Neon vs. Pastel

Brax, Flyx, video games, competition, faceoff, Eyewire, citizen science

Some of us have big, brash personalities, and some are all soft and subdued. In the color palette of life, you can definitely spot the people who can get away with wearing electric pink versus the people who look their best in a dusky rose. Where do you fall on that spectrum? We’re going to have a Neon vs. Pastel throwdown right here on Eyewire. The competition starts at 11 AM EDT on 8/8 and goes for 24 hours!

Your teams:


  • While this refers to the distinctive colors of many noble gases when they’re electrically stimulated, the gas neon (Ne) specifically gives off a reddish orange glow.
  • Other “neon” shades like electric blue and hot pink, are often generated by argon and a helium-neon blend respectively. Neon green is trickier to compose, and may involve a variety of gases.
  • Do some of your neon-colored clothes seem to glow under a blacklight? They’re not being electrically stimulated, but they probably contain phosphorescent compounds in their dyes.


  • Although pastel sticks can contain surprisingly bold pigments, generally they have been known to produce colors of low saturation, and have hence bestowed their name on pale, gentle hues.
  • Despite their apparent similarity, using a pastel is much different from using a crayon! Unlike crayon wax, pastel powder is dusty, easily smudged, and thus both versatile and challenging to master.
  • If you like pastel shades, the fashion and design worlds are on your side lately: pastels have become about as prevalent in the 2010s as they were in the 1950s!

For science!

Artwork by Elena Daly