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Ultimate + Illuminating: Pantone Reveals Color Of The Year 2021

Dec 9, 2020, Pantone has announced Color of the Year 2021. Now that we all know PANTONE® 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating are going to dominate the design world in the following year. Here comes the question, how to match it with your current palette?

As Pantone officially put it, the combination of these two colors is:

A MARRIAGE OF COLOR CONVEYING A MESSAGE OF STRENGTH AND HOPEFULNESS THAT IS BOTH ENDURING AND UPLIFTING.

True that we all need more strength and hope to get it over with 2020 and prepare for 2021. Next year will be a year of uncertainties and possibilities. Sure we will see designs and artworks with endless potentials.


A quick note of the colours specs:


  • PANTONE 13-0647 TCX Illuminating

  • RGB 245 223 77

  • HEX F5DF4D


  • PANTONE 17-5104 TCX Ultimate Gray

  • RGB 147 149 151

  • HEX 939597

We put together a couple of palettes that would work nicely with Illuminating and Ultimate Gray.


Modern and Nature Interior

Similar to the earth tone scheme, adding forest green and wood brown will boost the level of freshness of the overall image. You can almost smell the satisfying spring morning air.

Minimalist and Retro Illustration

Bring the saturation higher and higher. Mix the Illuminating and Ultimate Gray with blue and black will instantly create a retro illustration style. Since they are opposite colors, you may want to keep the image clean and simple without too many elements going on at the same time.

Chic OOTD Baby!

Sweetheart, just admit that you love your basic clothing items in natural colors as they never go wrong. But how about having something in Illuminating and Ultimate Gray? Now they are an official match so go ahead and try it on. Remember to also have something in burgundy red or dark royal blue, they will be perfect little touch.

PANTONE Official Palettes Reference

Check PANTONE's five officially released palattes here

My personal favrioute is the Enlightenment, simply too cute.


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