Brighten Your Workspace With The Pantone Color Of 2021

Workspaces can incorporate the color of the year to keep spaces fresh and on trend, without a complete design overhaul.
  • The Pantone 2021 color of the year is actually two colors — the quiet ‘Ultimate Gray’ and a bright sunshine yellow called ‘Illuminating’.
  • The Pantone Color of the Year is selected by The Pantone Color Institute™ and is used to set design trends for the year ahead.
  • Workspaces can incorporate the color of the year in their design to keep spaces fresh and on trend, without a complete design overhaul.

Color is a powerful tool in creating an inviting and productive workspace.

Each year since 2000, the Pantone Color Institute™, which provides customized color standards, brand identity and product color consulting as well as trend forecasting, has released a Color of the Year.

This color is then used to set the tone for design trends in everything from consumer products to high fashion.

For 2020, that color was Classic Blue. Hailed for being timeless and enduring, the color is a universal favorite and was chosen by Pantone to kick off the new decade with calm and dependability. Of course, this color was chosen prior to this year’s global pandemic, a year greatly in need of both. 

In response to a turbulent 2020, the Color of the Year for 2021 is actually two colors, the quiet and solid Ultimate Gray and a bright sunshine yellow called Illuminating. The last time two colors were selected was 2016 with the pairing of Rose Quartz, a pale pink, and Serenity, a tranquil blue. 

“The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one.

“The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

“Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit.”

Here are 4 ways to incorporate the colors of the year into your workspace in 2021, whether you operate a coworking space, or are working remotely from home:

1. Go all out with a full remodel.

If you are just planning your space, or looking to freshen up a dated design, then a full remodel inspired by the color of the year and related palettes may be in order. Using Ultimate Gray as a foundational color on walls or flooring with pops of Illuminating yellow can help create a fresh and welcoming space, whether it’s in a traditional or modern style. 

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2. Bring new accents to an existing space.

Most of us are not looking to completely redecorate. However, strategically adding a few small accents can completely update a space without the need for a hefty financial investment. Consider incorporating throw pillows, new accent chairs, or accessories like vases in Illuminating yellow to brighten a space. If the existing decor is already bright, bring in pieces like pillows and blankets in Ultimate Gray to bring in a sense of quiet and assurance.

3. Use natural touches. 

From photos of a bright sunrise to river rocks, natural elements can also be used to take advantage of the Color of the Year. Add sunflowers, dahlias, or orchids in a gray vase to tables, counters or desks to quickly change the mood without having to repaint. Bring the outside world in through framed photos or artwork for hallways. A sunrise over a granite mountain peak or the yellow of aspen leaves in fall against a gray sky both appeal to the more natural elements of the color trend.

4. Add color to your digital strategy.

It’s not all about decor; color trends also extend to social and multimedia as well. When planning out a digital strategy for 2021, think about how to pair the highly visible Illuminating yellow against Ultimate Gray to produce noticeable messages and visual images.

No matter how you choose to use this year’s colors, it can be a fun way to keep your space up to date on the latest design trends. And don’t worry, although these colors are the official color for only one year, how they impact design can last for years to come.

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