Introducing the 2021 Pantone Colors of the Year

Published: December 18, 2020

It’s that time again, color fanatics! Pantone has crowned their hues of note for 2021. These are the colors you’ll be seeing all over the place this next year. Last year, they decided Classic Blue was going to encapsulate the feeling of 2020. Boy, how right they never knew they were. Next year’s choices feel extremely relatable after the blue year that this one turned out to be. Are you ready for this? The two tones that will grace all the fabbest designs are Ultimate Gray (PANTONE 17-5104) and Illuminating (PANTONE 13-0647).


Ultimate Gray is a strong shade of gray, grounding and thoughtful. Illuminating is a sunny, hopeful yellow that pairs well with such a partner. Leatrice Eisman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute (which sounds like an amazing laboratory of tints and shades never before imagined) explains, “The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. 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.”

Hear hear!

grey lady yellow wall

We’ve been on the yellow/gray train since we learned how beautiful they look together. It’s nice to see the rest of the world getting in step. Of course, we’re being a little tongue-in-cheek, but we agree that the combination is beautiful, functional, versatile, and exactly what we need to make the new year bright. Bye bye, Classic Blue. Hello Illuminating and Ultimate Gray, a match made in color heaven.

Check out Pantone’s website to see more of what they have to say and get ideas for ways to use these winning hues in your life, whether for work or play.