Pantone picks two shades for 2021’s Color of the Year: ‘Message of positivity supported by fortitude’


Breaking from tradition once again, The Pantone Color Institute has named two colors of the year for 2021.

The selected colors are Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, which create a striking color palette between the neutral shade and yellow hue.

Pantone's selected Color of the Year for 2021 is "Ultimate Gray+Illuminating." (The Pantone Color Institute)

Pantone’s selected Color of the Year for 2021 is “Ultimate Gray+Illuminating.” (The Pantone Color Institute)

Pantone, which is famous for its color matching and creation system, hinted in its press release that it selected these colors to represent the uncertainty people may feel going into the new year. The gray is meant to be interpreted as “solid and dependable” while the yellow is “bright and cheerful.”

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“The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” said The Pantone Color Institute’s Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman, in a statement. “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.”

Pantone began its honorary Color of the Year shout-out in 2000. And in its 20-year history, the organization has only picked a pair of colors two times. The first time was in 2016 with its pink and blue duo known as Rose Quartz and Serenity.

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Last year, the color selected to represent 2020 was Classic Blue. The color looked similar to blueberries, a Pepsi can, Ford Mustang’s Mach-E GT and Facebook’s logo, according to FOX Business.

Countless product listicles available on the web showed retailers already had items that were very close to the Classic Blue shade.

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Other companies jumped at the chance to license the trendy color for exclusive product lines. For example, Brazilian shoe brand Cariuma created Classic Blue versions of its popular OCA high-top and low-top sneakers.

It has yet to be seen which brands will license Pantone’s 2021 Color of the Year.

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FOX Business’ Jeanette Settembre contributed to this report.



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