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2021 Color of the Year

Pantone announced that it had chosen two colors of the year for 2021: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a combination of dull, familiar gray and the bright yellow of lemon skin. It’s a choice for the past year of quarantine, a time in which we had to insulate ourselves from the world and curl up in monochrome blankets at home: “It’s a dependable gray,” as Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, told the New York Times.

The gray of cloudy skies, sidewalk cement, comfortable bed linens, gravity blankets, or low-light screens—the color evokes our collective experiences over the past year. It’s a depressing summation: During nine months of quarantine, we’ve certainly arrived at the “ultimate gray,” a state of mind—mush—as much as the color of a product. Grayness means ambiguity and irresolution. Neither black nor white, it doesn’t point toward an ending, just the continuation of an indefinite period. With coronavirus cases still mounting in the United States, that’s certainly where we’re at. To learn more and even get some instagram filters using these colors of 2021 visit pantone.com

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