Every year Pantone (a color specialist company that sets the standards for color coding for consistency across design platforms and printers) picks a color of the year. They take into account the trends across fashion, design and art and pick what they think will be a trending color of the year. They have been doing this for over 20 years.
2021 is a banner year as there is not one color of the year but two. Illuminating and Ultimate Gray share the honor of being selected. The combination of the colors, according to Pantone is "practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, the union of [the colors] is one of strength and positivity." With they way the world has been in 2020 we could all use some strength and positivity.
Yellows have always signified cheerfulness, calmness, and essentially "a light at the end of the tunnel." That there are brighter things ahead. Gray is a color of stability, strength, fortitude, resilience, and a firm foundation. The union of these two colors is very calming.
Learn more about Pantone and the Color of the Year here: www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2021