The Pantone Colours of the Year 2021 are Pantone 17-504 Ultimate Gray and Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating. The union of two contrasting shades provides a perfect semblance just like the contrary forces of the Yin and Yang. The narrative helmed by the colour forecasting agency is an ode to the grit of the human spirit.
Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Colour Symbolism
Though known to reveal a singular colour of the year, however this year Pantone unveiled two Colours of the Year 2021. This phenomenon is not new as the agency has announced two colours of the year in 2016 – Pantone 15-3919 Serenity and Pantone 13-1520 Rose Quartz (2016), shades of pale blue and pale pink respectively. Though the choice of colours may not bode well, it brings out the essence of the year gone by and provides a state of mind for the present year.
The colours of the year are chosen after much deliberation and are usually impacted by the events that shape the mood. Though the global pandemic may have brought a sense of somberness and a feeling of uncertainty, it also brought a new wave of thinking and introspection of habits and practices. This has led to the creation of new innovations to meet the demand and also find new ways to counter the challenges thus creating a pathway to change. This particular hue of Gray reminds one of cement and dullness, it actually stands for solidarity, strength and balance. The peppy bright hue of Illuminating Yellow signifies happiness, optimism and enlightenment.
Who uses them?
Pantone, located in New Jersey is globally known for its colour matching system. Pantone colour, are the colour codes that stand for a specific shade. The specific colour is created from a palette of 18 basic colours. Pantone colour system being the important colour matching system in the world. Every colour, every tone and tint are given a number to classify it. This system allows the Designers to ‘Colour Match’ specific colour when a design enters the production stage.
This system is widely used by Fashion Designers, Interior Design, Photography, Makeup Artists, Packaging design, Jewellery Designers, Graphic Designers, Home furnishings and industrial design by giving them a wide range to choose from. The colour of the year is later highlighted on runways, global colour trend forecasters tying up with global brands etc.
Some examples across the various industries are as follows:
In the featured image, the Pantone 17-504 Ultimate Gray is incorporated as the metal, platinum and white stone. Whereas, the Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating is visible in the gemstone of yellow sapphires for a vibrating touch. This unconventional piece of jewellery can be used as a statement piece with a pop of colour.
Such alluring pieces can be worn for any occasion and will be seen trending everywhere around the year.
In Graphic Design, the colours tend to be seen in posters, logos, banners, editorial layouts, websites etc. These are touted to perfect to address and send out strong message regarding social movements.
Pantone 17-504 Ultimate Gray showcases strength, hope and bleakness. Whereas, Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating showing happiness and brightness. These colours are forecasted to be showcased in advertisements of social ongoing matters like Black-Lives Matter, Covid-19 and vaccines distributed in the coming year.
Interior Design is forecasted to be Instagram worthy with a sober background with hints of pop colour in the foreground. Pantone 17-504 Ultimate Gray provides a sophisticated look and yellow adds a quirky element.
Also, forecasted that Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating is bound to receive a lot of attention because of the bright and happy hue. It will be seen on tapestry, lighting, home decor and painting hung on the wall.
Makeup and Nail paint
In Makeup, the emphasis will be seen in eye makeup and nails. Smokey eyes with the transition of Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating to Pantone 17-504 Ultimate Gray.
Trendy colour block nails of grey with a contrast colour block illuminating. The matte look is a highlight this year with shimmer yellow compact.
In fashion, the contrasting shades expresses power dressings, casuals and swimsuits.
The Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating is “a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.” Pantone 17-504 Ultimate Gray like, pebbles, “solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide firm foundation”.
The Pantone Colours of the Year, Pantone 17-504 Ultimate Gray and Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating conveys “a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting” by Pantone. A colour combination that gives us resilience and hope of getting better in the year 2021.
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