Pantone Color of 2021

What is the Pantone Color of the Year for 2021?

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Before the close of every year, the Pantone Color Institute will identify their year’s trend color. Pantone will choose the color they feel best reflects the year ahead.

For the year 2021, Pantone has chosen two colors as the year’s trend color choices: the colors are ultimate gray (17-5104 TCX) and illuminating (13-0647 TCX), a bright yellow color. The ultimate gray color is dependable and practical, while the illuminating yellow is optimistic and sunny.

This is only the second time Pantone has chosen to feature two colors of year vs their normal one color. Ultimate gray and illuminating yellow are two independent colors that come together into one color trend.

Pantone’s Two Colors Of 2021

Pantone has chosen two colors for the year 2021, ultimate gray and illuminating. The choice of these two colors acts as one Pantone trend color group.

The two colors’ choice is similar to the 2019 art installation from the Italian artist and sometimes comedian Maurizio Cattelan at the Art Basel Miami Beach show. Maurizio taped a ripe yellow banana to the wall using grey colored duct tape. The first art installation sold for $120,000, with other installations of the same work also selling. The banana and duct tape are the same color combinations that Pantone choose as their colors for 2021.

Maurizio Cattelan’s Ripe Banana and Duct Tape – (Art Installation 2019)

This is the first time Pantone has chosen an achromatic shade (gray); it is only the second time they have chosen two colors as the year’s color. Two colors were also chosen in 2016 when Pantone chose the pink color Rose Quartz and blue color Serenity as the colors of the year.

Some think that Pantone was essentially trying to hedge their bets, so they chose two colors as they couldn’t decide what color to choose. But Pantone has expressed that the colors were choosen for a speciiic reason.

In speaking of the 2021 color of the year Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said:

“The union of enduring Ultimate Grey 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.

Leatrice Eiseman

Others felt that Pantone was making a political and social statement when they chose two very different colors. Laura Pressman, the Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute, said in speaking to CNN about the choice of two colors said:

“Two extremely independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express this message of strength and hopefulness…I think (one) thing that’s become abundantly clear during this time …across the world is this deeper understanding of how much we need each other….how our connections to other people, our relationships with other people, give us that emotional support.”

Laura Pressman

Whether Pantone was really making a political and social statement, we do not know. We know that 2020 has been a difficult year for many and that it has changed us all in ways we never thought possible. We all look forward to 2021 with optimism and hope so that we can get back to doing some of the normal things we once took for granted.

Pantone’s Colors Of The Year – Ultimate Gray and Illuminating

The ultimate gray, also known as dependable gray or even duct tape grey, is the basic grey color that many have learned to depend upon. It is a basic grey used for many years in home decor and home furnishing, and many other products; my Apple laptop has a very similar color to the Ultimate Gray color.

Words that help describe the Pantone Ultimate Grey Color color of 2021:

  • Dependable
  • Practical
  • Solid
  • Assured
  • Reliability.
  • Composture
  • Encouragement
  • Steadfast
  • Resilence
  • Firm Foundation
  • Withstood The Test of Time

The illuminating, also a yellow or even a banana yellow, is a color that speaks resilience, optimism, hope, and positivity. The yellow color is a message of hope for 2021.

Words that help describe the Pantone Illuminating Yellow color of 2021:

  • Optimism
  • Cheerful
  • Happiness
  • Vivacity
  • Joy
  • Sunny
  • Warming
  • Friendly
  • Brightness
  • Energetic
  • Upbeat

Pantone has a very uncanny way of picking colors that reflect our lives. At the end of 2019, they picked “classic blue ” as the Pantone color of the year for 2020. Little did we know at that time what a “blue” year 2020 would be for so many.

With Pantone picking a dependable Ultimate gray and an optimistic Illuminating yellow, we can hope that the 2021 year will be a year of renewed hope and positivity; we can do those things we used to depend upon.

Here is an Abode Inspirational Video about Pantone’s Color Choices of 2021:

2021 PANTONE Color of the Year | Adobe Creative Cloud
Pantone Color Of The Year 2021

References Color Chart for Pantone’s Colors 2021

Here is the color reference chart for the Ultimate Gray and illuminating Pantone’s colors of the year for 2021.

Reference Ultimate GrayIlluminating
Color GrayYellow
Pantone Cotton Books (TCX)17-5104 TCX13-0647 TCX
PMS Solid Coated Book (Ink)Cool Gray 7 C106 C
Pantone Color Book (TPG) 17-5104 TPG 13-0647 TPG
RGB Color147 149 151245 223 77
Hexadecimal Color #939597#F5DF4D
HSB Color 52 ° 69% 69% 210° 3% 59%
Reference Color Chart for Pantone’s Colors of 2021

Even though Pantone’s choice of the ultimate gray and illuminating yellow color takes us in a new color direction, we believe that colors will continue to be important in 2021 and onward. Whether you love or hate these color combinations, everyone should notice colors working in the home decor and home furnishing design industry.

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Anita Hummel
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