KREATIK LOVES – Selection of our favourite designs using Pantone colours 2021

For the second time in the history of Pantone’s Color of the Year nominations, a combination of two colors has been chosen, not one. The controversial combination of Illuminating (PANTONE 13-0647) and Ultimate Gray (PANTONE 17-5104) sparked a heated discussion. After the announcement of this year’s selection, we ourselves had mixed feelings, but from the perspective of (almost) entire year, we can confidently say that it was a perfect match).

Where did this choice come from?

Leatrice (Lee) Eiseman, a a color guru at Pantone, or an Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute,  explained their choice in an interview with

“We felt that with 2021 (and goodness knows what’s happening in the world around us and the stresses that people are under), gray would give us the solid, resilient color that is something you can depend on. It’s the color of rock and stone and granite and those sorts of things that are very substantive. […] yellow It’s happiness. So we have two disparate colors coming together, which then gives us a feeling of connective-ness. We feel that that’s a very important word as far as the future is concerned.

The choice was strongly dictated by the crazy year 2020. We can see a strong inspiration in the colors of tracksuits, which became the beloved, everyday attire by many people working from home.

How did these colors get into design? Were they inspiring for designers?

Despite the good will of the Pantone department, we got the impression that this color duo did not make such a fuss as, for example, Living Coral (PANTONE 16-1546) from 2019 or 2020 Classic Blue (PANTONE 19-4052), which became a visible inspiration, especially in interior design .

image source:                                  via: Arsenic Lace

However, we managed to find evidence that gray and yellow can be a hot combination that works perfectly in digital products.

Bergmeyer rebranding

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It’s no surprise that the architectural studio decided to implement such colors for its rebranding. After all,  concrete gray flows through the veins of companies dealing with architecture and interior design.       

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The rebranding by Barnad Studio used color as the background for striking and elegant typography – designed especially for the company, set with architectural precision. We are also delighted with the yellow highlights in the text that stand out from the gray background. The whole thing looks very fresh and modern. In our opinion, it fits perfectly with the company’s business model.

ToyFight website 

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The design duo from the UK was a few years ahead of some of the main trends that now dominate the showrooms;)

The first thing that caught your eye was the fun 3D illustrations of the designers in the form of children’s toys. The whole is complemented by strong typography. Each subpage has an individual composition prepared with a different dominant color. Designers emphasize with their website their creativity and sense of humor;)

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In this case, the duo did not use the exact colors Pantone had suggested, but saw the possibilities offered by the combination of neutral muted gray with energizing yellow.

AK Motorsport’s Rebranding

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Take a look at another rebranding in our list, this time by the Margo Agency studio.

AK Motorsport needed to transform into a brand that would be easily recognized in the world. Have they succeeded? In our opinion, this is a strong proposition and a very well thought-out, coherent identification system, where minimalist geometric forms and sans-serif thick typography give the brand a strong and decisive character.

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In the moto industry, a strong and simple form emphasizes its modernity, and the yellow color emphasizes the energy with which the industry is developing. AK Motosport definitely proved that this color combination is not only not boring, but also timeless!

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Paulina Miracka

UI Designer

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