pantone colors of the year 2021

Pantone’s Colors of the Year

In the world of design, the most exciting part about the end of the year is Pantone’s release of their color for the new year. The brand dedicates its entire brand around the color of the year, all of their content is surrounded around that color. Normally, every year, the color is quite different from the years prior. The color of 2020 was Classic Blue (19-4052), and the color for 2019 was Living Coral (16-1546). Considering how intense 2020 was, Pantone decided to change it up and not have one but two colors for 2021. 


Ultimate Gray + Illuminating 


For 2021, Pantone decided to go with two colors, Ultimate Gray (17-5104) and Illuminating (13-0647). Illuminating is a fitting name because it is a bright yellow, while the gray is more subdued, and it balances out the yellow. 


Pantone decided to pick two colors instead of one for 2020 because they are “a marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.” The year 2020 was not the roaring 20’s that we were expecting. Instead, the world turned upside down. The purpose of combining these two colors is to display that we can work through this tough year together and come together and be victorious in the new year.


The creators that chose the colors for 2021 said the colors are “practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic.” Their goal is to spread positivity and happiness while remembering the strength it took to battle the unpredicted endeavors of 2020.


A little about Pantone’s color of the year


The process of choosing and curating the color of the year started over 20 years ago. To this day, it is has a considerable influence on design, fashion, and most things art-related. The color, or in this matter colors, are chosen by curators who travel the world in search of inspiration. 


There is no limit to where the inspiration stems from, whether that’s in television and film, fashion, technology, social media, sporting events, and the list continues.  


Overall, Pantone has sent a message that 2021 will be much different than 2020. Instead of dealing with the struggles of the pandemic, we will be stronger from these experiences and have the optimism to move forward. Our past, especially this year, will not define us, and these colors give us a glimpse into an optimistic and hopeful future. 


We are more than excited to see how both, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, will be used throughout the year in 2021. Whether that’s in fashion, interior design, graphic design, etc., it is leading towards a bright future.