Pantone 2021 Colors

Pantone Introduces 2021's Colors of the Year: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating


The year that was 2020 has been a turbulent one for almost everyone, to say the least. It has been a time filled with global economic distress, social disruption, and inequity. Despite all these, hope and optimism aren't lost, as can be seen in Pantone's Colors of the year for 2021.

Pantone Colors of the Year

Pantone Color Institute is the world's authority on colors. Every year, they unveil a color that they think will reflect what the coming year holds for us. The process takes them nearly nine months.

According to them, the Color of the Year is "…a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude." For this year, they chose two, instead of just one color—Ultimate Gray and Illuminating.

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow

Back in 2017, Greenery was Pantone's color as the year came from a tumultuous predecessor. The year 2016 had seen terrorism and worldwide afflictions, making green an apt choice. It represents spring, rebirth, and new beginnings.

This year's selection is almost similar to that scenario. Pantone chose Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow because of their associations with warmth and dependability. According to Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, the colors project resilience, optimism, hope, and positivity.

Ultimate Gray is the first achromatic shade to be given the title. The past year was a period of despair and gloom, depression, loss, and isolation. It is a color that fittingly summarizes the experience we all went through.

However, gray also signifies solidity and stability. It gives a sense of calmness and composure, a welcome relief from our chaotic past. It provides a steadying effect on the colors it is used alongside with, thus the perfect companion for Illuminating Yellow.

On the other hand, Illuminating is a bright yellow that oozes vibrancy, joyfulness, and confidence. The color is mainly associated with bright sunshine. When we see yellow, we often correlate it with happiness, comfort, and cheers.

Unconventional Pairing

While some people see the two choices as something more unconventional, they're perfect together, according to Pantone. Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone executive director, says that there is wisdom in bringing the two disparate colors together.

The two colors perfectly convey strength and hopefulness. In a time when everyone should band together to fight a common enemy, we need messages of unity, connection, and emotional support.

The Pantone Forecast

Pantone color of the year for 2020 was Classic Blue, which hadn't been a good representation of the year. But it didn't matter as it wasn't meant to be a measure of what the situation of the world will be. Pantone's colors of the year always command a significant influence on design decisions, whatever the industry is.

Final Thoughts

From fashion to houseware, when Pantone announces their color of the year, everyone follows suit. While Pantone doesn't own the monopoly of what colors will trend, they are a force to be reckoned with. Expect to see Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow in your cosmetics, product designs, furniture, apparel, and many others.

Egan GlassWrite Colors

Build your glass markerboard with Pantone colors. We understand the influence color can have when designing your space, and GlassWrite boards are built to bring color to the workplace. With a commitment to quality craftsmanship and innovation, GlassWrite features a sparkling field depth, are guaranteed-to-clean, and have a frameless 1/4” (6 mm) thick glass with polished edges. Frameless GlassWrite is also available in TableScreenformat, and GlassWrite can be an infill option for many of our Mobiles.

News & Research