An Illuminating Year

Pantone announces the 2021 color of the year

Every year, paint brand Pantone announces a color for that year. This color is meant to serve as a trend forecast for the upcoming year and is very influential to product development, marketing and purchasing in the art, fashion and design industries. Historically, one color has been chosen each year, however, for 2021 Pantone announced they had picked two colors, all according to

“The fact that they chose two colors is unusual,” art teacher Amanda Gamache said. “But considering the year we’ve had, I think it makes total sense. The gray might seem dull and unexciting to some, but the fact that it’s the first neutral color ever chosen speaks to the overall theme of the year, anything but normal.”

The 2021 colors are variants of gray and yellow named “Ultimate Gray” and “Illuminating,” respectively. The gray color is meant to represent the COVID-19 pandemic and the yellow is representative of a brighter future. The colors are described as “encapsulat[ing] deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly,” all according to

“Pantone colors are the standard [in the art world] for color matching,” Gamache said. “They are universally recognized. I find the yearly choices really interesting because I love color, but also because of how much they are reflected in upcoming art and design.”

Pantone compares the shade of gray to the colors of rocks and natural elements which represents the ability of the human spirit to “stand the test of time.” The yellow is compared to sunshine and optimism meant to represent the hopefulness for a better future without the pandemic, all according to

“‘Illuminating’ yellow is a great choice in my opinion,” Gamache said. “Yellow, to me, implies hope, cheerfulness, happiness and positivity, all things I believe we all need right now.”