Echoing the unexpected events 2020, Pantone—for only the second time in its history—has made the surprising decision to choose two, rather than one, color as its Color of the Year for 2021. The colors are a pairing of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating.
PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is described as “a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.” PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is said to be emblematic of solid and dependable elements that are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. Says Pantone, “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.”
For over 20 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.
According to the company, the Pantone Color of the Year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s color experts at Pantone Color Institute comb the world looking for new color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures, and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms, and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.
Reflecting on its choice for 2021, Pantone says, “PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another, best express the mood for Pantone Color of the Year 2021. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, the union of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is one of strength and positivity. It is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.”
Says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of The Pantone Color Institute, “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.”
Adds the company, “Emboldening the spirit, the pairing of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 highlights our innate need to be seen, to be visible, to be recognized, to have our voices heard. A combination of color whose ties to insight, innovation and intuition, and respect for wisdom, experience, and intelligence inspires regeneration, pressing us forward toward new ways of thinking and concepts.”