News

December 10, 2020
Pantone reveals Color(s) of the Year 2021: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating

Pantone, the global color authority and provider of professional color language standards and digital solutions for the design community, announced PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, as the Pantone® Color of the Year selection for 2021, two independent colors that come together to create an aspirational color pairing, conjoining deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine filled day.

PANTONE 17-5104 TCXUltimate Gray

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. Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors 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.

PANTONE 13-0647 TCXIlluminating

“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. The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “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.” added Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute. “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.”

Usage

Pantone Colors of the Year 2021

A marriage of strength and optimism, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating do not have to be used in equal proportions, either color can take precedence whether for apparel, beauty, home furnishings, product design or packaging.

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in Apparel and Fashion Accessories

Illuminating punctuated by a touch of Ultimate Gray conveys a message of sunshine and strength. Enduring Ultimate Gray provides a great bouncing off point with Illuminating bringing in some brightness by way of a scarf, footwear, handbag, shawl, tops. With its energetic presence the marriage of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating are a great combination for activewear. The high visibility contrast of Illuminating and Ultimate Gray adds to its appeal for outerwear.

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in Beauty

A mix of warm and cool tones, combining Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in hair or nail makes a dramatic statement. Illuminating sparkles and shimmers when paired with Ultimate Gray in eye make-up.

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in Home Decor

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating are a great combination to set the mood in any room in the home adding a dose of sunshine and positivity. Juxtaposing Illuminating with Ultimate Gray in table linens, sheeting and home accessories including pillows and tabletop 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. The ideal combination for any office whether in the home or in a commercial space with Ultimate Gray providing the firm foundation for Illuminating, a vibrant yellow that heightens awareness and enhances intuition, lighting the way to the intellectual curiosity, originality, and resourcefulness of an open mind.

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in Packaging and Multi-Media Design

Pairing Illuminating, the color of highest visibility and reflectivity with resilient Ultimate Gray produces a visually noticeable message no matter where it appears. The coupling of friendly Illuminating with quietly assuring Ultimate Gray infuses a message of vitality into a firm foundation of reliability, wisdom and experience for packaging and multi-media design.

Design with Ultimate Gray and Illuminating

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating are paired with versatile hues in a series of five palettes, available to designers as inspiration to incorporate into designs via the Pantone Connect digital color platform. Pantone Connect is available on mobile app and web, and as an extension app for Adobe® Creative Cloud® to make capturing, curating, and designing with Pantone Color easy and accessible. A featured Color of the Year page has all relevant color information for using Ultimate Gray and Illuminating across various physical and digital design media. Visit Pantone.com/connect.

ADOBE X PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR

Pantone has partnered with Adobe Stock to offer a handpicked Color of the Year collection of imagery to inspire creators and bring color to life. Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, Pantone’s choice for 2021, 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. With millions of visual assets, from still photography and design templates to fresh 3D and motion graphics, Adobe Stock is an endless resource for creatives seeking visual inspiration and essential design components. https://stock.adobe.com

See the Adobe Stock/ Pantone Ultimate Gray and Illuminating gallery here: https://adobe.ly/PantoneCoY2021

ARTECHOUSE X PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR

The nation’s first digital art destination, ARTECHOUSE creates innovative, one-of-a-kind technology driven exhibitions and installations, across the United States. Their New York space, located in a 100-year-old boiler room in Chelsea Market will serve as the backdrop of our official Color of the Year 2021 digital announcement to media and influencers across design and creative industries. Inspired by the optimistic and enduring effects of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, Pantone collaborated with ARTECHOUSE and their creative team to produce a visually compelling social media reveal. ARTECHOUSE will further immerse people in the colors through a unique augmented reality experience launching in 2021.

About the Pantone Color of the Year

The Color of the Year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s color experts at the Pantone Color Institute comb the world looking for new color 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 color, relevant social media platforms and even up-coming sporting events that capture worldwide attention. For 22 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. Past selections for Color of the Year include:

  • PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue (2020)
  • PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral (2019)
  • PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet (2018)
  • PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery (2017)
  • PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity and PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz (2016)
  • PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala (2015)
  • PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)
  • PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
  • PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
  • PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
  • PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
  • PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
  • PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
  • PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
  • PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
  • PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
  • PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
  • PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
  • PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
  • PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
  • PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)

The color selected as our Pantone Color of the Year 2021 was taken from the Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors Color System, the most widely used and recognized color standards system for fashion, textile, home, and interior design.

For more information on the Pantone Color of the Year for 2021, please visit www.pantone.com.




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