Pink in Illustration

In the last half century or so pink has increasingly become femme coded. This wasn’t the case before the second world war.

If an illustrator utilises a predominantly pink palette today, does this mean the work will therefore look as if the target market is ‘girls’?

Below find a selection of illustrations with a hugely varied mood and genre. Pink can be soft, harsh, romantic, and everything in between.

Mead Schaeffer (1898 - 1980). A woman and two men, all in white suits, are in a restaurant.
Mead Schaeffer (1898 – 1980)
A woman plays a harmonica in a forest full of pink trunked trees. A kangaroo watches.
Prelude – The early life of Eileen Joyce C.H. Abrahall, illustrated by Anna Zinkeisen. Published by Oxford University Press 1950
Magic Secrets by Rose Wyler & Gerald Ames, illustrated by Tālivaldis Stubis (1967) cut a woman in half
Magic Secrets by Rose Wyler & Gerald Ames, illustrated by Tālivaldis Stubis (1967)

PINK AND BLUE

M. Mayofis - Tales of the Brothers Grimm Doctor Know-it-all
M. Mayofis – Tales of the Brothers Grimm Doctor Know-it-all
ACHTER DE BERGEN (1979) Lilo Fromm water wheel
ACHTER DE BERGEN (1979) Lilo Fromm
Alfred Buell (1910–1996)
Alfred Buell (1910–1996)
English Villages And Hamlets, Humphrey Pakington, Cover By Brian Cook, Ill. Sydney R. Jones (B. T. Batsford Ltd, London 1934, this edition 1941) cover
Pierre Commarmond (1897–1983) 1929 travel poster illustration for Rocamadour, a small clifftop village in south-central France
Elegant Modes 1922 Georges Lepape (1887-1971)
Elegant Modes 1922 Georges Lepape (1887-1971)
Animation backgrounds from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, 1961
Animation backgrounds from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, 1961
Menu Chat Noir George Auriol, c. 1899
Menu Chat Noir George Auriol, c. 1899
A girl pours a kettle of steaming water into a bird bath for the birds on a snowy day. A dog watches on.
P.D. Eastman (Snow, illustrated by Roy McKie, 1962)
Cover design and illustration by Politzer, 1932 I Still Believe In You
Cover design and illustration by Politzer, 1932 I Still Believe In You
Bob Peak romantic couple
Bob Peak
Early London and South Western Railway poster
Early London and South Western Railway poster
Cover design and illustration by Albert Wilfred Barbelle, 1928
Cover design and illustration by Albert Wilfred Barbelle, 1928
A man sits at his desk near a window, with one hand on the side of his glasses. Outside the window is a pink building and snowy trees.
Nikolay Ustinov from the life story of the Russian journalist & naturalist, Mikhail Prishvin
A pinkish red sun with a blue halo above a pink and blue landscape done in a large brush.
Untitled Landscape (1977) Abstract landscape by Cincinnati painter Jack Meanwell (1919-2005)
MICHAEL LEONARD - Woman's Journal - 1962 Source- Lifestyle illustration of the 50's
MICHAEL LEONARD – Woman’s Journal – 1962 Source- Lifestyle illustration of the 50’s
Antonio Lopez fashion designs for unknown publication, possible the cover, 1967
Antonio Lopez fashion designs for unknown publication, possible the cover, 1967
Bob Peak My Fair Lady movie poster 1964
Bob Peak My Fair Lady movie poster 1964
Jaroslav Šetelík (Czech , 1881 - 1955) View from the Seminary Gardens, 1908
Jaroslav Šetelík (Czech , 1881 – 1955) View from the Seminary Gardens, 1908

PINK AND YELLOW

Pinks with yellows and ochres can soften the pink.

badgers underground. A mother badger with two babies
Brian Wildsmith
1952 September, cover by Alvin Lustig collage
Helios drove across the sky, From 'Childcraft Vol 6'. First published in 1964
Helios drove across the sky, From ‘Childcraft Vol 6’. First published in 1964
Illustration by Adrienne Adams in 'Childcraft The How and Why Library' Volume 5, Field Enterprises, first printed 1964
Illustration by Adrienne Adams in ‘Childcraft The How and Why Library’ Volume 5, Field Enterprises, first printed 1964
Postcard by Nanni Sirio, circa 1915
Postcard by Nanni Sirio, circa 1915
Andrew Loomis (1892-1959) - Letter to Santa
Andrew Loomis (1892-1959) – Letter to Santa
Rudolf Wacker (1893 - 1939) Old Houses in Lindau, 1928
Rudolf Wacker (1893 – 1939) Old Houses in Lindau, 1928
by H. A. Rey for Pretzel by Margaret Rey (1944)
by H. A. Rey for Pretzel by Margaret Rey (1944)
Nicoletta Ceccoli - The Princess and the White Bear King
Nicoletta Ceccoli – The Princess and the White Bear King
Liberty, March 30, 1940. Art by Hubbell Reed McBride dog
Liberty, March 30, 1940. Art by Hubbell Reed McBride
DE ONTEVREDEN VIS (1962) Cornelius van Velsen
DE ONTEVREDEN VIS (1962) Cornelius van Velsen
Deutsche Landschaft HAP (Helmut Andreas Paul) Grieshaber,1953, large format woodcut
Deutsche Landschaft HAP (Helmut Andreas Paul) Grieshaber,1953, large format woodcut
by Ilonka Karasz (1896-1981) The New Yorker cover April 25, 1953
by Ilonka Karasz (1896-1981) The New Yorker cover April 25, 1953
A woman in a 1940s dress rushes through a door.
Rushing In, Ernest Chiriaka (1913-2010) gouache
Evaline Ness, Favourite Fairy Tales Told In Italy 1965
Evaline Ness, Favourite Fairy Tales Told In Italy 1965
Georges Antoine Rochegrosse 1901
Georges Antoine Rochegrosse 1901

Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.

But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.

Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.

Addams family set from the old black and white show
Addams family set from the old black and white show
Lemon girl young adult novella

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