Pantone Picks Two Colours For 2021: Ultimate Gray And Illuminating
As year 2020 nears its end following series of tumultuous events especially the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pantone Color Institute has taken up its annual task of forecasting the color that will best reflect the year ahead –2021.
The colour authority, which standardises swatches for the design industry, has now revealed not one, but two hues for its Color of the Year: the neutral Ultimate Gray and vibrant yellow Illuminating, which we at MDB believe is “the light at the end of the tunnel”.
In 22 years that Pantone has been choosing a colour of the year, this is the second time that two colours have been selected. The first time was in 2016, when Rose Quartz and Serenity were chosen.
That year, the two shades were meant to blend into each other, reflecting the recognition of gender fluidity and social progress. But this year, the two shades are meant to stand on their own, as complementary tones, supporting each other.
Looking at year 2020 which was riddled with a global pandemic, illness, economic distress and social upheaval, one can say the choice of Classic Blue as the Color of the Year 2020 was quite predictive, as Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute said; “It’s a color that anticipates what’s going to happen next”.
However, for 2021 colour of the year, Pantone in a press release issued on Wednesday described Illuminating as;
A bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.
While Ultimate Gray is described as an;
Emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation.
According to Pantone, PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray passes a “message of happiness supported by fortitude” while PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is “aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit”.
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, expressed;
The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one. The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude.
Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit.
Pantone’s ability to forecast colour trends is a marketing force that helps furniture, textile, fashion, accessory and technology designers choose designs from season to season.
How to apply PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating
How to use the Pantone Colours of the year 2021
Pantone created five unique color palettes featuring PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating to help bring this year’s special shades into designs.
Each palette conveys a different mood, illustrating the versatility of Ultimate Gray + Illuminating, and is supported by three suggested color combinations.