The Story Behind Pantone's Color of the Year

Owner Shawl & co

The Story Behind Pantone's Color of the Year

You might've heard that two weeks ago, Pantone revealed its color of the year times two: Ultimate Grey and Illuminating.


What did these two colors symbolize? According to Pantone, Illuminating, a soft lemon yellow and ultimate grey, a lighter shade usually gloomy color, was meant to embody a 2021 full of positivity and hope, as well as resilience and endurance. All much needed emotions after the stressful times of 2020. But 2021's color aren't the only one with meaning behind them. 

According to Pantone, the color of the year is '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 purposefully chooses these colors to match the spirit of the year in terms of fashion, beauty, design, home decor and sometimes, world events, while also explaining their hopes for the year in this colors. Pantone's color of the year doesn't only reflect the spirit of the times, it can influence them as well. Do you remember 2016-2017 when almost everything was millenial pink or baby blue? The pantone's colors for that year were Rose Quartz and Serenity. 2019 saw a prominent rise in coral colors in digital design, and very prominent product was released the previous year the coral colored iPhone XR, and it was no coincidence that the Pantone Color for 2019 was living Coral.


What were the colors for each Year?

As we mentioned earlier, 2016 had two colors: Rose Quartz & Serenity, reflecting connection and wellness, a soothing sense of order and peace, and the blurring of color roles in gender, where pink was becoming a more fashionable color for men. 

2017's color was Greenery, the color of flourishing plants and the peaceful outdoors. The energy it reflected was reinvigoration, renewal, and revival. 



2018's color was Ultra Violet:  a color we associate with visionairies and creatives like Prince or David Bowie, encouraging us to take our creativity to new levels, and was a color seen in many makeup brands that year. 




2019's Living Coral was a bright and energizing, yet lighthearted, soft, and nurturing color prominent in social media, digital design, and the makeup trends of the year.


Last year's Classic Blue was meant to represent a color that was timeless, enduring, and reassuringly calm to step into a new decade. It's color easily obtained through natural dyes, symbolizing, the suistainability movement in fashion. 


Now that you know the symbolism and hopes behind each color of the year, which one do you think is the most representative of you? Head to our products page to shop the look in the color that brings out your energy for this year. Happy shopping!