We need some sunshine in the new year, and Pantone's Color of the Year is just that
The colours 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.
At a time when the unprecedented year created much havoc in everybody’s life, the start to the new year is a perfect time to make a change for the better, to realise positive illusions, hope, optimism and happiness. Colours definitely evoke such feelings and uplift mood. Which is why, like every year, the Pantone Color Institute designates a particular colour as the Pantone Color of the year. This time, the spot is being shared by two hues -a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.
Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, two independent colours 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 the two shades encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.
Pantone Color Institute, the business unit within Pantone that highlights the top seasonal runway colours, selects the Pantone Color of the Year, forecasts global colour trends, and advises companies on colour for product and brand visual identity.
Pantone trend forecasters feel the two colours provide the much-needed aspiration and hope that is required to feel that everything is going to get brighter in 2021. As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality.
Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colours 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.
LeatriceEiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, says, “The selection of two independent colours highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness, conveying the idea that it’s not about one colour 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 colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”
Emboldening the spirit, the pairing highlights the innate need to be seen, to be visible, to be recognised, to have voices heard. This combination is about innovation and intuition, pressing forward toward new ways of thinking and concepts.
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 selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. To arrive at the selection each year, the colour experts at the institute comb the world looking for new colour 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 colour, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.
This isn’t the first time that Pantone’s Color of the Year has come as a duo. Rose Quartz, a pale pink, and Serenity, a powdery blue, were its choices for the year 2016.
Classic Blue was unveiled as the colour of the year for 2020. It described the hue as a ‘universal favourite’ that would inspire “calm, confidence and connection”. Timeless and enduring, classic blue is described as the tone of the busy distractions of modern life, and to the environment of sociopolitical uncertainty. Living Coral was the colour of the year for 2019: a pink-tinted, bright hue, which it described as “an animated, life-affirming shade of orange, with golden undertones.”