Color Is More Than an Aesthetic Choice
Using color appropriately is one of the easiest ways to make sure our materials reflect a cohesive Rackham image or visual story.
Colors are also the building blocks of accessibility. After a long exploration, the standardized Rackham color palette was created to achieve good contrast in the interest of legibility across all channels and media.
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.
Signature colors may be used extensively both for large areas of color and as accent colors.
CMYK: C0, M18, Y100, K0
CMYK: C100, M60, Y0, K60
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. They work well as accent colors or as backgrounds behind typography or graphics, but should never replace the primary palette as the main color(s) of a design.
CMYK: C8, M92, Y100, K33
CMYK: C0, M71, Y100, K3
|Wave Field Green
CMYK: C14, M6, Y100, K24
|Rackham Roof Green
CMYK: C44, M12, Y34, K24
CMYK: C81, M0, Y39, K0
CMYK: C88, M50, Y0, K0
CMYK: C72, M99, Y0, K3
CMYK: C70, M77, Y7, K23
CMYK: C6, M14, Y39, K8
|Burton Tower Beige
CMYK: C21, M15, Y54, K31
|Angell Hall Ash
PANTONE: PANTONE Warm Gray 6
CMYK: C14, M19, Y21, K39
|Law Quad Stone
PANTONE: PANTONE Warm Gray 11
CMYK: C26, M36, Y38, K68
|Diag M Metallic
PANTONE: PANTONE Black 6
CMYK: C100, M79, Y44, K93
Accessible Rackham Green
U-M Rackham green does not meet specified accessibility criteria. It has been darkened by 20% to meet AA standard for contrast ratio as stipulated in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. U-M Rackham Green can still be used in decorative contexts.
A gradient can be used to enliven fields of color. If the gradient is used strictly as a background—for instance, under an overlay box—you can use the complete color range. If you are overprinting the gradient with type, you need to make sure the resulting contrast ratio meets accessibility standards.
Gradients: Combining Colors
Gradients can combine more than one color.
Using tints of the colors can create a dynamic effect. It also adds visual depth and flexibility to show information hierarchy. When using text or logos on imagery, adding a color transparency can help with legibility and emphasize ideas.
Gradients and Transparency Overlay for Accessibility
Overlaying colors under text, icons, or logos will increase the legibility.
When imagery is from different sources a duotone effect can create a unified look.
Primary colors should always be the dominant color. Use 50% or more of any primary color for your project palette.