Pantone Presents The 2021 Color Of The Year

by Megan Arnold January 27, 2021

Have you ever wondered how one color can seemingly take over the world? Billboards, product packaging, commercials. It’s practically everywhere! Well, that sort of exposure is partly thanks to Pantone.

Girl wearing Ultimate Gray shirt making shadow puppets on an Illuminating Yellow wall

Every year, for over 20 years, Pantone has selected a Color of the Year. This process involves a team of experts combing the globe for new color influences. These influences can range from entertainment to new technologies to lifestyles. And after the past year we had, they certainly had quite a lot to draw from. So, what’s the 2021 Color of the Year?

Surprise! It’s not one, but two colors – something that’s only ever happened one other time in the history of Color of the Year. The 2021 colors include Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating. Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and sunny yellow, while Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is the practical and dependable gray we all love. So why choose these two seemingly opposite colors?

Mugs showing swatches of the Pantone Colors of the Year surrounded by lemons

According to Pantone, “Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating, two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another, best express the mood for Pantone Color of the Year 2021. 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.”

And that sounds exactly like what we need. After a year of upheaval, uncertainty, and tragic loss, it’s nice to be reminded that we are all resilient and a brighter day is right around the corner.

So, as you watch that next commercial, open that new product, or check out the latest fashion trends, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these two colors!



Megan Arnold
Megan Arnold