It's that time of year again. Pantone has released its 'colour of the year' for 2021, and this year, it's the second time ever that two colours have been selected.
The pairing, ‘Ultimate Grey’ and ‘Illuminating’ yellow, are reportedly "two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another," and "best express the mood for Pantone Color of the Year 2021." As a long-time forecast of colour trends, this colour-combination will replace 2020’s ‘Classic Blue’, and has already been seen across collections this year, appearing in shows from brands like Jacquemus, Prada, Hermes and beyond.
Besides being a common theme that has tied so many shows together over the year, it begs the question of the significance of both shades. "The union of an enduring Ultimate Grey with the vibrant yellow illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude." said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute. "Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encourages and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit." she says.
As the first achromatic shade (Ultimate Grey) that has ever been selected, each colour speaks to the current state of the world, where light creeps through the cracks of what might otherwise feel too much to move through. The combination of this steady, resilient and enduring shade with the hopeful and illuminating yellow feels like an apt choice for where we are all at right now. “The Pantone Colour of the Year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, expressing what people are looking for that colour can hope to answer,” said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, in a statement.
In the spirit of ending the year on a high note, we can only hope that we can collectively interpret this choice as a symbol of togetherness and resilience in the face of all that has happened.