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The Iowa State University color palette reflects the clarity and depth of our community's values, and it is deeply rooted in the university's land-grant mission. Consistent and appropriate use of these colors will create a strong and consistent graphic image for the university. This established system of colors for graphic communications ties all the colleges, institutes, centers and units of our university together.
To ensure the consistency of our visual identity, specifications for each color are provided for use in print, web, and electronic presentation applications:
The primary palette consists of 12 colors. These colors may be used extensively both for large areas of color or as an accent color. The nameplate should be printed only in red, warm gray, khaki, or black against a white or light-colored background whenever possible. The nameplate may be reversed out to white against a full-bleed photograph or against a background printed with any of the darker primary colors. Please visit the Nameplate section for detailed information about how to apply color to the nameplate.
Screens or tints of the primary colors may be used to achieve a desired effect, however, screening the red shades will result in pink, which should be used sparingly or avoided altogether.
The colors of the secondary palette have been selected to compliment the primary colors. Their understated tones were chosen to work well as a subtle background behind typography or other graphics, or in other situations where a restrained use of color is desired. The secondary colors should not be applied to the nameplate.
Screens or tints of the secondary colors may be used to achieve a desired effect, however, screening the red shades will result in pink, which should be used sparingly or avoided altogether.
Color combinations to avoid
Color is one of the most powerful ways a university can identify itself. Used consistently, the colors chosen to represent Iowa State create a strong identifying image. Conversely, some colors and color combinations can be confusing.
Colors associated with other public institutions in the state should not be used. Even though gold is one of Iowa State's primary colors, use of black and gold together should be avoided. Purple is not within any of Iowa State's color palettes and should never be used.
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-9624. Published by: Office of University Marketing.