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Here's why you could see a lot of yellow and gray in 2021

Posted at 2:38 PM, Dec 10, 2020

This year has been … wild. As many of us look ahead to 2021, it’s probably with a mix of hopefulness and optimism.

The Pantone Color Institute, the color authority in the design industry, has revealed that the Color of the Year for 2021 is actually two colors, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow.

“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,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a press release.

“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,” Eiseman added.

This is the first time a shade of gray has been selected. Next year will be the second time two colors will share the spotlight, the first time was in 2016.

Pantone has been selecting a Color of the Year for the last 22 years. The selected color typically influences packaging and product development.

"Our goal is to engage people in a conversation around color," Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, told CNN. "It has to be organic. It has to be truthful to what's taking place."

This color combination already popped up on fashion runways this fall, and will likely be seen on more products, apparel, home furnishings and packaging.

They had selected Classic Blue for 2020, as a sense of reassurance as the world moved into a new decade.

"In retrospect, now we look back at it and think, 'Well, that was a fortuitous choice for the year,'" Eiseman told CNN recently.