The Impact of the Pantone Color of the Year on Business

Every year, one of the things we look forward to is the announcement of the year’s color. And the ultimate expert when it comes to colors is the Pantone Color Institute. Since 2000, Pantone has been announcing what they deem to be the color of the year. And what’s great is that they don’t just see what color tickles their fancy. They go through a series of studies and surveys. They take this very seriously. And it’s because choosing the right color of the year could forecast the trends in product development and brand identity of many businesses around the world.

For 2021, Pantone announced “a marriage of color” of the year. And this marriage is made up of Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate gray and Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating. The union of gray and yellow aims to convey “a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” as explained by Leatrice Eiseman, the Institute’s Executive Director.

With this union of colors in mind, we can’t help but wonder how it would affect various industries this year. It has to have an impact, right? By looking at how Pantone impacted certain industries in the last 20 years, we can understand how it might impact our own businesses.

Construction and Interior Design

The Pantone Color of the Year has the power to influence people’s minds. The mere fact that the color is selected by the top experts in color is enough to make them become attached to the said color. And because they’ve become attached to the color, they’d like to incorporate it in their lives as much as possible. So they start with their homes. This is how the Pantone Color of the Year impacted the construction and interior design industries.

When people design their homes, they already think about how they can use the color. So paint companies get to work in producing more paint in that color. When people come up with kitchen remodeling ideas, they would think about using the Illuminating yellow on the cabinets to make a bright accent against the steel gray color of the appliances.



When it comes to colors, there are many more important things than the color of the exterior. We all know that. But that doesn’t mean that color doesn’t mean anything at all. In fact, the color could even be the driving force of the marketing of a car. This is what the Lincoln Motor Company did in 2020.

The Pantone Color of the Year for 2020 was Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue. It highlights “genderless in outlook and seasonless in endurance.” Its versatility and strength are something that many products can only aspire to have. To take advantage of the sudden popularity of blue, the Lincoln Motor Company highlighted their car models that have the color blue.

The new Lincoln Aviator and Corsair have the signature color of Flight Blue, a shade that’s quite similar to Classic Blue. This was a great marketing opportunity for Lincoln because their blue car models make up 20 percent of their sales in 2019.


Phones, laptops, and various gaming devices are the things that people are very attached to these days. They are essential to their daily lives. So it’s no surprise that the developers of such devices take advantage of the Pantone Color of the Year to further capture people’s attention.

In terms of finance, Apple has gained a lot because of the Pantone Color of the Year. Back in 2018, the large tech company released the iPhone XR. Of course, it has a much more updated operating system than the previous models. But what got people excited is the array of colors that the phone came in. One of the colors is coral.

Then Pantone revealed that the chosen color for 2019 is Living Coral, a very similar shade to the iPhone XR. At the end of the year, Apple revealed that the iPhone XR was the smartphone that made the most sales.

With this track record, it’s evident that the Pantone Institute makes a huge impact on various industries by simply choosing the perfect color for the year. This proves how impactful color could be in people’s minds and how people develop their business. It affects the interest of the people. So, in turn, it affects the objectives of the companies. With such colors in mind, they produce the products that they believe would get people excited. They produce more paint, fabric, phones, cars, and many others in that color.

It’s still early to tell how much Ultimate Gray and Illuminating have impacted industries this year. But it’s safe to say that they would have their own effects.

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