Pantone Chose Two Colors of the Year for 2021

Each year we look forward to seeing what color Pantone chooses as the color of the year as it influences design, fashion, and home decor, and this year, they’ve picked not one, but two colors! For just the second time ever, the Pantone Color Institute named two colors of the year: PANTONE® 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE® 13-0647 Illuminating. The gray is a calming shade representing stability and the yellow brings to mind sunshine and warmth.

They decided to name two shades as the year leading up to 2021 was full of uncertainty. The colors are described by the institute as “a marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.” The shades each have a purpose as “each of them has their own emotional aspect, the gray being the one that’s more supportive and solid, the practical foundation that we need, and the yellow is about hopefulness and sunshine and good cheer,” executive director of the institute, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director told TIME.

The two independent colors represent connection during a time of social distancing and the need for relationships to get through these times. When choosing colors, the goal is for them to reflect the moment we’re living in. Last year’s color, Classic Blue, was meant to relax us while entering into a new decade. And 2021’s colors are meant to evoke optimism about the future and for the return to everyday life.

How will you incorporate these colors into your life?