For more than 20 years, the Pantone Color Institute has picked a Color of the Year which is intended to foreshadow the upcoming 12 months. This color typically influences product development and purchasing decisions across multiple industries ranging from fashion, home furnishings, and industrial projects to product packaging and graphic design.
For the first time ever, this year the Institute has chosen two contrasting colors - PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating. In 2019, Swiss psychologist Domicele Jonauskaite carried out a small peer-reviewed study that used music and images to induce certain moods in 125 participants, then asked them to choose colors to reflect their moods. More often than not, yellow was associated with joy. Conversely, subjects of the study linked gray with negative moods such as sadness, fear, and disappointment.
These two colors emphasize how different elements can merge together in support of one another. Steady and immovable, yet warming and optimistic, the union of gray and yellow breathes strength, mirth, and positivity into the final days of an otherwise tumultuous year. The colors provoke deep sentiments of thoughtfulness and compassion giving the human spirit reason to believe that life can only improve from here. As souls ponder ways to fortify and rejuvenate with energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, these spirited and bold shades help to answer a quest for comfort.
Analysts suspect PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating hints at future developments in harnessing solar power. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray seems emblematic of dependable and everlasting elements that provide the firm foundation on which to build this brighter future. Expect to see more consumer goods, as well as branded apparel and hard goods being developed in these colors this year.