Color Palettes

Our heritage colors of red and green are an important element of our identity, and the colors we choose in communications should make everything we create instantly recognizable as Washington University. Use these color formulas, and match the correct formula to your project. These color values have been carefully selected to match as close as possible across all types of media and output.

For graphic artists creating university communications in Adobe Suite products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, you can directly import custom color libraries using the swatches palette within the software.  We have created custom palettes (.ASE files) for our brand colors in PMS spot, CMYK, and RGB models.

Download Color Swatches in CMYK, PMS and RGB

Primary design palette

In order to simplify and clarify our visual identity, red, gray and white have been selected as the primary color palette to use for communication design.

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Web only dark gray HEX #3c3c3d
(To meet accessibility standards on the web it may sometimes be necessary to darken the gray value for contrast and readability. In these web-only cases, this darker gray may be used.)

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Accent color

Our green can be used with discretion as an accent color in page design. It should not generally be used directly adjacent to red. Equal combinations of red and green together can be visually challenging.

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Secondary color palette and tints

The secondary color palette consists of a complimentary set of hues that are chosen to work well together, and with WashU red, to provide depth and variety to communications. These additional colors will provide designers broad artistic freedom and versatility in the development of communications media while maintaining a coordinated, integrated look. There are no designated colors for individual departments or areas of the university. Any of the colors within the palette may be used for any communication.

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