Section Title

Brand Standards

Style Guide: Colors

One maize. One blue. One brand.

Two colors are at the very core of our existence. Maize and blue play a vital role in establishing a clear and powerful image and in defining the University of Michigan brand.



Primary palette — signature colors

Our signature color palette of Michigan Maize and Blue creates a powerful differentiator for our brand. Using this palette appropriately and consistently creates an additional layer of distinction. 

Our signature colors may be used extensively both for large areas of color and as accent colors.

PMS: 7406 (coated and uncoated)
CMYK: C0 / M18 / Y100 / K0
HEX: ffcb05

PMS: 282 (coated and uncoated)
CMYK: C100 / M60 / Y0 / K60 
HEX: 00274c


Secondary palette — supporting colors

The colors in our supporting palette were chosen to complement our primary palette of maize and blue, providing additional range to the brand experience. 

The buildings and landmarks we see every day on our campus served as the inspiration for the hues of our secondary color palette. Our designers walked the campus with Pantone color wheels, finding ink color chips to match the green of Rackham's roof, the stone of the Law Quad, the blue of the Canham pool. Proof that solutions often lie in one’s own backyard.

The secondary palette colors work well as accent colors or as subtle backgrounds behind typography or graphics. Darker colors may be used behind light-colored typography.

Screens or tints of the supporting colors may be used to achieve the desired effect but should be used cautiously, as screening certain colors may result in undesirable pastels.

Neutral and muted colors
  • UMMA Tan

    PMS: 7502
    CMYK: C6 / M14 / Y39 / K8

  • Burton Tower Beige

    PMS: 451
    CMYK: C21 / M15 / Y54 / K31

  • The Rock Gray

    PMS: Cool Gray 7
    CMYK: C20 / M14 / Y12 / K40

  • Angell Hall Ash

    PMS: Warm Gray 6
    CMYK: C14 / M19 / Y21 / K39

  • Law Quad Stone

    PMS: Warm Gray 11
    CMYK: C26 / M36 / Y38 / K68

  • Puma Black

    PMS: Black 6
    CMYK: C100 / M79 / Y44 / K93

  • Hill Brown

    PMS: 483
    CMYK: C21 / M80 / Y81 / K69

  • LSA Orange

    PMS: 471
    CMYK: C5 / M71 / Y100 / K23

  • Archway Ivy

    PMS: 3995
    CMYK: C23 / M25 / Y100 / K67

  • Rackham Roof Green

    PMS: 5565
    CMYK: C44 / M12 / Y34 / K24

  • Canham Pool Blue

    PMS: 646
    CMYK: C72 / M31 / Y3 / K12

  • Matthaei Violet

    PMS: 668
    CMYK: C70 / M77 / Y7 / K23

Metallic color
  • Diag M Metallic

    PMS: 872 

Bright colors
  • Tappan Red
    PMS: 484
    CMYK: C8 / M92 / Y100 / K33
  • Ross School Orange

    PMS: 1595
    CMYK: C0 / M71 / Y100 / K3

  • Wave Field Green

    PMS: 398
    CMYK: C14 / M6 / Y100 / K24

  • Taubman Teal

    PMS: 326
    CMYK: C81 / M0 / Y39 / K0

  • Arboretum Blue

    PMS: 660
    CMYK: C88 / M50 / Y0 / K0

  • Ann Arbor Amethyst

    PMS: 2603
    CMYK: C72 / M99 / Y0 / K3

Neutral and muted colors

Like their counterparts in the print palette, these colors work well as accents or neutral backgrounds.

  • UMMA Tan

    HEX: cfc096

  • Burton Tower Beige

    HEX: 9b9a6d

  • The Rock Gray

    HEX: 989c97

  • Observatory White

    HEX: e4e1df

  • Angell Hall Ash

    HEX: a79d96

  • Law Quad Stone

    HEX: 655a52

  • Hill Brown

    HEX: 7a121c

  • LSA Orange

    HEX: cc6600

  • Archway Ivy

    HEX: 7e732f

  • Rackham Roof Green

    HEX: 83b2a8

  • Canham Pool Blue

    HEX: 587abc

  • Matthaei Violet

    HEX: 575294

Expanded variations

These colors were chosen specifically for their contrast ratios — the light for dark backgrounds and the dark for light backgrounds. They work well for headlines and links.

  • HEX: e5e5e5


  • HEX: eff0f1


  • HEX: 40658f


  • HEX: 465d85


  • HEX: 0d57aa


  • HEX: 002a5b


  • HEX: 024794


  • HEX: 886b01


  • HEX: 333333


  • HEX: 555555



ASE (Adobe Swatch Exchange) files

This download facilitates the use of the U-M brand color palette in your communications projects.

The zip archive contains the following files:
• U-M Color Print.ase
• U-M Color Print.pdf
• U-M Color Web.ase
• U-M Color Web.pdf

The PDF files are quick reference guides. The print version spells out the PMS color number and CMYK formula for each color in the U-M palette. The web version supplies the hex number and RGB formula for each color.

The ASE files provide a convenient way to quickly add the entire U-M primary and secondary color palettes to your digital files. An ASE file can be loaded into any open InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop document. Please consult the Help menu for step-by-step instructions.


Do the right thing

It’s important to remember that the secondary color palette is just that: a secondary choice to accent and complement our primary palette of maize and blue. An overpowering use of certain secondary colors and color combinations can evoke the branding of other higher education institutions. Avoid:

  • Maize and abundant use of Hill Brown (PMS 483) can look like the University of Minnesota
  • An abundant use of Ann Arbor Amethyst (PMS 2603) and white can look like Northwestern University 
  • An abundant use of LSA Orange (PMS 471) and white can look like the University of Texas at Austin
  • An abundant use of Tappan Red (PMS 484) and white can look like Cornell University