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Pantone selects two hues as 2021 colour of the year

 11 January 2021     HGO Staff 

CARLSTADT, New Jersey – Pantone, a leading provider of professional colour standards for both industry and the international design community, selected two different hues as its Colour of the Year for 2021. Together, Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and Pantone 1300647 Illuminating, a bright yellow, convey a message of strength and hopefulness that’s both enduring and uplifting.

In a statement, the company said these are two independent colors that come together to create an aspirational colour pairing, conjoining deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine filled day.

The 36-inch retro range from Big Chill is seen here in ‘broom yellow’, taken from one of the Pantone Colours of the Year.In its announcement, the Pantone Colour Institute said as people look for ways to fortify themselves against society’s continuing uncertainty, these spirited shades will help satisfy the quest for vitality.

Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time. Ultimate Gray quietly encourages feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.

“The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one colour or one person, it’s about more than one. The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute said in a statement.

“Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit,” she continued.

“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.” added institute vice president Laurie Pressman. “As society continues to recognize colour 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.”

The institute noted Ultimate Gray and Illuminating do not have to be used in equal proportions, either color can take precedence whether for home furnishings, product design, packaging or apparel.

The Kirnik sofa from U.S. high end upholstery maker Medley is seen here in an Ultimate Grey fabric.When used in home décor, they form a great combination to set the mood in any room adding a dose of sunshine and positivity. Juxtaposing Illuminating with Ultimate Gray in table linens, sheeting and home accessories including pillows and tabletop infuses vitality and liveliness. Painting a front door in bright yellow Illuminating conveys a warm and welcoming message when supported by solid and dependable Ultimate Gray in the exterior finishes. It can also be an effective combination for any home or commercial office with Ultimate Gray providing the firm foundation for Illuminating, which Pantone believes will enhance intuition, curiosity, originality, and resourcefulness.

According to the organisers, the Colour of the Year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. To arrive at the selection each year, experts at the Pantone Color Institute comb the world looking for new color influences. This can include the entertainment industry, traveling art collections, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures, and effects that impact colour, relevant social media platforms and even sporting.

For 22 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. Last year’s colour was Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue while Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral held the distinction in 2019.


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