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Pantone Unveils 2 Colors for 2021: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating

CNN | December 9, 2020

As we get closer to turning the page on 2020, the Pantone Color Institute announces their forecast for the color that will best reflect the year ahead. And, in a decision to reflect a complex time, the institute has revealed two hues for its Color of the Year: Ultimate Gray and vibrant yellow, Illuminating. "It's a combination that speaks to the resilience, the optimism and hope and positivity that we need, as we reset, renew, reimagine and reinvent," said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute.

It's the first time a neutral hue has been selected, and only the second time two colors have been chosen. According to Pantone's press statement, Illuminating is associated with optimism and vivacity, while Ultimate Gray encourages "feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience." Studies have found that the color yellow is most often associated with joy, while gray can be a bit more moody.

Pantone's Color of the Year reflects color trends in fashion, beauty, design and home decor, and since the beginning, the initiative has also served to capture the spirit of the times.

"I think (one) thing that's become abundantly clear during this time...across the world is this deeper understanding of how much we need each other," said Pressman. "How our connections to other people, our relationships with other people, give us that emotional support."

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