Pantone announced 2021 Color of The Year

Two colours were announced: Ultimate Gray + Illuminating


Pantone has released its 2021 ‘Color of the Year’ – or perhaps, colours. The colour institution unveiled two shades: PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating.


This marks the second time Pantone unveiled two colours for the year. The first time was in 2016, with Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue. According to Pantone, the two shades is a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting. It is a story of colour that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.”


PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is “emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation” and “quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.” Meanwhile, PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is a “bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.”


The two colours, a basic gray and a bright yellow, are seemingly unrelated but said to be supportive of each other. Pantone might have chosen the dull gray to signify a shadow of a bleak past – the year 2020, also known as the year of COVID-19. The bright yellow highlights optimism for the upcoming year. As we start to see more news of successful vaccines becoming available, hope for a better year is not farfetched.


How about some gray and yellow packaging inspiration?

Viva Pharm’s VITAMIN C + Zn by Marzhan Sybankulova, Kazakhstan

Fukusaya x Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo by Keiko Akatsuka, Japan

8nests Bird’s Nest by Tsubaki KL, Malaysia

Cutty Sark Scotch Whisky by Taali, India

Yi Hu Chou Jiu Liquer Pouch by cordal design, China




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