Pantone unveils SS21 colour stories

The natural world is the inspiration behind many trends, and now Pantone has officially named it the main focus for its SS21 colour stories. Botanica, the brand’s new palette for 2021, celebrates nature as an innovator capable of influencing our relationship with the world around us.

There are many reasons why our fascination with nature is resonating with us so deeply at this time, including feelings of being ‘cooped up’ during the lockdown and our clear reliance on technology, which lacks natural warmth and physicality.

Furthermore, as we adapt to these unprecedented conditions, we are noticing the impact our actions have on the lives of other beings and we’re realising that we must never take anything the earth has to offer for granted again.

Immersing ourselves in nature’s greens allows us to recharge and fuel our mind and body, helping us to connect to what we truly value. Reflecting the balance that we’re craving and the need to rejuvenate, it is no surprise that the colour family that represents the beauty of the natural world has become one of next year’s biggest trends.

After the statement colours of previous seasons, Pantone sees SS21 as a quieter, more organic colour story. Whilst neon shades no longer occupy a leading role, confident and playful bursts of colour are still present, just like in nature.

In line with this new vision comes an equally important respect for texture, which of course, influences the appearance of colour. Reflective of natural characteristics, texture is represented by dry crepe-like aesthetics, as well as some spongey, sensuous looks.


FUNGI: blending classic and contemporary, this is the colour story of mushroom beige, parchment white, warm greige and soft taupe. Universal and versatile, it works with natural materials and high-tech fabrics alike.

LICHEN: appearing almost monochromatic, this is a combination of an attenuated mud, withered leather, yellowed green and bright ochre. Perfect for minimalist looks, It’s well-suited for organic materials.

FRAGRANCE: A palette of floral pastels, Fragrance is energetic yet delicate and its colours bring a powerful pop to neutral schemes.

PLANTOID: Uncompromising ambassador for the power of nature, Plantoid combines the green-greys and deep greens of the forest with the energetic, lighter hues of spring growth.

BOUQUET: another floral palette featuring soft and delicate medium-bright shades, Bouquet celebrates the love of the everyday. Mixing old-fashioned and contemporary, its colours are retro and feminine and reflect the joy of the warmer months.

TRANS PLANTS: Trans Plants includes a saturated range of floral colours that can be used as a larger statement or a bright pop.

TINCTURE: A selection of familiar and honest plant-based shades, Tincture is emblematic of our primal desire to connect with nature and what is real.

SUCCULENT: Inspired by thick and fleshy plants, the cool tones of Succulent are suggestive of the dry surface of the succulent leaf.

SPORES: Every season, Pantone includes a ‘transition palette’ that acts as a bridge between the season before and the one ahead. Each colour in the Spores palette is a variation of white, from a cooler, green-infused white to a heavy cream. Representing our desire for a fresh start, the whites are a colour family capable of making their own statement whilst serving as an ideal foundation onto which all other colours can be layered.

One of the biggest sources of inspiration in the creative industry, Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2021 will be announced on December 3rd and we can’t wait to see which shade will define the year ahead.