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Pantone Picks Two Colors of the Year for 2021

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating are a marriage of color, conveying a message of strength and hopefulness

Pantone Color of Year 2021

Pantone, a provider of professional color language standards and digital solutions, reveals the next Color of the Year, and for 2021, the institute chooses two: Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating.

“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,” explains 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.”

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating do not have to be used in equal proportions. According to the institute, either color can take precedence, whether for apparel, beauty, home furnishings, product design, or packaging. 

“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,” adds 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.”  

Pantone partners with Adobe Stock to offer a collection of imagery to showcase the Color of the Year. See the Adobe Stock/Pantone Ultimate Gray and Illuminating gallery here.

Alexandria Bruce

Alexandria Bruce is the editor of the GRAPHICS PRO Daily, covering news and guidance in apparel decoration, awards and engraving, and sign and digital printing.

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