The Color Of The Year 2021 Gives Us All Hope

The Color of the Year 2021 gives us all hope. We have our favorite colors. We have colors that make us feel good and others that don’t.

Not many people think too much about the colors they choose to paint their house.

Color Of The Year
 Hendricks Churchill

Pantone is different. Each year they find a color that means something. Pantone finds a deeper meaning in their Color of the Year choices

This year may be their most heartfelt color combo yet. Let’s look at last year’s choice and the meaning behind it.  

Last Year’s Color Of The Year

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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 this to say:

“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.”

We needed an anchor, a sense of stability, and to broaden our horizons.

Leatrice Eiseman made us wonder what she would choose for 2021. 

Color Of The Year 2021 

Color Of The Year
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 captures hope for 2021.

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

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

“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 never 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 menial things in our lives. 


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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. 

For more info on yellow and what colors go great with it, check out this article for inspiration. 

Ultimate Gray

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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. Gray is calming and elegant. It makes us feel safe, understood, and taken care of. 

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 almost every color, but it’s always nice to find those “sweet colors” that fit well. 

The Practical Side

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Coastal Home Photography LLC.

As wonderful as the emotional as 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. 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 and experience different cultures. The company looks at what is about to trend. There is also a focus on the entertainment industry, fashion, travel destinations, and trending technology. Yes, even video games. 

When it comes to our role in this process, we must 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?

Espresso Cup

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Every day we wake up and 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. 

Note: these cups are not the standard size. They are espresso cups and four ounces rather than the standard 12-ounce mug. Each package contains just one mug and it is adorable!


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If you do one thing this year, 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.

Thermo Cup

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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. 


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If 2020 hasn’t been kind to you, 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. 

Classic Mug

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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

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 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?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How Long Has Pantone Been Doing Color Of The Year?

The first Color of the Year was in 2000. The color was Cerulean that first year in 2000. It was the official color of the millennium, giving us all peace and serenity in an era that could have been trying.

When Does The Pantone Color Of The Year Get Announced?

Pantone released the Color of the Year in December of the previous year. This is a strategy that combats competition since other companies announce their color in January or later. 

How Is Pantone Color Of The Year Chosen?

When they choose the Color of the Year, Pantone looks at trends, cultures, and the news. They take inspiration from fashion, nature, and more. It is a slow process to ensure the right color is the Color of the Year.

What Is Pantone Color Of The Year For?

The Pantone Color of the Year isn’t just for the company. It is for the world. The color sends a message to the world and helps set the pace for the following year. Use it to join in and become one with the trend.