Designing for Women: 10 of the Cutest Color Palettes from Japan



Over the past few months, we have written about what we see as a trend coming from Japanese mobile developers: The country is exceptionally good at creating cute web services and apps that appeal to women [1]. On a visual level, a lot of these cute Japanese services possess many of the same qualities. And when it comes to choosing color schemes, that means lots of pinks, pastels, and other soft tones.

I thought it would be good to collect some color palettes from Japanese services that are popular with women. For designers out there who are creating web services or apps for ladies, especially ones in Japan, do take note of the choices here when deciding your own color schemes [2].

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Fril

Fril is a flea market app for female students in high school or college. It encourages users to sell their unwanted clothes online. It was created by Fablic Inc.

More on Fril in our database.

Color Sample Color Code

2. iQon

iQon is an online fashion coordination service. It allows users to create their favorite looks using photos of accessories and dresses available on the website.

More on iQon in our database

Color Sample Color Code

3. Papelook

Papelook is a mobile photo app that allows users to create their own collages. Users can easily cut out objects by tracing it with their finger, and then rearrange it with other snippets into elaborate photo collages.

More on Papelook in our database

Color Sample Color Code

4. CocoPPa

CocoPPa is a cute mobile app that lets you collaboratively create cute iPhone homescreens. It offers a platform where users around the world can share and collaborate on these kind of designs.

More on CocoPPa in our database

Color Sample Color Code

5. Snapeee

Snapeee is a photo decorating and sharing app for iOS and Android. It allows users to alter and decorate their pictures using over 4000 decoration themes.

More on Snapeee in our database

Color Sample Color Code

6. @Cosme

@Cosme (pronounced ‘At Cosme’) is a cosmetics and beauty products internet portal, founded back in 1999. Users can check product reviews and rankings, ask questions about skincare and makeup, and even find out where products are available offline.

More on @Cosme in our database

Color Sample Color Code

7. Luna Luna

Luna Luna is a tool that helps women be more aware of their menstrual cycles. By recording your menstrual period and body temperature, it predicts suitable timings for pregnancy, or help with contraconception. The service was originally provided on featured phones, but now there are dedicated applications.

Read more on Luna Luna in our database

Color Sample Color Code

7. Decopic

Decopic is a photo application that allows users to decorate their photos with cute stamps, frames, and filters.

More on Decopic in our database

Color Sample Color Code

8. Nikkei Woman

Nikkei Woman Online is the internet version of a Japanese lifestyle and entertainment magazine for women in their 20s and 30s.

Color Sample Color Code

9. Benesse Women’s Park

Women’s Park is a review portal for mothers that launched back in 2000. The public company behind the site is Benesse, whose primary business is education.

Color Sample Color Code

10. Nailbook

Nailbook is Japanese photo sharing service for nail art. User can save photos by pushing “Kawaii” button.

Read more about Nailbook in our database

Color Sample Color Code

  1. Big thanks to Yukari Mitsuhashi who has written about the vast majority of all these services almost single-handedly.  ↩

  2. Another big thanks to Ricky Elrod for his clever little Color Palette Generator Ruby script which I used as a starting point for creating the color palette tables above.  ↩