January 21, 2021

Strength and hope: The Pantone colours of 2021

Strength and hope: The Pantone colours of 2021

We don’t like to go on about it, but we successfully predicted the pantone colours of 2020. This year, however, we’ve had quite a lot of other things to write about but we love the official colours of 2021 and can’t wait to use them. That’s our opinion, but what do you think?


Ultimate Gray and Illuminating

No, this isn’t an avant garde jazz album title – it is actually the names of the colour combination chosen by Pantone to represent 2021. We were initially surprised by Pantone’s choice (see below) but once we got past that we’ve really warmed to it. Ultimate gray is a soft grey tone, while Illuminating is a warm yellow – and they work really well together. Pantone describes the pairing as “A marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting […] Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, the union of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is one of strength and positivity. It is a story of colour that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.” Well, we don’t know about you, but that sounds good to us right now.


A departure for a year of change

For the past few years, Pantone has turned to nature, particularly the ocean, to inspire its Colour of the Year choices. But this year, while there is still a nod to nature, it is the human-spirit that has inspired the tones we are likely to be seeing more of in 2021.

As it says on Pantone’s website, “As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality. PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colours of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.”



So, these are the official colours of 2021 but how will they be used? These colours will work brilliantly in

  • Branding. Creating branding with muted and brighter colours is something we’ve done a lot of here at Marco HQ. This can be a great way of conveying an established, professional image whilst also highlighting an innovative or fun side to an organisation.
  • Awareness raising campaigns. These colours – and pairings like this – can work brilliantly to convey information to the public in a way that captures attention and is authoritative but also friendly and engaging.
  • Online advertising. We’ve been working a lot on online advertising campaigns and we can’t wait to incorporate these eye-catching colours into our designs.
  • Print. As advertising ever-evolves online, print is becoming more image-conscious in order to keep up. Clients are considering colours, design and messaging for print more carefully than ever and we anticipate these on-trend colours being used in a number of campaigns this year.


Your true colours?

What do you think of Pantone’s colour choices this year? Are they for you? What would you do with them? Trends and predictions have their place but we always tell clients that the most important thing when it comes to choosing colours is choosing the ones that are right for you.


Whether you are feeling inspired and want to be the first in your industry to use the colours of the year, talk about the right colours for your brand or need anything else design, print or web related, call us today on 0208 590 0922 or email us at info@marcomedia.co.uk We’re here for you throughout lockdown and beyond…

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