A Tale of Two Colors: Pantone Color of the Year

December 9, 2020

At the end of every year, Pantone names a color intended to represent the year to come. 2020 has been a most unexpected year, and the color institute has responded with an unexpected choice for 2021: two colors.

“A message of happiness supported by fortitude, the combination of Ultimate Gray (PANTONE 17-5104) + Illuminating (PANTONE 13-0647) is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit.”

Each color makes a bold statement on its own. Illuminating is bright and cheerful, “sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power,” while Ultimate Gray is solid and dependable, like weathered pebbles on a beach that have stood the test of time. “Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.”

It’s in the marriage of these colors that the real magic happens. Together, these two shades are meant to convey a message of strength and hopefulness, both enduring and uplifting. In an interview with CNN, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute Laurie Pressman elaborated on this idea.

“It’s a combination that speaks to the resilience, the optimism and hope and positivity that we need as we reset, renew, reimagine and reinvent.”

Simply put, these are the colors we need right now.

They’re also colors you’ll find in good supply in many of SanMar’s offerings. The popular Core Blend Tee from Port & Company® fits the bill in both Yellow and Medium Grey, and can act as the foundation for any uniform or outfit. They can also be used to add a layer of warmth and stability with the Port & Company® Core Fleece Sweatshirts. You can dress it up a bit with the Port Authority® Dry Zone Grid Polo and the OGIO® Urban Shirt, or keep it casual with the District® V.I.T.TM Fleece Hoodie and the PosiCharge® CompetitorTM Tee from Sport-Tek®. This is a color combination with limitless possibilities.

Color is often used to set a mood or even to tell a story. Pantone’s surprising choice of two colors for their 2021 Color of the Year paints a picture: a stony grey mountain standing proud against the horizon and resisting the effects of time, warmed by the dependable rays of the sun. It’s a portrait of a solid foundation we can build upon and a source of light we can cast our eyes to, standing steady and full of hope for the year to come.

What do you think of these color choices, and how will you be using them next year? Join the conversation and let us know on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.