Current date:December 7, 2022

Pantone Choose Two Colors of the Year 2021

Two is always better than one, especially when they are so different!

Welcome to the time of the most awaiting news from Pantone. These colors of the year 2021 has arrived to all macbook’s, imac’s, tablets, phones and normal life. “Ultimate gray and illuminating”, are a pure incarnation of today’s ideas.

The truth of Pantone’s chose of colors is not so relaxing, because of so difficult time as pandemy all over the planet. Even the “classic blue”, which was supposed to be a soothing and relaxing color, standing for something peaceful, couldn’t fix the feeling of this year being painted in grim colors. But the live must go on.

That’s not a first time when Pantone chose two colors of the year (the last time resealed a pair of colors was in 2016, these were “rose quartz & serenity”). Here we have gray and yellow as a product of thorough studies and experiments by Pantone, how the choice of two independent colors highlights the essentials and encapsulates the message for the upcoming year in design?

Pantone codes: 17-5104 / 13-0647


After a year when social distancing became par for the course and people organized en masse across the nation to call for racial justice, the importance of connection is at the forefront of many people’s minds. According to Laurie Pressman, vice president of the institute, this essential need for relationships is mirrored in Pantone’s decision.

Usage of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating

The usage of these two colors is wide, but have some but. You can use them in apparel, beauty, home furnishings, product design or packaging. With it’s energetic presence, the marriage of ultimate gray and illuminating is a great combination for active wear. A mix of warm and cool tones the hair or nail make-up brings you to a dramatic statement. 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. These colors produces a visually noticeable message no matter where it appears.

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 a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit. Leatrice Eiseman Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute

As it’s brought up by Leatrice Eiseman, illuminating yellow color is supposed to work with positive associations, subconsciously being linked to the solar power and all its manifestations such as a sunny day, warmth, joy, enlightenment, a safe space. Illuminating in all its glory!

Colors Usage in Design




We’ll see how Pantone color of the year shows itself in 2021, appearing in graphics, digital art, interiors, clothing collections, and pop culture. As long it brings a passion and great results in the market that can be a huge hit without any doubts.

The Past Pantone Colors

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