Pantone Colour of the Year 2021

The year is coming to an end and with it comes the latest Pantone colour of the year. For 2021, Pantone selected TWO colours – Ultimate Grey [Pantone 17-5104] and Illuminating Yellow [Pantone 13-0647]. The two independent colours showcase how different elements come together to support one another, and it’s a combination that reminds us of sunny and cheery days. This is the second time Pantone has chosen two colours in 22 years.


“The union of an enduring, ‘ultimate grey’ with the vibrant yellow, ‘illuminating’ expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope.”

– Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute.


Pantone’s decision to select the two colours stems from creating a combination of vitality and warmth during these uncertain times. We’ve seen both grey and yellow used together and separately in our furniture installations over the past few years, and below are some of our favourite examples:

Using Pantone colours in interior design

The office furniture installation for Fox Media Group was consistent with their colour scheme which included the likes of yellow and grey. The grey muted tone is used on their high back media booths and collaboration seating, whilst the brighter yellow on the acoustic screens and office seating adds an element of brightness in the open-plan office.

Fox media collaboration spaces
workplace furniture design


‘PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating creates a warm and inviting pallet for any interior project. Paired together, the yellow creates a sense of warmth and optimism whilst the grey creates a solid background to highlight the pallet. This colour combination works harmoniously with the domestic office that we will see across many workspaces in the coming year.’

– Nadia Al-Chalaby, Interior Designer.


In the NHS Business Authority Services offices in Newcastle, you’ll find the colour combination present throughout their whole office. The grey is embedded into their chosen carpets and accompanies the yellow in semi-private office media booths in the office. Having a bright colour boosts office morale and productivity, the yellow a hint towards the sunshine outside.

office storage lockers in NHS BSA
office media booths

The colour combination was chosen in this clients offices with different shades of grey present throughout their offices. The bold yellow is a great contrast to the grey creating a modern office space for the client.

agile working in the workspace
office meeting rooms

For more examples of Flexiforms Interior Design see our Case Studies Section.

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