Brave Ground: AkzoNobel Color of the Year 2021 ― 

Brave Ground has been unveiled as AkzoNobel’s Color of the Year for 2021: It is a warm and grounding neutral shade that gives us the courage to embrace change. It is not a stand-alone color, but it can draw together different color palettes that will feature prominently in our homes and products.

As unprecedented events and experiences become commonplace, it is no wonder that people are feeling more off-kilter with the modern world. According to AkzoNobel’s extensive global trend research, what people need most right now is to feel the ground beneath their feet. When we can take comfort in the stability of simple things, we are emboldened to express ourselves, stand up for what we believe and make new connections from the past to the future. 

Brave Ground allows consumers and industrial customers to use the Color of the Year in a way that reflects who they are, how they want to feel and how they want to live. Color /n Architecture chose Brave Ground to illustrate the cover of our 2021 Calendar: Designed by Athens and Thessaloniki-based Georgia Harizani and Filippos Fragkogiannis, the cover paper of our 2021 calendar is in the Brave Ground tonality, with a tactile dimension that is evocative of our signature Sablé texture of fine sand, characterizing many of our powder coating colors. A handy organizer with beautiful, minimalist typography, our 2021 calendar is addressed to the creative individuals that dare to stand against unpredictability, moving on as they keep their thoughts and schedule in place. The calendar is paired with a metal bookmark, coated in our Gris 2800 Sablé powder: A color in the Brave Ground tonality, a gently waved texture, and a fine metallic sheen, already extremely popular in our local Greek market, for coating metal architectural components. To this are added two little pieces of stationery, designed by our Athens-based C/nA curator, Stavros Martinos, to bear the AkzoNobel message as a trusted expert in your architectural design endeavors. A black-and-white, double-face card, whose typography highlights all the features of color that we often neglect to notice, and yet make all the difference when we need to specify its use in three-dimensional, immersive space. In the total absence of a color shade, the black-on-black side is finely textured, while our Interpon logo stands out in a smooth, high gloss foil, generating a stark contrast within its monochromatic context. On the reverse, the smooth white side is metallic: The chosen paper includes tiny silver and pearlescent specks, alluding to our countless metallic powder coatings that are brought to life when they interact with light, applied upon gently curved metal surfaces. Finally, a vibrant red business card illustrates the Sablé texture on an opulent shade: a quite unusual combination that attacks all the senses, at once.

If your mission for 2021 is to stand on solid ground as architecture and design professionals, our mission remains what it has always been: to do our best to make you notice all those immersive properties -beyond mere tonality- that make color one of the most exciting materials to build with. Your informed creativity, assisted by our unparalleled expertise in architectural color specifications, is our brave ground for a creative new year.

Cover photo courtesy of Stefanos Tsakiris