Pantone’s annual announcement of its Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in an array of industries including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as graphic design and product packaging for more than 20 years. The selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis, and to arrive at the decision, Pantone’s colour experts at Pantone Color Institute search the world looking for new colour influences.
For the second time ever, Pantone has named not one but two Colors of the Year for 2021. The first is Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray. It’s a calming shade that brings to mind stable concrete foundations and serene pebbled beaches. The second is Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating, a bright yellow that creates a feeling of warm sunshine while evoking cheerful spirits and reminding us of a tasty lemon tart.
It seems the move by the institute to name two outwardly unrelated shades as its collective colours for 2021 is in response to the unprecedented year that led up to its announcement. The institute described its decision as “a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting”.
Here the two independent colours highlight how different elements come together to support one another and best express the mood for 2021. They’re practical and rock solid, but at the same time warming and optimistic. The union is one of strength and positivity. Together they tell a story of colour that captures deeper emotions of thoughtfulness with the promise of an element of friendliness and sunny futures. It’s the combination of the pair that creates a message of happiness supported by fortitude while emitting inspiration and giving us hope. And that’s something that is so important after 2020. We need to understand and feel that everything is going to get better and brighter. It’s essential to our spirit. The cheerful sparkling yellow complements the solid and dependable grey, and we can’t wait to see what creatives launch into the world by utilising these unique choices.