OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Color Palette

color paletteOrange is the primary color and an integral part of the Oregon State brand. There is a separate color palette for web projects.

The support and neutral color palette should be used according to the following guidelines:

  • Tie support colors to the subject. Support colors can help connect the visual design to the subject of your piece. For example, a brochure related to oceanography could use blue, or a poster focused on agriculture could use beige, green or purple.
  • Limit the number of support/neutral colors used in a single piece so they do not overpower the orange, especially when the orange only appears in the tag.
  • Avoid color combinations that could be associated with other colleges and universities.
  • Neutral colors can be used with the support colors to bring depth to the design. Try choosing one support and one neutral color to determine if it creates the right mood or feeling for your piece.
  • When choosing colors, keep in mind the audience your piece is designed for. A recruiting piece should have more bold orange, while a report might have a more quiet look and feel.
  • In some instances, the support or neutral colors will dominate the design, with orange used for the Oregon State tag and key elements such as headlines.

Tips for commercial printing

Materials printed in full color at a commercial printer are produced using a four-color process. It uses four separate inks — cyan, magenta, yellow and black — to create a full-color image. These inks are referred to as CMYK.

When printing using a four-color process, use the CMYK values for Oregon State orange and any support colors.

When the Pantone numbered ink color for Oregon State orange or any support color is used, that’s called a spot color. A two-color print piece will typically use black plus the spot color.

For the most accurate reproduction of the Oregon State orange, it’s always best to use the Pantone ink number 1665 rather than the CMYK equivalent. The combination of the Pantone 1665 and CMYK is known as a five-color piece. Contact Printing & Mailing Services for a cost estimate comparing the two options.

Tips for digital and in-house printing

Because office printers can vary widely in their color output, we strongly recommend working with your laser or ink jet printer and software to reproduce the Oregon State orange and support colors accurately. Adjustments may also be needed for digital printing through Printing & Mailing Services.