Pantone Announces their 2021 Colors of the Year: Illuminating and Ultimate Grey
2020 has been quite a year — and that’s the understatement of all time! It should come as no surprise, then, that Pantone just announced their 2021 Color of the Year as two colors: Illuminating and Ultimate Gray.
This is only the second time in 22 years that Pantone has chosen two colors. The first time was when they chose Rose Quartz and Serenity (pink and blue) for 2016. Plus, this is the first-time gray has been selected as a Color of the Year and only the second time for yellow.
Illuminating is a bright, optimistic yellow, and Ultimate Gray conveys solid dependability. These colors both stand on their own and complement each other. As Pantone stated in their press release, they are “two independent colors that come together to create an aspirational color pairing, conjoining deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine-filled day.”
It’s no surprise that Pantone has chosen colors that reflect the cultural climate. They did it in 2020 with Classic Blue, meant to bring a feeling of calm during turbulent times, and in 2019, with the reassuring Living Coral. Now, with Illuminating and Ultimate Gray, they have chosen two colors that seem to communicate moving out of the darkness and into the light. And who doesn’t need that after a year like 2020?
The Pantone team didn’t initially plan on choosing two colors. They began with Illuminating, but as the year progressed, that bright, sunny yellow seemed overly optimistic. Bringing in gray as a second color added some much-needed strength to that sunshine.
Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, stated that by choosing two independent colors, Pantone hoped to highlight how different elements can come together to express strength and hopefulness. “Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic,” she said, “this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, as this is essential to the human spirit.”
Place large signs in your shop windows, showing all your holiday arrangements and gift ideas, so customers can shop while they’re waiting. This will reduce their already-high Christmas shopping anxiety—and can also encourage impulse buying!
By knowing and using these two colors in your floral arrangements, you can help bring the message of strength and optimism to your customers in the new year!