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.
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.
PMS 116 C
CMYK: 0 14 100 0
RGB: 255 205 0
Madeira Thread: 910-1069 Classic Rayon #40
CMYK: 0 0 0 100
Rich Black: 40 30 30 100
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:
CMYK: 12 8 9 23
RGB: 187 188 188
CMYK: 83 1 0 0
RGB: 0 169 224
CMYK: 88 0 68 0
RGB: 0 175 102
CMYK: 0 60 100 0
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.
CMYK: 40 30 20 66
RGB: 99 102 106
CMYK: 100 48 6 3
RGB: 0 85 140
CMYK: 95 11 70 44
RGB: 0 102 79
CMYK: 1 80 88 14
RGB: 189 71 42
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
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
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.