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A Fun Reveal: Pantone Color of the Year for 2021

pantone color of the year

A Fun Reveal: Pantone Color of the Year for 2021

With a surprising twist that’s totally 2020

Every December, we anxiously await two things… the big guy coming down the chimney and the announcement of Pantone’s color of the year. Color is kind of our thing – our scratch offs wear it really well – so it’s always an exciting day when the announcement is made.

So let’s back up. What is the Pantone Color of the Year you ask? 

pantone color wheel

Well, the Pantone Color System is the most important color matching system in the world. It was developed in 1963 to solve the problem of complicated color matching in the printing industry.

But it wasn’t until 1999 that they started naming a color of the year to forecast upcoming color trends through the Pantone Color Institute when they named the 2000 color of the year and color of the Millenium. 

The color?  Cerulean blue! Sound familiar? Maybe because it’s from one of the best Meryl Streep movie scenes:

The Color Institute begins researching early in Spring, looking for recurring patterns or colors in daily life situations. They take into consideration all aspects of society: fashion, marketing, social media, and even politics. As they say, it’s “a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.”

Pantone isn’t alone in choosing a color of the year. Many paint brands have already revealed their 2021 colors:

And now for the big surprise…

In typical 2020 fashion, where nothing is how we thought it was, Pantone switched things up and named two colors for 2021!

Illuminating and Ultimate Gray.  The two colors were chosen to show “strength and optimism”, which we couldn’t need more of right now. Interestingly, the team chose the bright and hopeful yellow months ago, but as the year went on, they decided they needed to balance it with another color. They chose Ultimate Gray to bring a solid grounding to the new year. And it works. We love the duality.

A great color combo

Yellow and Grey make for such a good looking combo when used together. And now that the colors have been announced, you’ll start seeing them everywhere, in print, in design and in your shopping cart. We can’t wait to see your next scratch off cards using these colors. Here are some fun color palettes to get you started:

What do you think of the new colors of the year? How will you be using them in 2021? If you’re curious about the past colors, here’s a great breakdown.