As 2020 nears its tumultuous end, the Pantone Color Institute has taken up its annual task of forecasting the color that will best reflect the year ahead.
And, in a decision befitting a complex time, the color authority — which standardizes swatches for the design industry — has revealed not one, but two hues for its Color of the Year: the neutral Ultimate Gray and vibrant yellow Illuminating.
The institute said, “It’s a combination that speaks to the resilience, the optimism and hope and positivity that we need, as we reset, renew, reimagine and reinvent.”
It’s the first time gray, an achromatic shade, has been selected, and the second time two colors have been chosen. In 2016, the pale pink and blue hues, Rose Quartz and Serenity, broke the norm when they were presented as a gradient.
According to Pantone, yellow Illuminating is associated with optimism and vivacity, while Ultimate Gray encourages “feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.”