Courtesy Pantone

A deep, timeless blue was heralded in 2020, but this year the Carlstadt, N.J.–based paint manufacturer Pantone opted for a duo of colors for its 2021 Color of the Year: Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating. Pantone envisioned that the two colors—one a somber, pebble gray and the another a bright shade of yellow—would reflect the trials and moments of hope that many have experienced over the past months and set the tone for 2021. “The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a press release. “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.” [Pantone]

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