80s Color Graphics Collage

Popular Colours That Made The 80s Bright And Memorable

By Jane Duncan, freelance writer

June 25 2021

The eighties were, without any doubt, a period of catchy tunes, big hair, and retro video games. It was also a time when colours become brighter and more daring than ever before. The borderline-bold shades that were favoured during the seventies made way for bright whites, shiny metallics, and a range of neon colours that were every bit as bright as the highlighters that became popular during the era.
Although there were countless colours that, to this day, are reminiscent of the eighties, there are a few that made a bigger impact than others. From neons and shades of blue and green to a surprising number of not-so-bright colours, let’s have a closer look at some of the most popular hues of the eighties.

Neon pinks, yellows, and oranges everywhere

Three of the most popular colours of the eighties were neon pink, yellow, and orange. Loved by guys and girls alike, any (or all three) of the colours could be seen in clothing, shoes, hair accessories, makeup, and even popular brand logos. It was during the eighties that Apple sported a particularly bright and multi-coloured logo, and Lite Brite topped the Christmas wish lists of countless children.
As far as makeup was concerned, neon colours were once again very popular. Bright pink and orange eye shadows were complemented by shimmery lip gloss and big, bulky and bright earrings, headbands and necklaces.

Woman wearing a neon yellow, Pink and blue 80s aerobics outfit. Leotard, belt and leggings


Blues and greens were a firm favourite

Shades of blue and green were another hot favourite in the eighties, with bright neon colours with names such as ‘Tron Turquoise’ and ‘Acid Wash’ vying for popularity alongside more demure shades such as light teal, soft denim, and the immensely popular gentle turquoise.
Out of all of these, turquoise was probably used in the most applications. It could be seen in various hues in everything from shirts and socks to makeup, and even wall paint. Apart from being a very fashionable colour, the gemstone with the same name, Turquoise, was equally as popular during the eighties. Worn in rings, bracelets and amulets, the gemstone was (and still is) believed to have various Feng Shui properties. It not only helped you maintain focus during meditation, but also helped with the balancing and opening-up of chakras.

Surprisingly, not all colors were neon

As popular as bright neon colours may have been during the eighties, so too was a range of pretty pastels. Creamy whites were particularly favoured for statement pieces of clothing, furniture and rugs, while soft mauves and peachy pinks were extensively used in interior decorating, makeup and clothing.

Men's fashion in the late 1980s, grey's and earthy tones by Armani

During the last two years of the decade, rich earthy tones and steely grays also became increasingly popular. These shades were used more frequently in men’s fashion, as well as in interior design. Sadly, it seemed like it was the end of an era of bright trousers and neon tassel cushions

The eighties were known for an array of beautiful and bright colours. Even today, splashes of neon are used to add some colour to what may otherwise be a somewhat dreary existence.