More than ever as a crazy year is coming to an end, we get pretty excited at Good Earth Plant Company during the holidays, but it’s not what you expect. We love the announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year!
So do you. Our blog post with our review and critique of the annual announcement is one of the most-read blog posts every year. Now it’s here!
For 20 years in early December, the Pantone Company announces its annual choice for “Color of the Year.” We think about color a lot in our biophilic design work. While green dominates our designs, there’s a lot of creative potential in the choice of containers and other physical elements. So we can’t wait to see what might be hot. This year, we got treated to TWO colors.
Opposite colors attract
The original choice was Ultimate Gray, a color Pantone describes as “emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.”
It seems fitting for such a dark year in our history. But as things started to look up, the people at Pantone decided Ultimate Gray didn’t tell the whole color story. It added “Illuminating,” a “bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.” Together, they are “a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.” These are the first yellow and the first gray to be selected as Color of the Year.
It’s not unprecedented to choose two colors. Pantone selected Rose Quartz and Serenity (a light blue) in 2016. Last year’s choice was Classic Blue, a blend of royal blue and navy blue described as solid and dependable, “a boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky.”
Inspiration straight outta nature
Notice something in the descriptions of all these colors? Pantone often compares their choices to elements in nature. Nature is where color begins, after all – and no color is more a representative of nature than bright yellow. In the natural world, yellow is the color of sunflowers and daffodils, bananas and lemons, bees, and many birds. In nearly every culture on earth, yellow represents sunshine, happiness, and warmth. In the Hindu religion, yellow is associated with God. Yellow represents courage in Japan. Yellow is the color signifying the leader of the Tour de France, who wears the “maillot jaune.”
Yellow is also the most visible color of the light spectrum. This is why we use yellow as the color signifying caution. Yellow is a strong color, and in a year where everyone sought balance, gray provides that balance. Gray is solid and stable, creating calm and restfulness from chaos around it. Think of pebbles in a stream, granite boulders, and storm clouds. Animals can be grey from wolves to elephants to doves.
Ultimate Gray is a reserved and quiet color, nearly the opposite of its counterpart Illuminating Yellow. Pantone says its message is about “strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one,” 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,” she said. “We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit.”
Natural design elements depict this year’s Pantone color palette
Looking through our online project Portfolios, you’ll see multiple examples where we have used grey through natural elements like stone planters or rocks to provide the containers and foundation to offset bright yellow toned plants.
If our favorite trade shows like the annual Tropical Plants International Expo in Florida was taking place in January, we know we would see plenty of grey and yellow offered through our suppliers. But it’s OK, we’ll find ways to put this pairing to work in the months to come.
Good Earth Plant Company stays ahead of color trends to provide our clients with up to date plant styling ideas. Color choices instantly communicate a lot about your business and your home. We can all tell when someone hasn’t updated their surroundings for several years.
As the pandemic lifts and the world starts going back to normal, wouldn’t you love a nice big dose of Vitamin N in your surroundings? Good Earth Plant Company can make it happen. We enrich peoples’ lives with plants – and in 2021, with a little Illuminating yellow and Ultimate Gray. We’re a call away at 858-576-9300.