global color authority pantone has announced its color of the year for 2021 as a set of independent colors that come together to create an aspirational color pairing: ultimate gray, and illuminating.
illuminating is a cheerful yellow with vivacity, a warming shade imbued with solar power, while ultimate gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements, which provide a firm foundation. ‘the selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one,’ said leatrice eiseman, executive director of the pantone color institute. ‘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 color combination that gives us resilience and hope. we need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit.’
‘the pantone color of the year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, expressing what people are looking for that color can hope to answer,’ pressman added. ‘as society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication, and a way to symbolize thoughts and ideas, many designers and brands are embracing the language of color to engage and connect.’
each color of the year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. pantone’s color experts comb the world seeking new influences from a variety of sources, including the entertainment industry, films in production, art collections, fashion, all areas of design, travel destinations, as well as lifestyles, and socio-economic conditions. for 22 years, pantone’s color of the year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including home furnishings, industrial design, product packaging and graphic design.
this year, pantone imagines that the use of illuminating or ultimate gray does not have to be in equal proportions — rather one can take precedence in the design of apparel, beauty, home furnishings, product design or packaging. illuminating punctuated by a touch of ultimate gray can convey a message of sunshine and strength, while enduring ultimate gray can provide a great starting point, with illuminating bringing in some brightness.
in the design of home decor, the two tones provide a great combination to set the mood in any room, adding a dose of positivity. juxtaposing illuminating with ultimate gray in table linens, pillows and tabletop accessories infuses vitality and liveliness. painting a front door in bright yellow illuminating conveys a warm and welcoming message when supported by solid and dependable ultimate gray in the exterior finishes.
see previous pantone projects and colors of the year on designboom here, including the 2020 selection, ‘classic blue’.
nina azzarello I designboom
dec 10, 2020