Guide To Color Trends In 2021

many uses for the color trends of the year and they are highly beneficial to those designs that want to make sure they are not outdated and still appeal to the current audience. Having a design that works agreeably with the color trends of 2021 will allow viewers to see the design as not just able to keep up with the times but also something that embodies a shared emotion that makes it more relatable.
Having a design that works agreeably with the color trends of 2021 will allow viewers to see the design as not just able to keep up with the times but also something that embodies a shared emotion that makes it more relatable.

Every year is not the same, as a new calendar year rolls in, a new color pallet is nominated to be a universal color for that year.

Every single year, Pantone actually selects what would be known as the “Color of the Year” that is based on their extensive research of different trends and other color influences.

The whole selection has its own very powerful and largely influential impact on quite a lot of things. 

There are many uses for the color trends of the year, and they are highly beneficial to designs. If you want your designs to be relevant and appeal to the current audience, following the color trends and incorporating them into your designs is a proven method to do that.

Having a design that works agreeably with the color trends of 2021 will allow viewers to see the design as not just able to keep up with the times but also something that embodies a shared emotion that makes it more relatable.

Here are a few examples:

  • Graphic designing
  • Product packaging
  • Industrial design
  • Home decor
  • Fashion
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Other industries wherein design plays a huge role.

There has already been a decision made as to what color should represent 2021 and one might say that it perfectly embodies a calm but also realistic emersion from the whole pandemic.

The colors show somewhat of a very straightforward tone of seriousness and also that of strength.

Pantone has made the final decision that the fashion colours for 2021 would be 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + 13-0647 Illuminating yellow.

This decision makes so much sense with everything happening at the moment.

Colors actually have quite a profound effect on everyone in their day-to-day lives as they impact feelings, moods, and even emotions.

A colorful setup of the walls in offices and homes really changes the viewer’s perceptions, feelings, and the overall effect the room has on them.

The clothes that people wear or even the color of the products that people purchase really do affect the viewers in a lot of different ways.

color trend pantone swatches

For both creatives and designers, the main use of color as well as different color schemes that they select will have a huge effect in the project’s effectiveness.

Although the design might be perfect, picking out the wrong color might turn everything sour and the message of the effect of the design would wear off.

Brands use certain types of colors in logos and some other messaging in order for them to position themselves generally based on certain impressions that they made.

Even the general colors in the photos and the videos that are used in marketing efforts and communications have a massive influence on how they are able to attract people to the product or service being sold.

The selection of both the Ultimate Gray and Illuminating is very much appropriate to what the world experienced last 2020.

The challenges of the previous year have definitely led people towards seeking stability as well as clinging to hope for a brighter future.

With new expectations and more caution this 2021, the colors of this year were chosen to perfectly embody more than just what is to be expected but also what emerged from 2020.

Ultimate Gray is the perfect color to embody the feeling of strength as well as security which is the pillar that is much needed this 2021.

Illuminating, on the other hand, really signifies sparking energy and joy.

The combination of the two is definitely perfect for invoking positivity and confidence.

These two things are very much essential during these particularly challenging times.

One very effective way to incorporate the colors of the year into the designs made is by making use of other resources that already make use of the color.

Basically, properly incorporating the color with the chosen design is the best way to use the color without trying to push it out too much.

While the color might be a very strong but harmonious contrast, circulating around those two colors alone won’t allow for a more organic pallet.

It is advised that designers and artists revolve their designs around not just those two colors alone.

In fact, although those two colors are the color of the year, there are actually a few other color trends for 2021 that show other options that the designer might be interested in using.

Although Ultimate Gray and Illuminating are the two colors named as the Color of the Year, circulating around only these two alone won’t always be advisable.

There are other color trends this 2021 that might better match the specific project or concept that is trying to be achieved.

It is still important to stick with the right theme when picking the color for the design.

  1. Lavender

For those familiar with the plant, there’s a reason why the color comes from the flowering plant that is known to bloom under the shade of light purple.

This particular color pairs very well with other natural colors that can be spotted in nature. Of course, as well as other particular shades of purple.

Both lavender and purple sometimes produce the feelings of romance or luxury.

However, it can also be used as a very light and delicate color depending on how the user would utilize the color and how they decide to use the color in play.

The interesting thing about lavender is that it can be used to display both strength and sensitivity depending on how it is applied.

lavender flower in a basket held by two women
  1. Midnight Blue

This dark side of blue can actually be used as another alternative to black.

While black still remains the ultimate shade of darkness, Midnight Blue might be a more modern alternative to those that want something to embody a little more personality and meaning despite the darkness.

Since Midnight Blue is considered very close to black, it does have a similar impact just like black like the main feeling of power and authority among other feelings.

It also differs in some ways due to it still being the color blue except just a darker shade.

For those wanting to use something dark while retaining the properties of blue, Midnight Blue might be a better alternative to black.

  1. Blue Spruce

This is a type of blue-green color that is named after the very tree that produces the needles of the color.

The particularly muted or pale color could be an excellent choice this 2021 since it gives off a very refreshing feeling.

The main vibe of the color gives a sense of awakening and renewal which is a great theme for 2021.

This calm and muted color has a very natural feeling bringing the design to life without being too bright.

If a design has to stay away from being bright but should still be able to bring out a feeling of life, this color should be a perfect choice.

  1. Burnt Sienna

This color might be a little complicated for some to use but once properly utilized, this warm and earthy shade can actually be combined with other colors in order to repurpose its properties.

The color can be used along with blues and greens in order to bring out a natural feel.

Burnt Sienna can also be mixed with other warm colors as well in order to get a more intense color scheme.

The color itself produces feelings of comfort and security while warmer shades can make for a more enthusiastic and exciting mood.

The color can be looked as almost inspirational and full of energy.

  1. Sage Green

This is another muted color that belongs on the list since it has gray undertones and is closely related with Ultimate Gray, the color of the year.

This particular color can be used for those designs where a natural color pallet is desired and the feeling of something light must be related to the viewers.

This particular color works great for those that want to make use of a desaturated green instead of another shade that would look vibrant.

Sage Green is able to maintain the feeling of optimism while still being calm at the same time. The color, although may look melancholic, shows a very positive vibe.

  1. Cream

This color has been utilized for years and years since it is a very versatile color that seems to work well with just about any other color or shade.

Cream is a great base for designs since it can be played within different ways and instead of just sticking to the usual natural color palette, Cream can be experimented with in order to come up with something totally different.

Just like other colors mentioned in this article, the muted color gives a very earthy feel and works great with nature.

It has a very lively feeling to it without having to be too overwhelming.

It generally works as a great base and allows the designer to focus on other details of the piece as well.

  1. Honey

This color can be quite tricky but when used properly, it has a very strong effect on the design.

This particularly vibrant warm shade is maybe a bit darker and a little more orangey than the other color of the year, Illuminating.

However, it could serve a similar role or purpose when used in a design.

bees swarming on a honeycomb

The mood that honey brings is a very confident one but it is also matched with a soothing approach rather than an intimidating one.

Due to the yellow undertone, the color can come off strong without having to push people away and is a great eyecatcher when used properly in the design.

The color scheme this 2021 goes beyond experimental but towards something that not only embodies hope and positivity but also does so without having to be too eyecatching or too out there.

Utilizing these colors not only allows the design to have a more “modern” feel but makes it easily adaptable and in theme with the whole year.

While standing out is important, doing so while still agreeing with the colors of the year have a different effect on the audience.

Not only does it show that the design is able to keep up with the times but also that despite being one of the many designs sporting that theme colors, it is still able to stand out in an intelligent way.

Learning the rules and breaking them is something that allows a design to stand out and this is extremely applicable when it comes to color themes.

While using the color of the year and experimenting with which color is good with what design, there can be different mixtures that would provide a very strong character and personality to the design.

One example of mixing and matching is using Ultimate Gray and Midnight Blue to create an even more solid and corporate looking motif.

Using Illuminating for the company logo on top of the design would really allow the design to pop out in not just a contrasting way but in a way that the colors are able to retain a harmonious relationship with each other.

Originality is nothing but judicious imitation.


As of the moment, it might be hard to picture out how the colors are being used but as the year progresses, other ways that these colors would be utilized and other mixtures that work will slowly pop out over the course of time.

Of course, getting acquainted with these colors is very important to not only show modernity but also dedication to adapting to this 2021.

While 2020 was an unexpected year of challenges, 2021 is a year of positivity.

Making use of that theme and sticking to the colors of 2021 would allow the design to be more relatable to the audience.

The distance has definitely torn a lot of people apart but with the right design that skillfully blends in Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, viewers will see that despite the otherwise unexpected colors being mixed together, things do work out when given a skillful touch.

Thank you for reading, and we hope you found this useful. If you have any questions or you want to follow us for more related discussions, follow us on Twitter.

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