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Pantone Color of the Year 2021: Illuminating + Ultimate Gray

12.09.20 | By
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Following the lines of 2016, Pantone has chosen two colors for the Pantone Color of the Year 2021: PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating. After the turmoil of 2020, the global color authority selected two contrasting colors that join forces to support and complement each other. Ultimate Gray is fairly neutral evoking feelings of dependability and resilience, while Illuminating is a cheery yellow that’s bright and sunny with an overall optimistic feel. Brought together, the color pairing offers hope and stability.

“The Pantone Color of the Year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, expressing what people are looking for that color can hope to answer,” says Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute. “As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication, and a way to symbolize thoughts and ideas, many designers and brands are embracing the language of color to engage and connect.”

Take a look back at previous Pantone Color of the Year picks here!

Does the color combination inspire you to bring some of it into your own life and home? If so, here are 12 products that give nod to the Pantone Color of the Year 2021 choices to jumpstart your 2021! Check out more options here in the Design Milk Shop!

1. Factory Ocher Yellow Station Clock by cloudnola
2. Compact Bento Box by Takenaka Bentobox
3. CLIP Wall Hook by Bendo
4. Square Wall Planter by NewMade LA
5. 90’s Baby Candle by Cancelled Plans
6. Ojai Hike Bath Rug by Quiet Town
7. Triple Set Bowls by BesoVida
8. Terra Time Gray Watch by Projects Watches
9. Large Natural Orbis Concrete Vessel by KONZUK
10. Wick Graphite Portable LED Candlelight by graypants, inc.
11. Concrete Standing Clock by Ohio Workshop
12. Cosmos Placemat in Asteroid Gray by Tortuga

Pantone on usage of the colors:

A marriage of strength and optimism, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating do not have to be used in equal proportions, either color can take precedence whether for apparel, beauty, home furnishings, product design or packaging.

As with previous years, Pantone launched products with the color combination that can be purchased here.

Tell us what you think of the 2021 color picks in the comments below!

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.