Enough with the gray already! Every year I write a blog post about the color or colors the Pantone Institute selects for their Color(s) of the Year. The choice for 2021 was announced about seven weeks ago. Sad to say, they really blew it this time. Really, guys? After what we went through in 2020, you decide to pick GRAY as one of the colors for 2021?
The two colors the experts picked for 2021 are Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a lemony yellow. They describe the two-color combination as one of “strength and positivity…a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.” Their press release goes on to use adjectives such as “warming and optimistic”, “happiness supported by fortitude”, “aspirational and gives us hope.”
I can buy into that for a shade of yellow. We can all use more thoughtfulness, sunniness and friendliness right now after the year we’ve recently left behind.
But GRAY??? News flash: There is nothing sunny and friendly about gray, no matter the shade. It’s an absence of color. A gray sky blocks out the sun. A gray mood represents sadness, not friendliness.
You want colors that represent hope and happiness? How about looking to the rainbow for inspiration. Or Candyland. That’s what we need this year. But instead we’re going to be deluged with yet more GRAY!?!
Haven’t we already been overwhelmed with gray for several years? You can’t turn on HGTV without seeing gray absolutely everywhere. Designers have been on gray overload for at least ten years. Walls are gray. Flooring is gray. Carpeting is gray. Kitchen cabinets are gray. Countertops are gray. Bathroom tile is gray. Furniture is gray. Exterior house colors are gray.
For a decade designers have been forcing gray on us everywhere we look—and not just in our homes. Check out every supermarket parking lot, every driveway. It’s hard to find cars that aren’t gray—unless they’re black or white. And now thanks to Pantone, we’re going to be seeing even more gray as the year progresses, when what the world really needs right now are happy colors.
Thanks a lot, guys! What were you thinking?