Illuminating and Ultimate Gray: will Pantone Color 2021 influence the world of coatings?

10 December 2020

It is optimistic, but with feet firmly planted on the ground. The long-awaited Pantone colour 2021 is actually composed by two shades. Yellow and gray. Illuminating (Pantone 17-5104) and Ultimate Gray (Pantone 1313-0647). «The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude – said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute –  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.». 


Colore Pantone 2021: we need hope

A message of happiness, in the intentions of the Pantone Color Institute. It could not be otherwise after a 2020 marked by difficulties. Last year the institute chose Pantone Classic Blue. A return to sobriety, as we wrote, after the pyrotechnic coral (2019), ultra violet (2018) and greenery (2017). After twelve months, the chromatic circle is closing with the undeniable preponderance of Illuminating Yellow.

Pantone 2021 and coatings: the Institute’s choices in last years

Will Pantone Colour 2021 influence furniture trends?

Every year we ask ourselves whether and how the choice of the Pantone Color Institute will influence colour designers. And above all: will Pantone’s orientation influence the choice of wood coatings? Will interior designers decide to use the warm, invigorating yellow of the sunny day, which according to the institute represents the new start?

To be honest, few in the world of interior design have been inspired by Pantone Colour in recent years. There have been a few courageous (fearless?) initiatives. In the field of furniture and accessories, i.e. durable goods, the annual trend is too short. At first glance, such a strong yellow lends itself to scepticism: it is unlikely that furniture manufacturers will choose coatings from the Pantone colour chart… Nevertheless, as always, Renner Italia tinting systems are ready to produce finishings in any chromatic shade. Pantone Illuminating and Ultimate Gray included.


Will the combination of Pantone Colour 2021 influence furniture?


Pantone colour 2021 and wood coatings

However, there is a news not to be missed this year. The aesthetic combination of yellow 17-5104 with the reassuringly neutral, bestselling Ultimate Gray. The shade, code 1313-0647, has always been very popular. Indeed, following the last five editions of the Salone del Mobile di Milano, scheduled for the first time in September 2021 (from 5th to 10th), grey has always been the dominant colour. Both lacquered and clear. Both matt and glossy. It is no coincidence that inside Renner Italia Color Tunes Book colour trend study, three shades of grey are mentioned: opale, grafite and pirite.


Pantone tries to influence the world of wood coatings


For a long time Pantone Color Institute has been proposing the colour of the year. The research process is definitely followed in graphics, but also in the fields of art, fashion and design. In the world of wood coatings, however, it has never made its mark.