Design, Logo Blog

A Look Back at the Pantone Color of 2020

Before we reveal the Pantone colors of 2021, we want to tell you a little about the color of 2020. A year ago, Pantone chose Classic Blue as the colour to represent the arrival of 2020. This color was chosen because it was comforting, simple and timeless. Twelve months later, we can see that this blue perfectly represents 2020, a year high in upheaval. It is also important to mention that blue represents knowledge and trust, in addition to being the most chosen colour for logos of large companies. 

 As well, just because the year is over doesn’t mean you have to exclude Classic Blue from your colour choices for your company logo. This remains a classic color with a calm and soothing effect.

The New Pantone Colors for 2021

Drum roll! For 2021, Pantone has not chosen one color, but two. And these are not just any. Their choice came to a rather surprising combination, but one that represents only too well this new year: Illuminating, a bright yellow, and Ultimate Grey, a cold and simple grey. We can see very well the duality experienced by many at the moment – a message of both hope and strength.

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This is what Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, said about their choice for the 2021 color: “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 color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encourages and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.” Illuminating and Ultimate Grey are a perfect and harmonious color combination. Yellow gives a lively, warm, and confident touch to the future, while grey softens the shine and puts forward strength and stability. In short, the Pantone colors of 2021 say that despite the more difficult days we are currently living, things will eventually get better. We must not lose hope. What a relevant message! 

The Meaning of Yellow and Grey

Let’s review the meaning of the colors, specifically yellow and grey. Again, it is important to choose the right colors for your brand, because colors can help you convey a certain message. Just because grey is fashionable right now doesn’t mean you have to put it in your logo!

Let’s start with the yellow. This warm colour is associated with joy, sunshine, and wealth in general. This is one of the three primary colors. It is also a very present color in the food industry. In short, in the case of 2021, yellow represents the best days to come and positivity. There is a very good reason why yellow is often used to represent light!

Grey, on the other hand, is a cold color very present in nature. Like stone or mountains, it represents solidity and reliability, but also wisdom. It’s also an all-round color that goes well with most other colors. In short, in the case of 2021, grey represents the unwavering elements that sustain us despite the chaos.

Three Examples of Yellow and Grey Logos

Did you know that there are very few logos using yellow and grey as their main colors? Often, it is yellow combined with black that prevails. However, our team is betting that several new logos using yellow and grey will appear this year.

Ernst & Young

Ernst and Young, also known as EY, is one of the largest financial audit firms. In 2013, the London-based company decided to update its logo for a more streamlined version. They chose yellow and grey to represent money and stability – important elements of the company. However, it is important to note that Ernst and Young also use a yellow and black version of their logo.

Ernst & Young Logo | evolution history and meaning, PNG



In a completely different vein, the Overwatch video game logo also uses yellow and grey, although some people will say it’s more gold and silver. The emblem is a kind of monogram logo as the O and the W intersect. It also reminds us of the peace symbol – the game Overwatch being a peacekeeping brigade.

Overwatch Logo | The most famous brands and company logos in the world


National Geographic

Some versions of the logo of National Geographic, an American television channel, also use the combination of yellow and grey. Since its inception in 1997, this channel has used a combined logo, a logo with both a symbol and the company name. On the left side, there is a golden rectangle representing a window, then to the right the name National Geographic in black or grey depending on the version.

National Geographic Society Commits $50 Million of Endowment to Impact  Investments: Creation of new impact investment program, managed by CA  Capital Management, will accelerate the organization's funding of research,  exploration and education,

Source: blog.nationalgeographic

In conclusion, we believe that Pantone has hit the bull’s eye with its choice of colors for 2021, as it represents the new year and its problems. As well, it is also a very interesting color combination that is not used a lot. There is no doubt that several new logos will proudly feature yellow and grey in the coming months!

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