Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, these are the colors that Pantone has chosen for 2021. Not one, but two shades that represent the mood and social context in which we live.

The Pantone Color Institute is an American academy that annually provides forecasts on color trends that will affect both fashion and design. The proclaimed color, in fact, is then used to produce clothing and objects. The choices usually reflect the socio-economic and environmental conditions in which one lives and also contain warnings and reflections.

The gray of Ultimate Gray and the yellow of Illuminating were chosen for this year because they infuse light, energy and a desire for balance. They remember the resilience of 2020 and the hope that 2021 will be better. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, said the union of gray and yellow expressed a message of positivity and strength as we need to feel encouraged and uplifted.

In fact, yellow is a primary color associated with the sun, happiness and hope. In ancient times it was highly appreciated by Greeks and Romans who used it in wall frescoes and for ceremonies and weddings. From the Middle Ages it began to acquire a negative meaning and was associated with treachery and jealousy. Nowadays, however, it has regained a place among happy, energizing and cheerful colors.

Gray in color theory is considered a non-color with many values. It is often associated with sadness, old age and melancholy. At the same time, however, it evokes sobriety and modernity and that is why it has been chosen in the design trends of recent years. In the Middle Ages, gray was considered the opposite of black therefore it symbolized hope and happiness. As with yellow, it is strange to think how some colors change their meaning over time, even evoking the opposite of what is familiar to us.

How can you use Pantone 2021 in living spaces? Decline them in textile accessories or use them in contrast by associating for example a gray sofa with yellow walls. Also combine them with the other colors of the palette for this year. In fact, Pantone chooses not only one main color (or as in this case two), but also other shades. For 2021 these are: Marigold, Cerulean, Rust, French blue, Green ash, Mint, Burnt Coral, Amethyst orchid, Raspberry sorbet, Inkwell, Buttercream, Desert Mist, Willow.