For over 20 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.
To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s color experts at Pantone Color Institute comb the world looking for new color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles and socio-economic conditions.
Pantone could never have predicted the Covid-obsession that would overcome America in 2020. However, when they choose Classic Blue for the 2020 color of the year, they were prophetically spot on.
Suddenly, we were living in a world where we didn't feel quite as secure as in years past.
Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the company’s Color Institute, believes that “Blue, from an emotional, psychological standpoint, has always represented a certain amount of calm and dependability. It’s a color that you can rely on.”
"There are many different blues in the Pantone system, but Classic Blue really gave us that feeling of confidence and stability,” Eiseman says.
Once in her yearly speech to the nation, Queen Elizabeth II referred to 1992 as Great Britain's "Annus Horribilis." Without fear of contradiction, 2020 could be called America's Annus Horribilis.
As time dragged on, 2021 was looking pretty darned gray as well, but now we're coming back. We're back at work and we're back at play. Weddings and birthday parties are being booked and our masked days are disappearing.
To recognize this emergence into the light, Pantone chose two colors of the year for 2021...
gray and yellow and called them Ultimate Gray and Illuminating.
Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation.