We've finally nailed down the basic colors from primary to secondary; now it's time to study other colors, hybrids, and palettes that make this world more complex and non-binary. We run in gradients, and in a geopolitical world, there's illusory utopia in pastels.
Pastel colors come from a family where the values are high, and the saturation low-to intermediate. The name comes from an art medium, the pastels themselves, and they produce such colors. They're often washed out pinks, subdued blues, and desaturated violets -- the key is that they lack strong chromatic content. The color white is more dominant.
Come 2010, the pastel craze reentered humanity. Perhaps it's because the nature of the world today is conflicted, messy, war-torn, that at the very least, we could calm ourselves with milky, near-neutral colors to get some control. In the 1950's, pastels were huge too, especially when it's supposed to contrast WII of the '40s. We can afford to be softer, easier, more romantic.
The word "light" frequently comes up in the conversation. Pastels easily touch our feelings and perception to things. When the world is stressful and chaotic, when we're caught in midst of things, it's no wonder that Pantone, names one of its recent pastel blue colors as "Serenity".
Colors are made up of light, and pastel has a lot of it. We might just need that to thrive through the darkest days.