Pantone Picks Two Colors of the Year for 2021: ‘Ultimate Gray’ and ‘Illuminating’ Yellow

The tones are said to represent strength, resilience and nature

Pantone 13-0647 and Pantone 17-5104 have been predicted as 2021's iconic colors.Adweek Illustration

Pantone has revealed that two colors have made the cut for 2021’s Color of the Year: Ultimate Gray and a yellow called Illuminating.

The color standards and forecasting company revealed to Vogue today the two colors expected to take the spotlight next year.

The global fashion publication reported that the shades—specifically Pantone 17-5104 and Pantone 13-0647—would take center stage, with the colors representing continuity and positivity, two things many will be hoping to find after the many challenges of 2020.

Speaking to the magazine, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said gray invoked “strength and resilience” and connotations of the natural world, including rocks and pebbles. Yellow, meanwhile, evoked hope, sunshine and positivity.

Pantone has been predicting a Color of the Year since 2000, to much fanfare; for 2020, it selected the “timeless and enduring” Classic Blue. The brand described the tone as being like a tonic to the busy distractions of modern life, and to the environment of sociopolitical uncertainty that many find themselves living in.

Pantone said at the time: “As technology continues to race ahead of the human ability to process it all, it is easy to understand why we gravitate to colors that are honest and offer the promise of protection. Non-aggressive and easily relatable, the trusted Classic Blue lends itself to relaxed interaction. Associated with the return of another day, this universal favorite is comfortably embraced.”

The company named Living Coral as its Color of the Year for 2019: a pink-tinted, bright hue, which it described as “an animated, life-affirming shade of orange, with golden undertones.”

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