Doubling down on Color of the Year 2021

A hush falls over the internet. A drum roll sounds. And the announcement is made: the Pantone Color of the Year 2021 is … er … are PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating.

So, in a break with tradition, and in what might look like a bit of indecision, the team from the Pantone Color Institute have selected not one, but two colours for 2021.

To some, these may look like a square of yellow and a square of grey chosen at random from the universal paint chart. But, to the people at Pantone, it is “a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.”

If you can believe it, 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” for more than 20 years.

Apparently, the selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. But, in the end, what matters is personal perception. So what do these two colours bring to mind for you? Sunshine and rain clouds? Custard and concrete? Lemon meringue pie and warships? Please, do let us know.

And what does it all mean? Well, not a lot. Designers won’t be checking everything they do against this colour combo. In fact, the cynics among us might well say “colour me unimpressed”. However, as we bid farewell to what has been, for many, a least favourite year, the colours remind us that this is a time of hope and that, despite the uncertainties we still face, 2021 might be a little bit better for everyone.

You can pop over to the Pantone site and play with their Ultimate Gray and Illuminating filters for Facebook and Instagram.

Pantone Color of the Year 2021 / Introduction | Pantone UK