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Illuminating / Ultimate Gray

Sunny days are on the horizon.

Set the tone for 2021 with positivity and optimism.

Take a deep breath and say it with us, “We made it through 2020.” Despite everything the year threw at us, the world has largely proven to be resilient and compassionate in the face of adversity. That gives us a ray of hope for the future, which brings us to the inaugural Design Challenge of 2021! For creative inspiration, we look to Pantone’s Colors of the Year for 2021— PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating.

As Pantone Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman puts it, “The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude.” Think of ways you can employ both colors to uplift the human spirit and inspire optimism that there are sunny days ahead. Maybe illustrate a sunflower emerging out of cracked concrete, or sun rays slicing through storm clouds like a hot knife through butter.

Or, emphasize the theme of resilience with turbulent waves crashing against weathered rocks, or a dinosaur evading meteors like they’re dodgeballs. You can also hone in on human perseverance as the glistening hope of the vaccine extinguishes the gloom of the global pandemic. Also consider incorporating motivational text, such as “Light Up the Darkness” or “Radiate Positivity.” Whichever approach you choose, make sure PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating are in your color palette.


You could win

  • First Place (1): $1,250 Cash & $250 gift code

  • Second Place (1): $500 Cash & $250 gift code

  • Third Place (1): $250 Cash & $250 gift code

  • Plus, anyone who is printed (including the grand prize winner) will receive up to $7 on each tee of their design sold on Threadless.com! Read more...

Submit a design

Submission kit

An Artist Shop is required to submit. If you do not have one, one will be created for you automatically when you click the "Submit A Design" button.

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Designs from this challenge