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To start with, Pantone always takes into consideration the relationship between culture and color when the global color team looks at influences that come from entertainment, travel, fashion, design, technology, and also looks into socio-economic drivers.

The choice of the color is a well-studied process and symbolic of the age we are living in. The combination of color and color name sends a message the institute considers to be necessary, infusing hope, food for thought, energy, or any other attribute that is important for a specific year.

The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. 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.

(- Leatrice Eisemann, Executive Director Pantone Color Institute)

In 2020 we’ve seen our world upside down and were invited to reframe cultural values.

The year showed us how relevant it became to support each other and build connections that uplift and strengthen. The choice of two colors embodies that principle of connectedness and the sense of ‘we need to get out of this together.

PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to support one another. It is a story that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.

Ultimate Gray gives foundation and strength. It’s an enduring hue and stands for resilience and fortitude found in nature in stones and pebbles that have been at shores and quarrels forever. This notion of a solid foundation is reassuring in turbulent times and encourages steadiness and resilience.

Illuminating embodies sunshine, it is warm and optimistic, gives hope and positivity pressing us forward toward new ways of thinking and innovating.

How to use Ultimate Grey and Illuminating in the home...

A connection of strength and optimism, Ultimate Grey and Illuminating do not have to be used in equal proportions, as either colour can take precedence in home furnishings.

The colour pairing can set the mood in any room in the home adding a dose of sunshine and positivity. Specifically, juxtaposing Illuminating with Ultimate Grey in table linens, bedding and home accessories infuses vitality and liveliness. It's the perfect combination for the exterior of your home too: painting a front door in bright yellow Illuminating conveys a warm and welcoming message when supported by the solid and dependable Ultimate Grey in exterior finishes.

But you can also use this colour well for any home office or study space, with Ultimate Grey providing the firm foundation for Illuminating, a vibrant yellow that heightens awareness and enhances intuition.


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