Brand Identity & Visual Standards

Guidelines for creating UofL-branded marketing materials and websites


Our brand palette evokes our personality. In 1913, A&S Dean (and eventual UofL President) John Patterson's wife Ellen suggested that the university adopt cardinal and black as the official school colors. Since then, we have been the Fighting Cardinals and our brand has been inextricably linked to these bold colors.

Primary Color Palette

Nothing says “UofL” quite like Cardinal Red. Our primary colors are the bedrock of our brand. As such it is imperative that these colors be present and prominent in all communications. Reproduction of our brand palette must be consistent across all platforms and materials.

Because our primary palette is high in contrast and bold in spirit, use of each must be judicious. Please refer to the color distribution chart below for advice on how to employ our brand colors effectively.

Cardinal Red

Pantone: PMS 1797

CMYK: 0 100 99 4

RGB: 173 0 0

Web: AD0000


Pantone: Black

CMYK: 40 30 30 100

RGB: 0 0 0

Web: 000000


Pantone: White

CMYK: 0 0 0 0

RGB: 255 255 255


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Secondary Color Palette

Our secondary palette is divided into two families: historic and vibrant. When considering using accent colors, please remember that these should always serve in a supplementary role, never as the dominant color focus of an application.

Historic Accents

These colors have a classic academic quality and complement the primary palette.

Brandeis Ash

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Pantone: PMS 7543 C

CMYK: 49 31 33 0

RGB: 139 157 161

Web: 8B9DA1

Patterson Red

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Pantone: 187 C

CMYK: 0 97 80 42

RGB: 154 18 32

Web: 9A1220

Swain Tobacco

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Pantone: 7531 C

CMYK: 40 42 63 30

RGB: 122 108 83

Web: 7A6C53

Strong Bronze

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Pantone: PMS 117 C

CMYK: 0 31 87 23

RGB: 202 148 47

Web: CA942F

Jefferson Parchment

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Pantone: PMS 7402 C

CMYK: 0 4 49 18

RGB: 217 201 130

Web: D9C982

Parkway Field Laurel

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Pantone: PMS 5787 C

CMYK: 34 0 54 14

RGB: 152 189 131

Web: 98BD83

Vibrant Accents

These colors are more energetic and should be used as accents when tonally appropriate.


Pantone: PMS 3025 C

CMYK: 100 18 0 60

RGB: 0 78 116

Web: 004E74


Pantone: 7466 C

CMYK: 79 0 42 9

RGB: 0 168 157

Web: 00A89D


Pantone: 7548 C

CMYK: 0 27 100 0

RGB: 254 190 16

Web: FEBE10


Pantone: 7745 C

CMYK: 20 0 87 23

RGB: 170 180 58

Web: AAB43A

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Color Distribution

Below is a general suggestion for the distribution of colors within the UofL palettes for any given design. Emphasis is placed on white space, followed by our primary brand colors. Secondary colors should be used as accents and therefore not dominate a design.

30% Primary

60% Whitespace

10% Accent

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Color Application

While the UofL palette is rich in saturation, often it is inappropriate to use it at full strength as the colors may dominate or overpower.

Particularly useful in on-screen applications (web, mobile, presentations, etc.), our primary colors—excluding Cardinal Red and Patterson Red—and all secondary accent colors may be tinted to any strength.

Note Cardinal Red and Patterson Red may not be tinted at all, as doing so produces an unfavorable color.


Adobe Illustrator swatch files are available for download.

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Communications & Marketing

University of Louisville

2323 S. Brook St.

Louisville, KY 40208

(502) 852-6171