Let’s be honest. Both 2020 and 2021 are tough years due to the pandemic. Even the most resilient ones have started to feel burnt out by the seemingly endless stream of depressing news regarding COVID-19. As the enthusiasm of society declined, the design industry has adopted a more in-your-face approach in order to catch viewers’ attention. However, how about the trends in color palettes this year? Here are some of the color palette trends 2021 according to varying sources.
Pantone Color of the Year
Before getting into the palettes, let’s first look at Pantone’s Color of the Year 2021: PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating. Pantone claimed that these two individual colors highlight the interdependency of different elements. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, stated that the two colors “expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude.”
Since Pantone Color of the Year has influenced the design industry for about two decades, there is no reason to think that it wouldn’t be this year. Pantone’s Palette Exploration guide gave examples on how to utilize the colors of the year, showing the versatility of the colors. As expected, most palettes use a combination of soft colors to amplify either the Ultimate Gray or Illuminating. These palettes give a feeling of soft, joy, and hopefulness amidst the uncertain world where a pandemic rages on.
Yes, we mentioned that the design industry started to adopt a more direct, in-your-face approach. However, this approach was done by using typographies and geometric shapes rather than coloration. If anything, the color palettes act as some sort of balancer. If the quirky shapes or bold typographies are meant to grab viewers’ attention, the soft colors are meant to keep it.
The soft color palettes are suitable for various design projects. Still, they will do extremely well for social media campaigns, as a handful of design templates for social media posts already use soft colors.
Canva Color Trends 2021
Speaking about the effects of the pandemic in graphic design, more and more people are making their homemade designs because they are stuck in their own residences. Whether for work or personal projects, these newbie designers relied on graphic design tools like Canva.
According to one of their blog posts, the top color trends 2021 represent our craving for joy and adventure after a year of discomfort and uncertainty. Their list is comprised of soft natural hues as well as bold and brash shades. They list popular color combinations of 2021 as well, perfect if you want to conduct a color study.
Their most popular colors are as follows:
- Cerulean: #9BB7D4
- Quiet Wave #1B7340
- Burnt Coral #E9897E
- French Blue #0072B5
- Marigold #FDAC53
- Rust #B55A30
- Green Ash #A0DAA9
- Brave Ground #F19828
- Raspberry Sorbet #D2386C
- Amethyst Orchard #926AA6
Meanwhile, their color combination trend is as follows:
- Sage and turmeric
- Brown and red
- Pastel green and light blue
- Teal and red
- Olive and terracotta
- Mustard and wine
- Petrol blue and blush pink
- Rust and pink
- Mustard and blue
- Blue and grey
The combination of neutral hues and brighter, more striking colors is still in line with the aforementioned Pantone’s own combination of Ultimate Gray + Illuminating. The contrasting colors represent perseverance and joy, two things that we are forced to acquire to survive the pandemic.
Would It Affect Color Palette Trend 2022?
The short answer is yes, it would. Unless there is something so disruptive it took society by storm, any kind of new trend would be affected by the previous trend, be it in favor or against. In terms of colors, 2022 trends would also continue the essence of today’s trend. Seeing the world and society slowly bounce back from the depth of despair caused by COVID-19, Pantone has announced PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri as Color of the Year 2022 with accompanying Palette Exploration.
This color represents the fruition of our positive attitude throughout 2021, symbolizing our steady recovery as we move towards the inevitable change in our daily life with new creativity and personal inventiveness.