An unprecedented year calls for an unprecedented colour scheme, which is exactly what we got with 2021’s Pantone colour of the year. Or should we say, colours! This is only the second time in history Pantone have selected two complementary colours.
With what can only be described as a whirlwind of a year, Pantone took on the unique challenge of researching predominantly through digital resources, something that many companies have had to adapt to due to the pandemic.
With restrictions on travel and the world running under unique circumstances, this year has resulted in an introspective, metaphorical colour choice that reflects our experience of hardships, as well as our future hopes — a sunshine after the rain theme.
Pantone Colour Institute explains: “The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow, Illuminating, expresses a message of positivity, supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid, but at the same time, warming and optimistic. This is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope.
“We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit. Although complementary, these colours stand independently, each representing different ideologies for the year ahead.” – Executive Leatrice Eiseman from the Pantone Colour Institute.
Signifying hope, life and happiness, Yellow is the lightest hue on the colour spectrum, inspiring original thought, new ideas, confidence and optimism — a well-chosen colour after a gloomy year. Yellow is bright and demands attention. It wants to be seen and noticed, which is why it’s important to pair this dominant colour with complementary neutrals such as Ultimate Gray.
Seen as a base colour, Ultimate Gray represents stability and strength. Not often used solely on its own, Grey is the colour of compromise and practicality, and is used throughout graphics to appeal to a mass audience. It does not stimulate or energise, making it the perfect pairing for the zesty yellow of Pantone 17-5104 Illuminating.
When used in the correct proportions, the two colours can complement each other perfectly, with the Grey achromatic colour grounding the effervescent Yellow, bringing cheer and hope for the upcoming year.
Greys and neutrals, such as Linen tones and off-whites, are a great way to ground your chosen yellow hue. They offer a gentle break from the intensity of the impactful colour and give the eye a chance to rest and appreciate the space.
Choosing the lighter pastel tone with a cool grey will give you a fresh space which invigorate an interior, whereas earthy ochre and moody mustards will give you a warm, comforting effect.
Choosing the correct yellow can be crucial when using it in your interior space. When picking a yellow, be sure to select a tone that isn’t too bright. Often soft pastel yellows, as well as deep ochres and mustards, are great choices when decorating.