Pantone Color of the Year 2021 – Ultimate Gray & Illuminating

What better way to usher out one of the most challenging years of recent history and ringing in a hopeful new one, with not one, but a marriage of 2 colors.

Pantone have chosen 17-5104 Ultimate Gray plus 13-0647 Illuminating, a gorgeous combination of sunny yellow and complimenting gray.

Pantone describes the colors as:.. ‘Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, the union of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is one of strength and positivity. It is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.’

They go on to say,.

‘A message of happiness supported by fortitude, the combination of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit.

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 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. PANTONE 17-5104 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. Emboldening the spirit, the pairing of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 highlights our innate need to be seen, to be visible, to be recognized, to have our voices heard. A combination of color whose ties to insight, innovation and intuition, and respect for wisdom, experience, and intelligence inspires regeneration, pressing us forward toward new ways of thinking and concepts.’

I dont know about you but I think we will go on from strength to strength and I have renewed positivity for the coming year. These cheery colors will help move me forward as we navigate a new normal which I hope will fade to our old normal of freedom to socialize and travel. The yellow is certainly making me dream of sunnier climes…


(Originally published January 6, 2021)

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