Pantone's 2021 Colours of the Year
- February 28, 2021
- Ally Cohen
“It's a color that anticipates what's going to happen next,” Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, said last year in predicting a blue trend. On Dec. 9, Pantone announced that its 2021 Colors of the Year are Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, shades chosen for their warmth and dependability.
Ultimate Grey and illuminating Yellow are the new black. For 2021, Pantone announced not one, but two defining Colors of the Year. The two complementary shades, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (yellow), were chosen to help people “fortify themselves with energy, clarity and hope” amidst uncertainty.
Speaking with Vogue, Pantone’s trend forecasters explained they selected two colours because, “it became apparent that there was never going to be one colour that could express everything that needed to be expressed — that it was, instead, critical to have two independent colours that could come together.”
This is only the second time in the 22 years that Pantone has been choosing a color of the year that two colors have been selected. The first time was in 2015, when Rose Quartz and Serenity were chosen (which is to say, pink and blue for 2016). That year, the two shades were meant to blend into each other, reflecting the recognition of gender fluidity and social progress. But this year, the two shades are meant to stand on their own, as complementary tones, supporting each other.
“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 the colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute in a statement.
In jewelry terms, it’s about acid citrine and smooth platinum, lemon yellow quartz and mercurial silver. It's something bracing and fresh for a new year, a fortifying combination that roots and grounds in the midst of uncertainty.
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