Aiming for “a message of happiness supported by fortitude,” color expert Pantone has announced not one but two “colors of the year” for 2021.

The picks for the coming year are Ultimate Gray and a “cheerful yellow” called Illuminating.

The announcement was made last week by the Pantone Color Institute, the consulting wing of the New Jersey-based printing and design specialist.

It was the second time in the selection’s 22-year history that two colors have been chosen. In 2016, soft hues of rose and blue were twinned.

Of the 2021 selection, Pantone’s press release said: “The combination … is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter.”

The gray — “the colors of pebbles on the beach” — encourages “feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience,” it went on.

This year’s color was a sedate dark blue, described as “restful, non-aggressive and easily relatable.”


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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