Pantone unveils Ultimate Gray + Illuminating as Colors of the Year 2021

Pantone announces Ultimate Gray (Pantone 17-5104) + Illuminating (Pantone 13-0647) as 2021 Colors of the Year. With its message of happiness, Pantone wishes that the combination be aspirational while providing hope. "We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit," the color experts say.

"A marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting"

The statement posted on their website reads: "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."

For more than 20 years now, the Pantone Institute has selected its Color of the Year (COTY). The intention is to influence product development and purchasing decisions. From fashion and interior design to graphic and visual arts, the color experts convene in a European city to deliberate and name next year's palette of choice.

Classic Blue was 2020's Pantone of the Year with its calming effect as to bring "a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge." The color company said further: "Aiding concentration and bringing laser like clarity, Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue re-centers our thoughts. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience."

In the past, Pantone has named the following COTY: 2019 Living Coral (Pantone 16-1546), 2018 Ultra Violet (Pantone 18-3838), 2017 Greenery (Pantone 15-0343), 2016 Rose Quartz (Pantone 13-1520) and Serenity (Pantone 15-3919), 2015 Marsala (Pantone 18-1438), 2014 Radiant Orchid (Pantone 18-3224), and 2013 Emerald (Pantone 17-5641).