The Influential Aspect of Pantone’s Color of the Year

For the past 20 years, color experts at Pantone have set the stage for trends in color, sparking creativity through the use of light waves.

I know, creativity through light waves. Pretty cool, right?

Around December every year, they introduce a new color for the upcoming year – a hue that is forecasted to set the mood for the following 365 days overall. These colors are curated based on a variety of current trends in textures, materials, exotic destinations, lifestyles, home furnishings, environment, etc.

For 2021, Pantone chose two tones – Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. Two colors – because apparently, 2020 sucked so bad that they decided to double-down on the new year.

These two colors are meant to signify strength, hope, and optimism. As this post is being written, we are still shoulder deep in the gray amidst record-setting arctic cold…and frozen pipes…and boil orders…and new COVID strains – but the sun is still expected to shine soon, which will slowly start the ‘melting process’.

It’s going to take a while to illuminate through the gray, but looking forward, we will continue to gain strength and maintain hope.

Looking back, the color of the year for 2020 was classic blue. Even though the year brought a TON of turbulence, the color stuck. We saw it with home decor in the likes of deep blue velour accent chairs, blue accent walls and deep blue kitchen islands mixed with gold pendant lights and marble waterfall countertops.

Incorporating these colors into a marketing strategy

New color palettes rarely mean rebrand – that would actually be a hefty investment, and one that would be outdated in December as soon as Pantone releases the colors for the following year. But what it does mean is that we can play off of the color schemes in various ways with our marketing strategies.

First thing coming to mind here are social media platforms. Incorporate these colorways into some of your posts in order to convey the message that your company…your BRAND…is trendy and working parallel to retail. It really doesn’t matter what you sell, whether a product or service – you can still incorporate the “mood” of the year. Think of it as a somewhat subliminal message – delivering joy through the computer screen via online social engagement.

But of course, we love that it provides inspiration to incorporate trendy, colorful merchandise to make a bold statement with a brand.

And if you didn’t know already, Pantone releases other colorways throughout the year as well.
Check out the new FASHION color trends for Spring/Summer 2021 here.

Stay warm. Stay safe. Stay humble. Stay colorful.

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