Sunflowers Emulate the Pantone 2021 Colors

Bright yellow sunflower

Every year, artists in all industries eagerly await the announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year. Pantone came to the forefront in 1963 by introducing a color matching system that allowed customers to get the same color no matter the reference material (paint, fabric, printed materials). They established themselves as the leading consultant on color and founded the Pantone Color Institute to work with industries like fashion, home décor, and architecture - even the floral industry.

Sunflower Pantone Color of the Year


Based on their analysis, The Institute announces a color choice every year that both reflects and molds the mood and trends of color around the world.

For 2021, Pantone announced that Illuminating (a bright yellow) and Ultimate Gray as the colors to use because they promote clarity, hope, and energy for a brighter future while maintaining a steadfast foundation.

pantone yellow pantone grey and sunflower

Pantone in Photographs

In searching for a piece of artwork that embodies these colors and ideals, I was deeply inspired by the sunflower. My goal always is to capture the messages and meanings of flowers in all their stunning beauty, and to me, sunflowers are quintessentially symbols of optimism and growth.

Golden sunflower

Their golden petals reach lovingly to the sun and spring to great heights with broad, seed-filled centers. Because of their height, the roots are planted firmly in the ground to keep them steady as the wind blows. The sunflower itself is always culturally paired with the idea of happiness, warmth and positivity. We see them in the summer and fall and know that days of tranquility and maturing are upon us. The sunflower reminds us that if we stay true to ourselves and our goal, we can have an abundant harvest.

The Pantone Collection

In my Summer Flower Print collection, I capture just how effective Pantone’s Illuminating color choice can be.

My flower prints of wide, bold sunflowers in Sunkissed and Golden Hour I are meant to uplift the mood wherever they are displayed.

sunflower petals

The petals on the Sunkissed flower spread wide to welcome the future, encouraging us to keep our eyes wide, open and ready to embrace all of the incredible gifts this world has to offer. The yellow tone is luminous with wonder and embraces us with its enduring warmth and positivity. The radiant petals are contrasted by its shadowed center, an amazing reminder that our shadow is as beautiful and exquisite as our light. That optimism does not mean constant positivity, rather it means learning to navigate all of the challenges that life offers, and cherishing the small, potent beauty along the way.

Sunflower bloom with dew
Golden Hour I takes that same idea of reaching for the future and draws us closer. The bloom shines boldly like the sunshine of a summer day, reminding us that come the fall, we will be ready for transformation. The translucent dew drops are a sign of rebirth, as the water both nourishes us but is able to bring transformation to the earth in the form of tides, floods, and storms. This image provides us with the hope that even on the darkest days it is possible to find evidence of a bright future ahead.

An Optimistic Color Palette

It is easy to see why Pantone chose the colors that they did, for we need the bright yellow hue to remind us to remain optimistic in the face of uncertainty. We also need to proceed in a manner that still retains the solid foundations that are represented in Ultimate Gray. 

Nature provides us with visual aides to keep us focused and guide us back to our center. It is through the sunflowers that we can be reminded that joy, bravery, and hope can go far in this world. It is no wonder that sunflowers are one of the most recognized and enjoyed flowers in my collections, and one of my personal favorite photography subjects.

I would love for you to explore the prints above in more intimate detail. Come discover them here.

With love,