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Colors that will dominate 2021

Colors are so important to our every experience.

Even when you don’t notice them, there they are, shaping a place or supporting a visual with warmth or coolness, brightness or darkness, similarity or contrast. For its annual Color Trends report, Shutterstock looks for colors that have seen increased activity in the previous year, popping up in more image downloads than ever before. By looking at the HEX code data in each pixel, the photography and video footage service predicts the hues that are primed to dominate in the year to come. Based on its top three predictions, the near-future looks bright.


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Set Sail Champagne

A natural hue that can be used in any scheme, especially earth-toned color palettes featuring browns, taupes and greens. If you look closely, you’ll see that it is a soft, white tint of orange. Try it paired with a classic baby blue or an oceanic teal. As a pastel orange, Set Sail Champagne is also at home in any pastel palette. Give light colors a modern treatment with a glowing, holographic gradient of its analogous sisters: a rosy pink and a mellowed-out lime green.

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Fortuna Gold

A dark, rich shade of yellow. Its spectrum features variations on gold, from light shimmering pastels to dark, almost metallic golden browns. Fortuna’s direct complement is Cerulean blue, creating a high-profile palette that brings to mind fields of wheat and deep blue skies. At its heart, this golden yellow is high drama, and it likes to be paired with other intense colors. Create a striking palette by embracing its amber qualities, and pair Fortuna Gold with other jewel tones, like amethyst purple and turquoise green.

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Tidewater Green

This deep, molten teal presents with both yellow and blue tints, adding to its dynamic power. On the color wheel, its direct companion is another hybrid color, red orange. These colors match up well in super-saturated schemes that mimic the blue green of the ocean and warm pops of color seen in fish and coral reefs. Tidewater Green also works as a rich gray with unmistakable character. Use it to ground lighter, brighter palettes featuring its triadic counterparts, like an airy lavender or a modern sage green.