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Is 'Surgical Mask Blue' the Real Colour of the Year for 2020?

Image by 
360brain / Instagram.

Image by 360brain / Instagram.

Last year, the colour chosen for 2020 was a 'boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky,' Classic Blue. A reassuring and comforting colour that, give or take a few tones, fits perfectly with the colour of the surgical mask.

If the colour of surgical masks were to have a name, it would be "Mask Blue" and it very well could have been the colour of the year since it has been under our nose (as well as over it) all day since March. At least, that's the way it's been conceptualized by artist and creative director Artem Pozdniakov, who on October 15 posted on his Instagram account the famous Pantone square in the colour of the surgical mask.

His idea was to combine art and creativity in order to raise awareness about mask-wearing: "Second wave...and it's bigger than the first one. So please wear this colour. This is a main trend," he wrote in the caption of his Instagram post.

With the arrival of the end of the year and the announcement of the colours for 2021 by Pantone, this image reappeared on social networks.

Two 'Colors of the Year' for 2021

The real colour chosen by Pantone to define 2021 was unveiled on Wednesday, December 9. It's actually a mix of two contrasting colours: Illuminating (a luminous yellow) and grey. Optimism and sobriety. "Alone, a gray would be stagnant and depressing, while a yellow would be overly ebullient. Together, the pair is meant to be both optimistic and thoughtful," writes Fast Company.

The Pantone company has been publishing colours of the year for over 20 years, serving as a trendspotter and influencing different areas of product development, such as the fashion, industrial and interior design sectors.

Last year, the colour chosen for 2020 was a "boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky," Classic Blue. A reassuring and comforting colour that, give or take a few tones, fits perfectly with the colour of the surgical mask.

first published:December 12, 2020, 11:07 IST