Pantone Color of the Year 2021 / palette exploration

How to use PANTONE Color of the Year 2021

We have created five unique color palettes featuring PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating to help you bring this year’s special shades into your designs. Each palette conveys a different mood, illustrating the versatility of Ultimate Gray + Illuminating, and is supported by three suggested color combinations.

Get the Ultimate Gray + Illuminating Palettes

Pantone Connect, a digital color platform for designers available on web, via mobile apps, and as an extension for Adobe® Creative Cloud®, includes five different pre-loaded color palettes featuring Ultimate Gray + Illuminating. These Color of the Year-themed palettes, along with every other Pantone Color, are available to share, save and use in your design files within Adobe Photoshop®, Illustrator®, and InDesign®. With a free Pantone Connect account, designers can access many other time-saving features to find inspirational colors, save color palettes, and design with achievable Pantone Color.


  • aviary

    Aviary is a lively and joyful grouping of color emblematic of vibrant and eye-catching rich bird plumage. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray brings a natural element to this upbeat palette of cheery brights that includes PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, while the contrast of a lofty white PANTONE 11-4201 Cloud Dancer injects drama.

    Color Harmonies

  • enlightenment

    Evocative of a hypnotic space that expands our mind into another realm, the youthful and future facing color story in Enlightenment stimulates our desire to reimagine. The pairing of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating blends wisdom and experience with our desire to press forward toward new ways of thinking and reveal new insights, while a silvery metallic PANTONE 20-0087 Lead Crystal adds a moonlight shimmer.

    Color Harmonies

  • intrigue

    A captivating potpourri of colors, Intrigue embraces a fusion of influences. Quirky and vigorously individualistic, yet at the same time displaying a universal appeal, the seasonless endurance of Intrigue is heightened by the addition of the solid and dependable PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and the bright yellow PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, a yellow tone symbolic of sunlight.

    Color Harmonies

  • orbital

    The fervor to explore interstellar travel is reflected in Orbital, a palette of shimmering metallic tones found in the mesmerizing galaxies of outer space. The golden image of PANTONE 20-0040 Luxe Lemon sparkles with vitality while PANTONE 20-0005 Chrome mimics the glimmering radiance of the stars.

    Color Harmonies

  • sun and shadow

    Resilient PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and hopeful PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating inject strength and positivity to a palette of earthbound shades. Ageless and genderless, the color story in Sun and Shadow conveys a narrative of the primitive beauty that surrounds us.

    Color Harmonies