The most wonderful time of year is finally here. The Pantone Color Institute has unveiled the Colors (yes, we said colors) of the Year for 2021. In a decision appropriate for our post-COVID world, Pantone has selected two colors—PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating—to stimulate global trends and other creative endeavours for 2021, leaving behind the final remnants of 2020 in the dust (where they’re better left forgotten).
The marriage of this strong, sensible gray and cheerful yellow ultimately tells an encouraging story. In a time now defined by its unprecedented challenges, these dependable colors will help boost spirits and serve as a reminder that brighter days lie ahead.
In Pantone's official press release, Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, states, “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. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope.”
Styling and Photography: Talmage McLaurin
Starting this month, we’ll begin to see the glorious effects of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in all facets of our consumer-based lives, from fashion and interior design to architecture and the arts. Floristry, of course, is no exception here, with yellow palettes already being cherished by designers for their vast tonal selection, symbolic meanings and overall “happy” nature. Moreover, yellow flowers have historically been used to incite joy and represent bonds of friendship.
Juxtaposed by its more neutral—and slightly moodier—partner, Illuminating also offers wonderful contrast to Ultimate Gray, presenting unique design capabilities for modern-day creatives and seasoned industry pros.
Whether used as a pair or independently, these versatile colors will subliminally inspire innovative ways of thinking and move us forward with the hope for a better tomorrow.