace. Pastel differs by not only looking incredibly good, but being powerful and tightly integrated into cores features of iOS, iPadOS, and Mac. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith has just updated the app with more features including widget support for iOS 14.

After spending so much time working on web interfaces and frequently saving hex codes in a notes document and a more basic color manager, there’s no way I can go back from Pastel.

To start, I can’t get over the stunning icon that represents Pastel on your Home screen. It is simple and gorgeous and one I love seeing each time I go to open the app. It is just a series of color pallets with a color wheel in the corner, but it is spot-on, down to the pixel.

pastel app screens

Upon first launch, Pastel comes with 16 color schemes ready to go. Troughton-Smith has given us plenty to play with without even having to come up with our own color pairings. Everything from subtle pastels to vivid eye-catching combinations. The app cleanly lays out all your palettes in a list, showing a preview of all the colors within. Each palette can be part of a collection and you can filter which collections you view at once. Of course, all your palettes are searchable as well. Troughton-Smith has done an incredible job with animations through the app such as when you are viewing a palette and you expand the preview to full screen and it expands to fill every minuscule pixel.

Pastel is more than just storing colors though, it is functional. Any color you save you can long-hold and get presented with a contextual menu full of possibilities. You can rename the color, but you can also copy the hex value, RGB value, float value, bitmap, and UIColor (for Swift, Objective-C, and SwiftUI). The Share Sheet also lets you export
your colors as a reference card or directly into Procreate.

When creating a new palette, Pastel lets you choose a color through various selectors including a color wheel, sliders, pencils, and more. The RGB, CMYK, HSB, hex, or float value can be entered as well. If you have a color but you aren’t sure what it is, you can import an image from Files or the Photos app or even take a new picture and use the loupe to grab the exact color you’re thinking of.

As I mentioned, Pastel comes in apps for iPhone, iPad, and Mac and it looks stunning across all three. The app is function, clean, and well-implemented in a way developers, artists, designers, are all going to love. Pastel is a free app, costing you nothing to download and use as you wish. You have access to every feature Pastel has to offer. The only limitation is the number of palettes you’ve collected. The free version has 20 spaces but with a one-time in-app purchase, you unlock unlimited palettes. In my opinion, it’s well worth it.

But enough about other people's apps.


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