Every year, since 2000, Pantone releases their color of the year. Singular. In 2016, they broke the pattern and chose two. Pink and blue. The yearn for balance and tranquility matched with a progression toward unisex fashion encouraged the combo. For 2021, they changed course and, for the second time ever, it happened again: two colors of the year were named together.
*Disclaimer: Pantone is a separate company and is in no way affiliated with Geny’s. Pantone has their own color codes and the colors used below to highlight their colors of the year were grabbed with a digital eyedropper tool and may not be exact.
They look to guide and lead the population with color, through color. They look toward the past, present, and future to gather context and insight. What color carries people forward further into the next year ahead?
2021: YELLOW + GRAY
An unlikely duo: yellow and gray. Illuminating; 13-0647 and Ultimate Gray; 17-5104. Pantone explains their pairing as “a marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.” It is no coincidence that this pairing was chosen for a particular time. It would take a specific and special occasion to introduce a duo, which has only happened once before in the 20 years preceding.
When you think of gray flowers, few come to mind, but the ones that do are strong pillars. Dusty Miller. Silver Brunia. A treat of texture. Uniquely unmatched. Add in your choosing of bright yellow blooms and you’ve created a welcomed opposition. Neutral and colorful. Sturdy and free. Yin and Yang. This and That. Hope lifted up on the shoulders of Strength. Us, moving forward.
STEP IN STRENGTH, LOOK TOWARD HOPE
Coming out of a year of so much uncertainty and confusion, people are desiring solidity and hope. One without the other doesn’t seem right anymore. The union of the two encompasses so much more than one does alone. Hope, without solidity, seems unlikely, impossible, and too far from reality. Solidity, without hope, seems fixed, cold, and lacking movement forward or upward. The union of hope and solidity is both grounding and growing. It’s a rooting down and a blooming up. It’s the life of a flower. It’s secure and bright. The masses are in need of security and bright light, making this color pairing the perfect duo as we walk through the year following 2020.
As we’ve already navigated halfway through 2021, we wanted to celebrate this unique Pantone pairing through what we know best: flowers. Moving forward, we hope the second half of your year is filled with flowers, strength, and hope. Thank you Pantone for choosing another year’s color(s) with so much psychology, design, and soul in mind.
– Lilly Reynolds, Visual Artist