The colors of the year – color trends and design direction

When Pantone chooses the “Color of the Year” once a year, it is reported internationally. Often it is a small “colorful” news, which is reported with more or less background information. However, if you take a closer look and listen to the explanation of the color experts at Pantone, you will notice that they are proceeding with subtlety.

PANTONE – Color of the year

A combination of gray and yellow has become this year’s color. This is remarkable for two reasons. Firstly, in the past 20 years, Pantone has only once before chosen two colors of the year instead of one, and secondly, although gray and yellow make a nice pair, they spontaneously evoke rather contrary associations.

Illuminating – joie de vivre as a color

The selected yellow called “Illuminating” exudes joie de vivre and is perhaps a bit related to a wink, a bright laugh and a sip of lemonade. At the same time, yellow is not new to fashion and interior design. Variants of curry, golden yellow and mango have been hard to miss lately in both sectors. Sometimes opulently combined with blue or forest green.

Ultimate Grey – Timeless Classic

Grey is an unwavering classic and a great partner. Grey is an unagitated stage for color accents and at the same time embodies elegance, timelessness and stability. It thus offers plenty of scope in interior design for ideas and color compositions. In Pantone’s case, a no-frills, cool “ultimate gray” was selected, which harmonizes wonderfully with “Illuminating”.

Interior Design with NEXTEL

With its wide color spectrum, NEXTEL invites you to implement these compositions in your own project. With its strong and muted colors, numerous color worlds and atmospheres can be created in interior design. Granite grey and lemon yellow form a beautiful harmony in reference to the Pantone colors of the year 2021. In combination with the matt finish of NEXTEL, it creates a simple, reserved elegance for surface in interior and shop design.

Emotions through colors

So the two actors are indeed a good emotional announcement to the current time, when many people are slowly running out of strength for the hardships that an international pandemic is calling.  “We need encouragement and confidence,” says Leatrice Eiseman, director of the Pantone Color Institute and a luminary in her field, explaining the choice of the two shades for 2021.

Incidentally, the internationally active Color Marketing Group (CMG) is setting a similar example. Here, the color experts annually announce the “Key Colors” for various regions of the world. This year, soft yellow tones were chosen for Europe and Asia Pacific – with the meaningful names “Sunny Side up” and “Hope. Meanwhile, North America opted for a kind of lavender gray called “New Day”. 

Meaning of trend colors

While Key Colors and Colors of the Year are usually more of a general statement on the spirit of the times, other Color Forecasts look more clearly at what current trends actually mean for industry and the product world. Here, a trend towards calmer, less glamorous colors is currently visible. According to Colour Hive, a London-based trend agency, we will probably see more of hay green and blue tones that look as if they have been slightly faded by the sun, as well as ochre tones and toned-down reds, in the direction of pastels, and red wine.

With its matte finish and colors, NEXTEL fits wonderfully into this trend, again showing its timeless character.

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Upgrading surfaces with NEXTEL

Due to its special and matt surface, NEXTEL has the property of being able to present such natural shades even more vividly. The visible, minimally irregular feel creates a textile appearance that is highly exciting, especially for pastel shades but also for dark and rich colors. The color spectrum can be used to create many lively but also calm color compositions. NEXTEL works great as a background material on larger surfaces. Combined with other color tones, or with other materials, very special and high-quality impressions can be created. The velvety texture and the matte finish give the surface additional value.

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Author: Nina Karsten and Alexander Kowalski
Photo by Pierre Châtel-Innocenti on Unsplash
Photo by Kam Idris on Unsplash