2021 colour trends: Designers opting for softer, glowing palettes in troubled times

2021 colour trends: Designers opting for softer, glowing palettes in troubled times

Shutterstock has unveiled its 2021 Colour Trends report to tell the story of branding, content, and design for the year ahead, showing that champagne, gold and green shades are growing in popularity.

By analysing billions of pixel data from the year’s top image downloads, and mapping each pixel to its closest HEX code, Shutterstock has identified the top three colours that are trending globally, as well as local favourites in 20 countries.

The three colours that have grown in popularity are:

• Set Sail Champagne #FAEBD7: a soft, glowing tint of white evoking an escapist desire to embark on a new journey.
• Fortuna Gold #DAA520: a rich shade of gold representing the chance happenings and happy coincidences found in life’s moments.
• Tidewater Green #2F4F4F: a deep teal with touches of yellow and blue—just like the constant ebb and flow of ocean tides, this colour is a reminder that change is a given.

The specific top colour in the UK is #F08080 – Light Coral.

Shutterstock Creative Director Flo Lau notes the shift away from bright, saturated hues towards a more rich, natural palette that speaks to new opportunities and change globally.

By analyzing pixel data from the year’s top downloads and mapping each pixel color to a HEX code, the report reveals the three fastest-growing colors that will tell the story of 2021, as well as local favorites from around the world.

“For years, brands and agencies have used bold colors to stand out in a crowded content landscape; however, 2020 has forced creatives to be more purposeful in their strategies. We see them turning to optimistic colors that inspire a sense of hope—a sense that positive change is coming,” said Flo Lau, Creative Director at Shutterstock. “With nearly 2 million global customers leveraging Shutterstock’s library to create innovative, fresh and timely content for their campaigns and projects, their recent download choices are reflecting a shift in creative thought. They’re leaving behind the bright, saturated hues that defined 2020 and moving towards 2021 with a rich, natural palette that speaks to new opportunities, and more simply, a desire to get outside and get away.”

View Shutterstock’s 2021 Color Trends report to explore the top trending colors around the world.