Pantone Spreads Optimism With Two 2021 Colors of the Year

The Pantone Color Institute named Ultimate Gray and Illuminating the 2021 Colors of the Year. Together, these shades foster the comradery and positivity we’ve all been craving.


Photo by: Anima Fotografie aka Des Cannon

Anima Fotografie aka Des Cannon

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While we all wait patiently on the precipice of a fresh and widely anticipated new year, Pantone is charging right ahead. The Color Institute just announced its annual Pantone Color of the Year, and surprise! There are two 2021 hues — because we all need some extra color in our lives as we leave 2020 behind.

Each year, Pantone experts analyze societal trends, and the chosen color reflects the current global culture. This year’s combo is one-part strong and sturdy Ultimate Gray (17-5104), and one-part warm and yellow Illuminating (13-0647). Together, these colors fortify and inspire; embolden and cheer; ground and assure.

Ironically enough, after a year of isolation and solitude, Pantone’s 2021 picks embody the idea of togetherness: two different elements playing off each other to create strength and hopefulness. “It’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director, Pantone Color Institute.

As they say, two is better than one.

Use It In Your Home

Gray House With Yellow Front Door

Gray House With Yellow Front Door

This image was originally featured in HGTV Magazine.

Photo by: Jeff McNamara

Jeff McNamara

According to Pantone, decorating with shades of yellow and gray enhances intuition, originality and resourcefulness. And since we’ve all spent ample time in our homes lately, creating positivity with decor is a must.

Simple ways to incorporate Pantone’s 2021 colors: layer gray and yellow into table settings, refresh a couch with new pillows or display yellow flowers in a vase. Yellow paint also makes for a peaceful bedroom or a warm home office. Or, for an extra-welcoming entry, try painting your front door yellow. And don't shy away from grounding, gray accessories.

Get inspired! The options are illuminatingly endless.

“This is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope,” adds Leatrice. “We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”

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