Design nerds the world over received the big news in early December: Pantone, the company known for its signature color matching system widely used in printing, product design, and more, announced not one – but two – Colors of the Year 2021. This is the second time that two shades have been selected; the first was in 2016 with Rose Quartz and Serenity (a dusty pink and blue, respectively). Our congrats to PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating. In everyday terms, think of a dark gray flannel and a buttercup yellow. On their website Pantone gives you the sense that the dark and light combo had something to do with that “unprecedented year” known as 2020, and that their goal is always to reflect a cultural moment. Pantone describes Ultimate Gray as “the colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time” and Illuminating as “a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.” Whether you care about any of this or not, you’ve got to hand it to Pantone Color Institute for creating an international breaking news event at the close of each year by selecting a hue or two for the following. Here at Hey Rhody, we used it as a fun reason to scour the state for goods from local shops, artists, and makers, to bring the trendy duo into your home.