Color

Our black and gold color palette is one of the most recognizable aspects of the University of Iowa visual identity, dating back to the 1880's. Using these primary brand colors clearly connects your program and message to Iowa, building recognition and trust with your audiences.

Primary colors

Our gold is the spot color PMS 116 C. For black, use solid or rich-black values.

  • Use the recommended values below for CMYK, HEX, and RGB color spaces to achieve the most desirable gold across print and digital platforms.
  • Do not use PMS 116 U when printing on an uncoated stock. Every effort should be made by vendors to match the PMS 116 C swatch.
  • Use the rich-black formula for a denser black when printing with a four-color process.

Tints and shades

No values other than those listed on this page may be used. Tints and shades of these colors should not be used. The only exceptions to this rule are Black and PMS Cool Gray shades, which may require tints to achieve adequate contrast in some applications.

Download color palette

The complete color palette is available for download to use in Adobe Creative Suite applications. This download includes both the primary and secondary colors in CMYK, PMS, and RGB, packaged in an Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) file.

Download .ase file

Color Palette - Gold

PMS 116 C

CMYK: 0  14  100  0
HEX: #FFCD00
RGB: 255  205  0
Madeira Thread: 910-1069 Classic Rayon #40

Color Palette - Black

Black

CMYK: 0  0  0 100
HEX: #000000
Rich Black: 40  30  30  100
 

Secondary colors

The secondary color palette was carefully selected to complement and support our primary brand colors of black and gold while creating flexibility to design effective visual communications.

Secondary colors are ideal for elements that require differentiation such as charts and graphs, iconography, updates/alerts, or hyperlinks in web applications.

Use secondary colors sparingly

  • Black and gold should always be the most prominent colors used in any marketing materials.
  • Secondary colors must not exceed 10% of the total color palette of any design.
  • Never use large floods of a secondary color.

Colors for print:

Cool Gray 4
PMS Cool Gray 4

CMYK: 12  8  9  23
HEX: #BBBCBC
RGB: 187  188  188

PMS 2995
PMS 2995

CMYK: 83  1  0  0
HEX: #00A9E0
RGB: 0  169  224

PMS 3405 color swatch
PMS 3405

CMYK: 88 0 68 0
HEX: #00AF66
RGB: 0 175 102

PMS 151
PMS 151

CMYK: 0  60  100  0
HEX: #FF8200
RGB: 255  130  0

Colors for digital/web:

These secondary colors were selected to meet WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines. To ensure a contrast ratio for text (and images of text) of at least 4.5:1, use only white (#FFFFFF) text when using these colors as a background.

Cool Gray 10
PMS Cool Gray 10

CMYK: 40  30  20  66
HEX: #63666A
RGB: 99  102  106

PMS 7462
PMS 7462

CMYK: 100  48  6  3
HEX: #00558C
RGB: 0  85  140

PMS 336
PMS 336

CMYK: 95  11  70  44
HEX: #00664F
RGB: 0  102  79

PMS 7598 Color Swatch
PMS 7598

CMYK: 1  80  88  14
HEX: #BD472A
RGB: 189  71  42

Using color

Use our colors strategically to achieve balance and strike the right tone. Prominent use of gold provides the most brand recognition and works well in most cases. Increasing the use of black or white space works best in formal applications.

Informal color usage

Casual color usage charts

Use black and gold prominently balanced with white space for student recruitment and most marketing efforts. Secondary colors must not exceed 10% of the overall color palette.

Formal color usage

Formal color usage charts

Increase the amount of black or white space to strike a more formal tone for official invitations, documents, or ceremonies. Limit the use of secondary colors.

Download our printable visual identity poster to use as a quick reference guide to some of our most important identity elements.

Download Poster