Insect pigmentation is a premier model system in evolutionary and developmental biology. It has been at the heart of classical studies as well as recent breakthroughs. In insects, pigments are produced by epidermal cells through a developmental process that includes pigment patterning and synthesis. Many aspects of this process also impact other phenotypes, including behavior and immunity. This review discusses recent work on the development and evolution of insect pigmentation, with a focus on pleiotropy and its effects on color pattern diversification.