For only the second time, Pantone has chosen two colors of the year for 2021: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. The neutral gray is offset by the vibrant yellow. As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality. Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.
“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,” says Leatrice Eiseman, Exectutive Director of the Pantone Institute.
It’s the first time an achromatic shade (gray) has been selected, and the second time two colors have been chosen. In 2016, the pale pink and blue hues, Rose Quartz and Serenity broke the norm when they were presented as a gradient.