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Pantone Picks Two Colors of the Year for 2021

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Pantone best known for its system of standardised colours used across industries, got philosophical with its two picks for the coming year, “Ultimate Gray” and “Illuminating,” a sunny yellow.

A longtime predictor of fashion trends, this year’s Pantone colours reflect pandemic-era steeliness and hope, respectively.

“The Pantone Colour of the Year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, expressing what people are looking for that colour can hope to answer,” Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a statement.

This is only the second time in the 22 years that Pantone has been choosing a color of the year that two colors have been selected.

The first time was in 2015, when Rose Quartz and Serenity were chosen (which is to say, pink and blue for 2016). That year, the two shades were meant to blend into each other, reflecting the recognition of gender fluidity and social progress.

But this year, the two shades are meant to stand on their own, as complementary tones, supporting each other.

It is also the first time that a gray has earned the honor, and only the second time for a yellow. As it happens, both shades were added to the Pantone color wheel earlier this year, along with Period Red


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