For the past 20 years, the Pantone Institute of Color has been widely influential in highlighting which color will be trendy, or will reign during the course of a particular year. Pantone’s Color specialists search the various fields looking to identify new color influences, fields such as Art, the fashion and entertainment industry as well as all aspects of the world of design. The well-thought-out decision is typically based on considerate trend analysis and thoughtful research.
For instance, last year Pantone (in collaboration with Intimina, a Swedish brand of intimate items for women) defined a shade of red as the color of the year, naming it ‘Period’. The color is a vibrant shade of red and it is meant to break the stigma and normalize menstruation, breaking taboos present in the conversations around the topic.
Trending in 2021 – The Colors of the Year
For the year 2021, the Pantone Color Institute has been inspired by the uneasy and ambiguous times we have all been facing or the current mood around the globe.
The institute is hoping to channel hope, positivity and strength through their selection of a shade of gray, and quite a vibrant yellow – more specifically, the following two colors: Illuminating Yellow (13-0647) and the Ultimate Gray (17-5104). This choice was quite interesting as the American institution typically choses only one color of the year.
The chosen Illuminating Yellow and Ultimate Gray are two colors which pair together wonderfully from an aesthetic point of view, portraying a striking contrast. Apparently according to the institution, the two colors are meant to be portrayed together, complimenting each other to ‘perfectly express the mood of Pantone Color of the Year 2021’. The aspiring pair of two independent colors is expected to dominate all sorts of fields, such as furniture, fashion, interior design, home décor, graphic design and other industries.
The fact that the combination of the two colors of the year 2021 appears aesthetically beautiful is not the main reason behind Pantone’s verdict of the current year’s color trend. In fact, the Ultimate Gray is meant to convey a symbol of strength and stability, while the Illuminating Yellow suggests a feeling of warmth and optimism. The result is a sense of resilience, one that people around the world are desperately in need of after a highly chaotic and uncertain year.
Leatrice Eiseman, who is the executive director of the Pantone color institute claims that “we need to feel that everything is going to be better, it is something essential for the human soul.” According to Eseman, “the union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude” and that it is “practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic”.
In the event that the Pantone Color of the Year intends to portray what is happening around the globe through well-researched color trends, we can dare to dream that this message of stability, optimism and hope will be something other than a theory.