Pantone Again Selects Two Colors of the Year for 2021: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating
Pantone has announced the 2021 Color of the Year—or should we say, colors, plural. As it did in 2016, Pantone actually chose two shades to accurately capture the spirit of the upcoming year: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating.
Pantone picks two colors of the year, and they’re complete opposites https://t.co/qmXVDMufvF
— Fast Company (@FastCompany) December 9, 2020
Calling the two colors “a marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting,” Pantone chose the two shades for their representation of practicality and optimism simultaneously.
“As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality,” Pantone said on its announcement. “PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.”
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in her description of the two colors that the juxtaposition of such a bright shade against the more neutral tone of the gray “expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude.”
During a year full of overwhelming challenges and occasionally bleak outlooks, society has pulled together and endured, finding new ways to create happiness and positivity. Ultimate Gray is knowing when to buckle down for hard work, and Illuminating is finding time for a laugh and the light at the end of a very long tunnel.
“Practical and rock solid, but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope,” Eiseman said. “We need to feel encouraged and uplifted. This is essential to the human spirit.”
Like previous Pantone Colors of the Year, expect to see this color pairing on everything from apparel to home goods in the coming months.