At the end of last year, the 2021 Pantone Color of the Year was announced. The 2020 Pantone Color of the Year was Classic Blue, a rich blue color that was (in my opinion) one of the best things to happen in 2020. For 2021, two colors were announced, something that hasn’t been done since 2016. The 2021 Pantone Colors of the year are Ultimate Gray, a clean grey color, and Illuminating, a vibrant yellow.

About the 2021 Colors of the Year

Pantone said they choose Ultimate Gray and Illuminating because the two colors were independent, but also complimentary. In their words, “Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, the union of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is one of strength and positivity. It is a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.”

Personally, I think after the last year, this outlook is refreshing and much-needed.

Using Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in your jewelry designs

Yellow and grey may seem like colors on the opposite ends of the spectrum, but that’s why they work so well together. They compliment one another and can work well with many of the same colors. With warm hues, with the grey adding a much-needed contrast. With cooler hues, the yellow ads a vibrant burst of color.

With such diverse colors, a wide array of materials can be used. Working with Ultimate Gray, silver accents can create a monochromatic design. But it can also be paired with golds and coppers for a unique design. Grey pearl, moonstone, agate, and labradorite are beautiful gemstones that match this color.

Illuminating would work well with silver metals, or with gold accents for single-colored designs. The great thing about yellow is how well it works with other colors, so I look forward to mixing it with turquoise and other warm hues. Gemstones that match this color are amber, yellow jade, yellow opal, and citrine.

Pantone Color of the year 2021

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating provide two different colors to create with through 2021. While they both provide a lot of possibilities, I think I’m most excited about Illuminating; I don’t often work with yellow, so I’m open for the challenge of embracing a new color. Which Pantone color of the year are you most excited to work with? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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