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  • Writer's pictureMafer Hernandez


If we search in the dictionary the word: color, we'll find a raw and objective definition - proper to a dictionary of words, of course - which dictates that color is the "Impression that the rays of light reflected by a body produce on the retina of the eye". A cold definition, for a meaning that could well be qualified as totally opposite, and particularly writing this article, I realized how important the use of colors in our daily life is: what would be of design? of the fashion industry? What would our tastes and preferences be, if we didn't give so much importance to color in things?

Although much of our daily life is sustained by the use of colors, it could seem a bit exaggerated, and even absurd, that a company, such as Pantone, is specifically and totally dedicated to the study and management of colors. This company of Lawrence Herbert is nothing more than a salvation for those of us who develop our work in the world of arts and design, since it's a system that standardizes all the colors available and to be, assigning them a code to later identify them more easily. Magnificent, don't you think?

The North American firm Pantone, each year is responsible for publishing a new color, called the: Pantone of the year, which will mark the new trends in clothing, footwear, packaging, furniture, advertising and everything that the world of design refers to. But this doesn't end here, the importance of the Pantone of the year, doesn't lie in how beautiful the chosen color looks on our clothes or in the supermarket aisles, but in the events that happen in the world and how Pantone grabs them for inspiration to publishing these new colors.

As we all know and have lived, 2020 was a year full of uncertainty and many, many changes -both positive and negative- and consequently, taking into account last year, Pantone decided to publish for this 2021 not just one color but two: the 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and the 13-0647 Illuminating: "two independent colors that underline the fact that different elements merge to accompany each other."

The harmony and combination of these two colors connote a message that is safe and firm as a stone, carried out at the same time in a warm and cheerful way. In this article we will tell you how some industries within the world of design approach it and we will also give you some tips in case you like to apply them in your daily life.

Graphic design: beyond seeing color as a simple component or one more property of design, sees it as an opportunity to communicate something or give a certain presentation tone to a surface. That is why these two Pantones, mainly in graphic design, may or may not be used together. Similarly, experts assure that the proportions can vary, using one as a surface and the other as an accent.

Present in packaging of beauty products, beverages, business cards and even products for the home, these two colors will be mainly accompanied by organic and minimalist shapes; with generally Serif typefaces that are a bit more sober and classic: typical of this new era of nostalgia. In the same way, metallic effects will be present: they are a reflection that, as its name indicates, has a gray undertone accompanied by a shine that offers a very versatile finish that is capable of generating many combinations.

Interior design: for interior design, mostly gray surfaces are shown with accents or complementary elements in yellow.

The Ultimate Gray, as a neutral between black and white, can work very well for bases, such as: walls, furniture and floors, well, it works as a classic color that transcends space and time. While Illuminating can stand out in accent items such as pillows, rugs and curtains, according to interior decorator Emili Castle. Likewise, he assures that the mixture of these two Pantones is ideal for common spaces such as living rooms, television rooms and dining rooms, as it gives it a cheerful and fun style, but at the same time classic and sophisticated.

On the other hand, the designer Stephanie Pohlman recommends "thinking outside the box" by using not only Illuminating yellow, but also its hues, such as mustard yellow in works of art: like paintings and portraits. In this way: we will achieve a Futuristic, functional and minimalist aesthetic, but at the same time fun and optimistic, ideal for using our home as a workspace with this new normal.

Fashion design:

In case of fashion industry, Pantone highlighted 10 colors as the most used in trend, where you can see the Raspberry Sorbet or Green Ash, as it ensures that the catwalks of New York Fashion Week will be full of these colors. Speaking specifically of the Ultimate Gray and the Illuminating, Pantone ensures that they will be present mainly in the spring-summer collections, "a range of tones inspired by the beauty of nature supports flexibility and reinvention".

After months of staying home, designers are looking to give garments a more timeless aesthetic and longevity so they can be worn at home and away, spring and winter. With the elegance of Ultimate Gray giving it that splash of joy and light with Illuminating.

In a context full of uncertainty such as 2020, today we can say that we're still going through it, but we can imagine more accurately where we are going and mainly: we can prepare us.

Today people look for that mattress to fall on that transmits warmth and softness, but at the same time is firm and reliable, as are the Ulimate Gray and Ilumintating colors. These colors and their palettes and shades are already available both on the official Pantone page, and physically. We hope we have informed you about the new trends that are coming in the world of design and that you can apply them as best suits you.

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