The Color Of The Year 2021 Gives Us All Hope

For most of us, a color is a color. We have our favorites, we have colors that make us feel good and others we’re not fond of. But not many people think too deeply about the colors they choose to paint their house.

But Pantone is different. Each year they find a color that means something to them. From gender equality to spirituality, Pantone always manages to find a deeper meaning in their Color of the Year choices

This year may be their most unique and heartfelt color combo yet, which is exactly what we need. But first, let’s go over last year’s choice and the meaning behind it during a time we like to call, “the calm before the storm.” 

Last Year’s Color Of The Year

Picture from TreHus Architects+Interior Designers+Builders

At the end of 2019, we couldn’t have predicted the grim year that 2020 would be. The color that Pantone chose was Classic Blue. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, had beautiful words to say about this color.

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on. Imbued with a deep resonance, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.”

Although Leatrice didn’t know what 2020 would hold, she did have wise words to say. We all needed an anchor, a sense of stability, and an ability to broaden our horizons. We shouldn’t let our own biases dictate what we choose to believe. 

When we hear something or see something, we should use the facts we find consistent and our own empathy. Leatrice Eiseman knew this. With such wisdom, it made us wonder what she will choose for 2021. Well, that wait is over because the color has been chosen.

Color Of The Year 2021 

Color Of The YearView in gallery
Image from Hendricks Churchill

According to Pantone, the Color of the Year is, “A marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.” This marriage is a marriage of two colors that encapture our hope for 2021.

The two colors are Illuminating and Ultimate Gray. The point is that the two colors are contrasting, yet they come together to support each other. This is exactly what we need in 2021. The come together and support one another. 

The year 2020 showed us division and conflict. But 2021 gives us hope. Eiseman’s words state it perfectly.

“The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” she explained. “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. For 2021 it became abundantly clear that there is a deeper understanding of how much we need each other. Our connections and relationships with others give us the emotional support and fill us with gratitude.”

Truer words have hardly been spoken. Who knew that a paint color could hold so much truth, love, and conviction? That’s why we have companies like Pantone. To give meaning to even the seemingly menial things in our lives. 


View in gallery
Via Reader & Swartz Architects, P.C

Bright, warm, hopeful. These are words that come to mind when we think of yellow. Illuminating is one of the brightest yellows at Pantone. In general, yellow stands for freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, intellect, honor, loyalty, and joy.

The brighter the yellow, the more meaningful the color. That’s why Illuminating is so powerful. The word alone is like a beacon in the darkness guiding us towards safety, security, and our home. 

For more info on yellow and what colors go great with it, check out this article for inspiration. Yellow shares its brightness with us, we might as well soak it up!

Ultimate Gray

Via Brycor Builders

Steady, resilient, wise. These are words that come to mind when we think of gray. Ultimate Gray is no exception. Gray is a color of compromise and unity. It contains equal parts black and white, signaling a wonderful union.

It is the most diplomatic color and least offensive as well. The color gray is calming and elegant. It can make us feel safe, understood, and taken care of. Unity and protection are two things we need in 2021, which is why Ultimate Gray is so perfect. 

Gray deserves praise as it is often underrated. Check out this article for more info on how to use gray in your home. Gray goes with nearly every color, but it’s always nice to find those “sweet colors” that fit perfectly. 

The Practical Side Of The Color Of The Year

Via Coastal Home Photography LLC.

As wonderful as the emotional and psychological side of the Color of the Year is, Pantone ensures us that they also choose the color for practical reasons. The company influences product development in multiple industries, not just interior design. 

The Pantone Color of the Year selection process isn’t just about meaning, but about trends as well. Pantone’s color experts at Pantone Color Institute search all over the world to find the perfect Color of the Year.

They scour the internet, they experience different cultures, and they take a look at what is beginning to trend. They focus on the entertainment industry as well as fashion, popular travel destinations, and even trending technology. Yes, even video games

Every company should heed these words and put both their practical minds and empathetic hearts at work. We need every type of person in every industry and we need every person to use both practical and emotional strategies. 

Just as much thought and analysis go into the selection of the color of the year as heart. When it comes to our own role in this process, we must also put both our hearts and minds into our efforts. 

Color Of The Year Merchandise 

Why not remember the new year and the message Pantone brings with a piece of merchandise. These items can be purchased at the Pantone store and are all rather affordable. Which item speaks to you?

Color Of The Year Espresso Cup

Via Pantone

Every day we wake up and we start a new beginning. There’s nothing like a cup of coffee in the morning to give us that jolt of energy and hope for the new day. That’s why a coffee mug is a perfect item for a Color of the Year memorabilia. 

Note: these cups are not the standard size. They are espresso cups and are four ounces rather than the standard twelve-ounce mug. Each package contains just one mug and it is adorable!

Color Of The Year Notebook

Via Pantone

If you do one thing this year for yourself, keep a journal. Commit to once a week. Write down your thoughts, feelings, and hope for the future. You will be surprised at how therapeutic it can be. Not to mention how great it is to read it all next year.

Color Of The Year Thermo Cup

Via Pantone

There’s nothing like a hot cup of soup to brighten your day and keep you warm. These thermo cups keep hot drinks hot in the winter and cold drinks cool in the summer. Their insulation is top-notch and the shape of the cup makes it easy to hold. 

Color Of The Year Keychain

Via Pantone

If 2020 hasn’t been kind to you financially, consider a keychain to remember 2021 and the hope the colors inspire. This is their cheapest Color of the Year item and is one that you can always keep with you. 

Color Of The Year Classic Mug

Via Pantone

If you are getting someone a gift, then consider the Pantone Color of the Year classic mug. When you don’t know what type of gift someone would like, a classic mug is perfect. Not everyone uses a thermos or a journal, but everyone uses coffee mugs.

Our Role In The Color Of The Year

Via An Interior Motive Design

Sometimes, we need to be Illuminating, letting our voice be heard and our faces be seen. We need to stand out and stand up for what we believe is right. We need to accept help from others when we need it.

Other times, we need to be Ultimate Gray. We need to support others, our presence needs to be felt, but not seen or heard. There’s nothing wrong with being gray to someone else’s yellow every once in a while. 

The year 2021 is a symbol of hope for billions of people. We can be part of that hope. All we need to do is heed Leatrice Eiseman’s words and step up, coming together in unity.

Now, how many people will be using PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating to remodel their house in 2021?