Pantone has selected its “Color of the Year”
Posted on 2020 Dec,12

Usually, the Pantone Color Institute selects a single shade to put the past 12 months in review but given the current mood, 2021 gets two: "Ultimate Gray", a swatch that recalls solid shadows cast on a wall; and a lemony shade Pantone calls "Illuminating", allegedly reminiscent of a happy face.

“No one color could get across the meaning of the moment,” Pantone Color Institute vice-president Laurie Pressman told the New York Times. This pairing is meant to symbolize “the light at the end of the tunnel,” a need for togetherness, and “emotional support and hope,” Pressman said.

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.

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.

In an Instagram post, Pantone explained their choice for the 2021 "Color of the Year":

The Illuminating is "a marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting. It is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power."

Ultimate Gray is "emblematic of solid and dependable elements, which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation."

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.

As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy and hope, these two independent colors come together to create an aspirational color pairing, conjoining deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine filled day.