In 2020 Pantone’s colour of the year choice, Classic Blue, proved eerily prescient. Announced weeks before the first Covid-19 cluster was discovered, it is a shade used for medical scrubs around the globe.
Perhaps knowing that lightning is unlikely to strike twice, for 2021 the US-paint brand’s team of trend forecasters have selected two shades – Ultimate Grey and Illuminating – the second time they have done so in the Colour of the Year’s two decade history.
Used by fashion, graphic and interior designers, the Pantone Institute’s colour matching services are a resource for predicting palettes that might prove popular with consumers. Their colour of the year choices are often contentious.
This year, the combination has been likened to the shades of hi-vis vests, road markings and “screaming sickly urban melancholy, a brutalist facade, cold sunshine and cement”. Vogue described it simply as “really weird”: