Pickguard Paradise: Exploring Inspirational Pickguard & Guitar Color Pairings

by Brett Quattrucci on May 07, 2024

Unleash Your Guitar's Personality with the Perfect Pickguard

Your guitar's pickguard is more than just a functional shield - it's a canvas for self-expression. This unassuming slab of plastic or metal can transform your axe from a bland beige instrument into a vibrant, eye-catching work of art that screams your musical persona.

Imagine a fiery red tortoiseshell pickguard that gives your Strat an unmistakable vintage vibe, as if it was plucked straight from the sweaty palms of a '60s garage rocker. Or perhaps a pearlescent white guard for your Tele, channeling the icy cool of a Nashville session cat. For the metal maniacs, a black anodized pickguard can imbue your SG with a sinister, apocalyptic aura.

This guide is your gateway to unlocking the visual alchemy of pickguard selection. We'll explore daring color combos, unique materials, and aesthetic vibes to help you forge a guitar that doesn't just sound like you - it looks like you. Because great tone means nothing without the right look to back it up. Ready to turn your mundane plank into a real showstopper?

Discover your perfect pickguard at Ploutone!


green strat with gold pickguard, orange tele with parchment pearl pickguard, black ibanez with blue pickguard

The above Strat, Tele, and Ibanez present some of the more daring color combinations.


Classic vs. Modern: Finding Your Vibe

Before diving into specific colors, consider the overall aesthetic you're going for. Do you crave a timeless, classic look, or are you drawn to something more modern and unconventional?


Classic Vibes

Channel guitar legends with iconic pairings like a white Strat with a black pickguard, a black guitar with a white pickguard, or the sleek minimalism of a black guitar with a black pickguard. Sunburst finishes also shine with classic elegance when paired with black, white, or tortoise pickguards. The unique brown and gold marbled pattern of tortoise shell pickguards surprisingly complements a variety of finishes, including sunburst. This is the perfect opportunity to ask yourself, "what color pickguard for my white Strat?" or "which color pickguard for my sunburst Strat?"


white strat with red tortoise pickguard, gray tele with tortoise pickguard, white gibson with red tortoise pickguard

Tortoise pickguards are a great option if you're going for a classic style with a bit of flair.


Modern Edge

Take your axe to the future with brightly colored pickguards, flashy mirror acrylics, or eye-catching pearloid options. These choices will make a bold statement and personalize your instrument. Pondering "what color pickguard for my black Strat?" Why not go wild with a vibrant red or green?

black tele with red tortoise pickguard, red tele with black pickguard, black tele with red pickguard

Red and black is an aggressive and modern combination that's one of my personal favorites.


Picking Your Palette: Subtle or Striking?

The next step is to decide on the color intensity you prefer.


Subtle Sophistication

For a mellow aesthetic that complements the natural wood grain, consider black, white, dark pearloid pickguards, or neutral colors like mint green, parchment, aged white, or cream.

black strat with black pickguard, black strat with black pearl pickguard, black tele with black pearl pickguard

Black on black doesn't have to be boring! Pearl pickguards add that extra bit of subtle luxury and refined style.


Vibrant Expression

If you want your guitar to stand out, explore our selection of brightly colored pickguards, or opt for the sophisticated shimmer of pearl pickguards in various hues. Mirror acrylics are another option for a truly eye-catching statement. When it comes to the "best pickguard color for olympic white Strat," let your freak flag fly!



white telecaster with red tortoise pickguard, jazz bass with purple pearl pickguard, white strat with blue pickguard


Unlocking the Magic of Color Combinations

Now, let's delve into some popular color combinations to inspire your pickguard selection.


White Guitars

White guitars and black pickguards provide a clean and sophisticated look, forever popularized by countless guitar heroes.
    white gibson sg with black pickguard, white tele with black pickguard, white les paul with black pickguard

    If sleek and subtle is your vibe, you can't wrong with the simple black and white combo!

    Neutral pickguards (Mint Green, Parchment, Aged White, Cream) create a mellow aesthetic that highlights the natural beauty of the white finish.

    White strat with cream pickguard, white strat with mint green pickguard, white tele with mint green pickguard


    A gold pickguard on a white guitar exudes class and elegance.

    White guitars with gold pickguards


    Black Guitars

    It doesn't take much to spruce up a black guitar. A cream or pearl pickguard can add just the right amount of character.

    black tele with pearl white pickguard, black tele with cream pickguard, black strat with parchment pearl pickguard


    A gold pickguard adds a touch of sophistication to a black guitar as well as a natural finish.

    black strat with gold pickguard, black tele with gold pickguard, natural tele with gold pickguard


    Sunburst Guitar and Pickguard Combinations

    Black is one of the best color pickguards for sunburst strats as well as other models. Sunburst and black go together like peanut butter and jelly, providing a classic and clean aesthetic.


    burst les paul with black pickguard, burst tele with black pickguard, burst strat with black pickguard


    White pickguards also look amazing on a sunburst guitar, emphasizing their warmth and glow.

    burst strat with white pearl pickguard, burst tele with white pearl pickguard, burst les paul with white pickguar
    And often overlooked combination is the tortoise pickguard with a sunburst finish. The brown and gold marbled pattern of tortoise shell surprisingly complements a variety of finishes, including sunburst.
    burst strat with tortoise pickguard, burst tele with tortoise pickguard, burst precision bass with tortoise pickguard


    Beyond these popular choices, don't be afraid to experiment! We've included some additional ideas to spark your creativity:

    • White and tiger/flame pattern pickguard: A touch of wild flair for your axe.
    • Black and leopard print pickguard: Unleash your inner rockstar with an animal print pickguard.
    • Black and purple pickguard: Bold and mysterious.


    purple telecaster with black pickguard, purple precision bass with black pickguard, black strat with purple pearl pickguard

    It wouldn't be a Ploutone blog without some purple and black combinations! 


    SG Pickguard Styles

    When exploring SG pickguard styles, be sure to give tortoise a chance. Just look at how well it pairs with a variety of colors. 

    Sg guitars with tortoise pickguards


    Below are a few unique Tele pickguard combinations.

    Black telecaster with blue pearl pickguard, Purple telecaster with gold pickguard, white telecaster with black pearl pickguard



    Ready to Find Your Perfect Pickguard Match?

    Browse our extensive selection of pickguard colors and materials to find the one that reflects your unique style! We carry high-quality pickguards for Stratocasters, Telecasters, SGs, and a wide variety of other guitar models.

    Leave a comment below and let us know what your favorite color combination is!


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    Author Bio

    Brett, the owner and founder of Ploutone, is a modern guitarist on a mission to create a sustainable future and build a thriving community through the power of music. Brett founded Ploutone to celebrate independent artists and foster connections among guitarists worldwide. With a vision of spreading positivity and promoting sustainability, Brett hopes to inspire others to push the boundaries of their instruments and contribute to a better world.