In the COVID-19 era where mental and physical well-being have become more important than ever, consumers are craving simple comforts and a slowed-down lifestyle. Emulating both the optimism felt in nature and soothing nostalgia, PPG announced that its 2021 Color Palette of the Year will center on the theme, “Be Well,” which consists of hues Transcend, Big Cypress and Misty Aqua.
(Pictured: After a tumultuous 2020, people will find comfort in softened hues and nostalgic neutrals in a palette PPG is calling Be Well for 2021.)
“With the world sheltering in place for the better half of the year, we have begun to crave human connection and embrace simple activities, including walking, hiking, baking and gardening,” says Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager, architectural and industrial coatings. “This organic and hopeful palette represents what we have been longing for after decades of overstimulation and overconsumption—simplicity and restfulness.”
The Be Well palette is intended for people who want to fully embrace mindfulness and intention, showcasing natural hues that are restorative, compassionate and optimistic.
The color trio celebrates beauty of all kinds and relates to those who want to prioritize wellness in mind, body and spirit.
Transcend, a mid-tone oatmeal-colored hue that draws on earthy influences and nostalgia, grounds the palette. The antidote to an era of cool grays, this cozy neutral emulates the feeling of a warm latte on a cool morning or warm sand on a sunny summer day.
Big Cypress, a shaded ginger with persimmon undertones, is the equivalent of a big, comforting hug for your home. Misty Aqua, a watercolor cerulean blue, provides an unexpected pairing of freshness against the other warm, earthy tones.
Schlotter notes these new yet familiar colors pair well with greenery, blonde or natural brown-toned woods, and layers of texture in the form of rattan, linen, velvet, and woven textiles like pillows, blankets and rugs. With mindfulness front and center, this nurturing palette allows consumers to make space for comfort, support, relief and joy.
[Related: A 3-Step Approach to Creating Meaningful Workplace Experiences]
Be Well palette by PPG
1. Big Cypress, a shaded ginger with persimmon undertones, is the equivalent of a big, comforting hug for your home.
2. Misty Aqua, a watercolor cerulean blue, provides an unexpected pairing of freshness against the other warm, earthy tones.
3. Transcend, a mid-tone oatmeal-colored hue that draws on earthy influences and nostalgia, grounds the palette.
“When the world experiences events that cause unrest, anxiety and grief, we tend to naturally gravitate toward compassionate colors that allow us to create a personal retreat from the world,” Schlotter explains. “These comfort colors are similar to comfort foods—both offering a certain sense of familiarity and normalcy when facing the unknown.”
In addition to the Be Well palette, PPG color experts identified two additional color stories that will resonate in 2021:
1. Be True: Anchoring reality.
This palette celebrates authenticity and connection by imitating an artisan’s touch and renewing traditional know-how by layering vintage-inspired colors and recycled and contemporary touches. It is a mixture of organic and heritage influences with warm, earthy tones combined with jewel box hues. Enchanting Eggplant, a rich maroon with chocolate undertones, grounds the palette alongside Gargoyle, a glass-bottle green, and Transcend.
2. Be Wild: Activating optimism.
A mood-boosting combination of colors, these hues are a celebratory expression of individuality and reclaiming power. Included in the expressive and creative palette is PPG’s Transcend, which brings an earthy element to French Lilac, a lively periwinkle, and Mediterranean Blue, a marine aqua-blue with a deep-water undertone.
After a tumultuous 2020, this color palette is sure to be a welcome sight for sore eyes.
Need to catch up on more 2021 color of the year stories? Read more here:
Learn more about this contest and how you can submit your own design!