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Buckeye color

Color plays an active role in people’s lives. It attracts attention. It triggers emotions.

Color can influence decisions and behaviors.

Consistent use of color supports visual cohesion across our communications and leverages emotional resonance with our brand.When combined with photos of our people, places and work, color enhances the depth and increases the impact of our storytelling.

Since 1878, when a group of students chose our iconic signature colors, the Buckeye Nation has recognized scarlet and gray as Ohio State. We are a diverse institution, however, and we speak to vast and varied audience every day. Keeping those diverse communications in mind, a secondary palette has been carefully selected for versatility and compatibility with our iconic hues.

Signature colors

Scarlet PMS 200
C3 M100 Y63 K12
R187 G0 B0
#BB0000

Gray PMS 424
C56 M47 Y47 K15
R102 G102 B102
#666666
68% K

White C0 M0 Y0 K0
R255 G255 B255
#FFFFFF

Black C0 M0 Y0 K100
R0 G0 B0
#000000

Scarlet and gray in combination are as well known as our name. They are our signature colors by which our audiences identify us as Ohio State.

Incorporate our signature colors into your materials to tap into that powerful recognition and connect with our brand. To ensure consistency and protect our signature colors, be sure to use the proper specifications above, and consider that a generous use of white allows our colors, and any others, to stand out.

Download the Adobe Swatch Exchange file (.ase) and import the primary palette directly into Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, In Design, Fireworks and Flash.

Download primary palette swatches


About scarlet

Scarlet is powerful. It is bold. It is an integral part of our brand, which is why its presence is required on all Ohio State communications. A prominence of scarlet, however, is not always advisable.

Scarlet is a red, and red is one of the most visible colors. Why? Anthropologists believe we’re hardwired to notice red as a survival instinct. Aside from black and white, red is the only color distinction found in every human language.

Physically, red focuses behind the retina, which forces the lens of your eye to become more convex to pull it forward; therefore, we perceive red areas as advancing.

How scarlet is positioned in relation to other hues, however, makes a world of difference. On a black background, for example, scarlet glows and expands, while on a white background it appears more contained and crisp. Surrounded by orange and purple, scarlet is relatively lifeless.

Bottom line: in any design, a little scarlet goes a long way.

Scarlet comparision

Scarlet and gray: tints and shades

Scarlet and gray: tints and shades

Tints and shades are a powerful way to communicate using the primary palette.

Do:

  • Use both tints and shades of gray
  • Use grayscale or monotone gray photos
  • Use shades of scarlet of 20-50%
  • Screen a grayscale image over scarlet
  • Use scarlet and black duotone images

Don't:

  • Use tints of scarlet
  • Use scarlet duotones with colors other than shades of scarlet or black

Secondary color palette

PMS 2597C76 M96 Y2 K0
R110 G4 B133
#660099

PMS 644C38 M20 Y7 K0
R156 G182 B210
#9CB6D2

PMS 380C18 M0 Y88 K0
R219 G227 B65
#DBE341

PMS 5473C91 M49 Y49 K24
R9 G92 B102
#095C66

PMS 110C0 M22 Y100 K14
R219 G170 B0
#DBAA00

PMS 7532C49 M57 Y73 K37
R101 G81 B60
#65513C


PMS 391 C0 M3 Y100 K40
R153 G149 B0
#999500

PMS 159 C13 M75 Y100 K3
R210 G95 B21
#D25F15

PMS 1205 C3 M13 Y40 K0
R255 G223 B154
#FFDF99

PMS 563 C58 M7 Y36 K0
R103 G186 B175
#67BAAF

PMS 7534 C17 M16 Y24 K0
R211 G204 B189
#D4D6C2

PMS 2425 C48 M100 Y30 K14
R136 G0 B99
#880063

A range of extended color options chosen to complement the core university colors provides units with the flexibility to distinguish themselves while building alignment and consistency.

These colors reflect the university’s physical environment and work in concert with the primary colors. Whether selecting a single secondary color or many, scarlet and gray should always appear in a prominent way on any communication materials.

Download the Adobe Swatch Exchange file (.ase) and import the seondary palette directly into Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, In Design, Fireworks and Flash.

Download secondary palette swatches

Secondary palette: tints and shades

Secondary palette: tins and shades

Use of tints and shades of the secondary palette colors provides countless options and variations. The colors provide both dominant and neutral choices to balance and complement scarlet and gray.

Secondary palette groups

PMS 159 C13 M75 Y100 K3
R210 G95 B21
#D25F15

PMS 644 (10%K)C47 M28 Y13 K0
R139 G164 B192
#8BA4C0

PMS 2425 (30%K)C57 M100 40Y K37
R94 G17 B72
#5E1148

PMS 391 (50%K)C51 M50 Y100 K31
R108 G93 B0
#6C5D00

PMS 7532C49 M57 Y73 K37
R101 G81 B60
#65513C

PMS 563C58 M7 Y36 K0
R103 G186 B175
#67BAAF

PMS 1205C3 M13 Y40 K0
R255 G223 B154
#FFDF99

PMS 391C0 M3 Y100 K40
R153 G149 B0
#999500

PMS 2597 (70%K)C92 M94 Y39 K60
R20 G0 B56
#140038

PMS 644C38 M20 Y7 K0
R156 G182 B210
#9CB6D2

PMS 110C0 M22 Y100 K14
R219 G170 B0
#DBAA00

PMS 380C18 M0 Y88 K0
R219 G227 B65
#DBE341

PMS 5473C91 M49 Y49 K24
R9 G92 B102
#095C66

PMS 2425C48 M100 Y30 K14
R136 G0 B99
#880063

PMS 7534C17 M16 Y24 K0
R211 G204 B189
#D4D6C2


Picking the right colors for your message can be fun—but deciding on secondary colors can be challenging depending on the number of colors and intensities you choose. The three color groupings shown here and on the following pages can help you get started. The brand team is also available for counsel and assistance; email identity@osu.edu.

When choosing complementing blue tones, keep in mind our sensitivity at Ohio State to that particular color. Blue defines our rivals, so it should never be visually dominant.

Not sure how to select the most relevant colors for your message? The university’s brand team (identity@osu.edu) and your college communications office are happy to help.