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2021: Are you feeling optimistic or grounded (or both)?

After a painful year, Pantone has announced their colours of 2021 with two rather than the normal single colour. The combination is said to “create the sensation of a fresh sunrise over rocky terrain”. The two colours are Pantone 17-5104 (called ‘Ultimate Gray’) and Pantone 13-0647 (called ‘Illuminating’). This follows on from 2020’s Classic Blue (read more here) and 2019’s Living Coral (read more here).

According to Pantone, they had decided on Illuminating more than two months ago, but eventually decided that this colour alone would be overly optimistic and needed to be balanced (likewise a gray colour on its own would be too depressing). In their own press release, “when you juxtapose those colors against each other, the concept is clear”. They combine hope with a “solid grounding to get us there”.

Does 2021 feel dependable and optimistic? Time will tell, but the choice has been likened to shades of hi-vis vests, road markings and “sunshine and cement”. For myself, I would have stuck with the “buttercup yellow”, a colour that is always warm and optimistic and would certainly brighten up next year’s fashion choices. Here’s to the “sunny uplands” of 2021!

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