Pantone wants to project optimism and strength after the world has experienced a challenging year, choosing two separate colours - PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating - for Colour of the Year 2021. If you are unable to picture the colours, just think of pebbles on the beach and the natural elements around it.
PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. This colour also stirs up feelings of composure, steadiness, and resilience. PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. "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," Pantone said.
The company explained that the union of the two colours projects strength and positivity, and is practical, rock solid as well as warming and optimistic. "It is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly," Pantone explained. It added that the new Colour of the Year is aspirational and gives consumers hope, and consumers need to feel that everything is going to get better.
Last year, Pantone selected PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue for the Colour of the Year 2020, which aimed to instil calm, confidence, and connection. It also highlighted the desire for "a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as consumers cross into a new era".
Besides its annual Colour of the Year, Pantone also separately debuted a custom shade of red in October known as "Period" to represent menstruation. The new colour is "an energising and dynamic red shade" and is also described as "an active and adventurous red hue" by Laurie Pressman, VP of the Pantone Color Institute. She added that Period emboldens people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are. The new colour was done in collaboration with Swedish healthcare brand Intimina to break the stigma around menstruation and promote period positivity.
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