It is no surprise that the folks at the Pantone Institute- the color trend forecasters have selected two colors as the “color” of the year. The colors Ultimate Gray and Illuminating appear to be a metaphor for “the light at the end of the tunnel”. Be prepared to see lots of this color combination this spring in everything from kitchens to clothing to cars. Here are some more thoughts adapted from The Guardian.
“In 2020 Pantone’s colour of the year choice, Classic Blue, proved eerily prescient. Announced weeks before the first Covid-19 cluster was discovered, it is a shade used for medical scrubs around the globe.
Perhaps knowing that lightning is unlikely to strike twice, for 2021 the US-paint brand’s team of trend forecasters have selected two shades – Ultimate Grey and Illuminating – the second time they have done so in the Colour of the Year’s two decade history.
Used by fashion, graphic and interior designers, the Pantone Institute’s colour matching services are a resource for predicting palettes that might prove popular with consumers. Their colour of the year choices are often contentious.
This year, the combination has been likened to the shades of hi-vis vests, road markings and “screaming sickly urban melancholy, a brutalist facade, cold sunshine and cement”. Vogue described it simply as “really weird”.
Pantone say their choices this year as “a message of happiness supported by fortitude”. But darker readings of Ultimate Grey, a pale shade of dove they liken to “pebbles on the beach and natural elements” aren’t hard to come by. The track pants we’ve all been pulling on each morning; the sameness of days blurring into one another; the vinyl floors of an ICU ward.”