Industry tech solutions providers are already incorporating Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year— Illuminating and Ultimate Gray—into their palettes for the coming season.
On Wednesday, color management software and services provider X-Rite announced that the two chosen hues are now available through PantoneLive, a cloud-based digital color standard platform that integrates across X-Rite’s digital workflow tools.
The integration allows brands and their supply chain partners to start color matching, formulating and producing the Ultimate Gray and Illuminating color ways on an array of print and multimedia design projects, including packaging and signage.
“Producing Illuminating for its highest visibility and impact or Ultimate Gray for its versatility in packaging and store displays will require the right color management software that can match the color across corrugated, film, offset and digital to ensure that all the components match,” Ray Cheydleur, X-Rite’s printing and packaging market manager, said in a statement.
Cheydleur added that the collaboration between the X-Rite and Pantone gives designers, brands and their print suppliers a number of integrated solutions that will help streamline the design-to-production process. “This includes tools for digital color communication, ink formulation, color measurement and quality control,” he added.
Pantone announced its Color of the Year choices last week, choosing two complementary selections that reflect “what’s taking place in the culture at a specific moment in time,” according to Laurie Pressman, the color institute’s vice president. During this “highly unusual” moment, she said, “the world continues to feel as though it is turned upside down, inside out due to the global pandemic and risings around the world focused on the environment and inequality.”
These circumstances “have led to the reframing of our social and cultural values,” she added. The “aspirational color pairing” of Illuminating and Ultimate Gray were chosen to convey a feeling of cautious optimism for a new year through a combined message of “sunshine and strength.”
“Ultimate Gray and Illuminating do not have to be used in equal proportions—either color can take precedence whether for print, packaging, beauty, or home furnishings,” Pressman added. Pantone’s selections are the result of months of research by the organization’s color experts, who pull influence from entertainment, travel, art, technology and fashion.
According to X-Rite, brand owners, commercial printers and packaging converters who wish to use either or both shades can use the libraries available through PantoneLive to access the master colors and their corresponding dependent color standards. The program ensures that each color is accurately represented on any substrate, regardless of printing technology or the types of inks used.
The PantoneLive library of colors can be found within X-Rite’s InkFormulation and Color iQC software, along with the ColorCert Suite of tools, the company said.