Pantone Colors of the Year 2021 – Illuminating & Ultimate Gray

Each January, Pantone announces the color of the year that reflects forecasted color trends in fashion, beauty, and design.  This year and for the second time ever, two colors have been selected as colors of the year.

These colors are:

  • Illuminating – a vibrant/sunny yellow.
  • Ultimate Gray – the first achromatic shade to ever be selected.

Pantone Colors 2021

Why two colors?  According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, these two colors were chosen because “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 color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”

K4 focuses on creating personal and branded spaces for our clients, so the colors of the year do not have much of an impact on our design process.  Longevity is also a key issue we consider while designing. We want to create long lasting & timeless facilities for our clients versus short-term trendy spaces.  While neutrals such as Ultimate Gray are staples in our designs, it is not common for us to use yellows unless part of a clients branding, as colors like Illuminating err more on the trendy side of design.  While colors such as Illuminating may not be typical in our designs, they can still be incorporated into interior spaces in moderation.


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