Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Colors

There is nothing more readily associated with the University of Tennessee than our specific shade of orange.

Tennessee Orange should be prominent in all communications from the university. This is one of the easiest ways to identify your unit’s affiliation with UT.

White and Smokey should always be used to underscore the boldness of Tennessee Orange. Any additional colors used on communications should be selected from our accent palette, which supports our primary colors.

Choosing from the university’s color palettes brings visual consistency to communications from across campus.


Primary Palette

Though our primary color is Tennessee Orange, the colors white and Smokey can be used to underscore its boldness.


Using Tennessee Orange

Orange is the most important color in our palette; it is critical that we get it right.

The official Tennessee Orange is PMS 151. That is the color you should specify with a licensed vendor if you are producing merchandise, including promotional and specialty items.

However, almost all university communications are printed using the four-color (CMYK) process, which cannot accurately reproduce PMS 151. Therefore, you should use the 0-50-100-0 CMYK breakdown when printing. If a printer requests a PMS color to guarantee a match for a four-color print job, you should specify PMS 144, not 151.

Looking for a large swatch of UT Orange? We have that! Send an email to Angie Dobbs and request a 5″x3″ swatch of Pantone 151. Swatches are only available to faculty and staff of the university.

Painting something UT Orange? Here are our recommendations.

  • Benjamin Moore: Orange Juice
  • PPG/Glidden: Jack O’ Lantern
  • Valspar: Fresh Persimmons
  • Sherwin-Williams: Carnival or Navel

Sewing something? Here are our recommendations.

  • Orange: Madeira 1278
  • White: Madeira 1002
  • Smokey: Madeira 1172

 

The Color Black

Black is not a color in our palette and should not be used when designing university communications. Fonts and any other elements that may normally be displayed in black should always be Smokey instead.


Accent Colors

Always remember this is Big Orange Country, but sometimes you need some extra color. Remember to lead with orange and use these colors as accents.

UT Valley

Valley

CMYK 100 50 65 0
HEX 00746F
RGB 0 116 111
PMS 329

UT Torch

Torch

CMYK 0 85 100 0
HEX E65933
RGB 230 89 51
PMS WARM RED

UT Globe

Globe

CMYK 100 18 10 50
HEX 006C93
RGB 0 108 147
PMS 308

UT Limestone

Limestone

CMYK 5 5 10 0
HEX F0EDE3
RGB 240 237 227
PMS 454

UT River

River

CMYK 70 40 25 10
HEX 517C96
RGB 81 124 150
PMS 646

UT Leconte

Leconte

CMYK 40 100 60 30
HEX 8D2048
RGB 141 32 72
PMS 209

UT Regalia

Regalia

CMYK 55 100 25 25
HEX 754A7E
RGB 117 74 126
PMS 519

UT Sunsphere

Sunsphere

CMYK 0 20 90 0
HEX FED535
RGB 254 213 53
PMS 123

UT Rock

Rock

CMYK 0 0 0 40
HEX A7A9AC
RGB 167 169 172
PMS COOL GRAY 7

UT Legacy

Legacy

CMYK 65 20 50 10
HEX 579584
RGB 87 149 132
PMS 625

UT Summitt

Summitt

CMYK 25 0 10 0
HEX B9E1E2
RGB 185 225 226
PMS 304

UT Buckskin

Buckskin

CMYK 60 70 70 15
HEX 705550
RGB 112 85 80
PMS 476

UT Energy

Energy

CMYK 0 90 20 0
HEX EE3E80
RGB 238 62 128
PMS 198

UT Switchgrass

Switchgrass

CMYK 25 0 80 10
HEX ABC178
RGB 171 193 120
PMS 390

UT Fountain

Fountain

CMYK 75 15 25 10
HEX 2197A9
RGB 33 151 169
PMS 632

UT Eureka

Eureka!

CMYK 10 0 75 0
HEX EBEA64
RGB 235 234 100
PMS 386



Special Web Palette

Text Colors

For headlines, we use Smokey. For text we use Smokey X (a darkened version of Smokey that will make your text easier to read). For links we use Globe underlined.

Smokey

For headlines

HEX 58595B
RGB 88 89 91

Smokey X

For paragraph text and smaller only

HEX 333333
RGB 51 51 51

Globe

For text links

HEX 006C93
RGB 0 108 147

Texture Colors

In order to create slight differences in emphasis or to designate sections of a page, a range of grays is available. Your text color should be only Smokey X on these elements.

Gray 1

HEX F6F6F6
RGB 246 246 246

Gray 2

HEX E0E0E0
RGB 224 224 224

Gray 3

HEX CACACA
RGB 202 202 202

Gray 4

HEX B6B6B6
RGB 182 182 182



Color Mixes

Each of the colors in our palettes has a series of numbers, or codes, assigned to them. Which code you use depends on the medium you are designing for.

CMYK: Colors for print communications
Almost all print communications today are produced using the four-color (CMYK) process. You should use a color’s CMYK breakdown any time you are creating a print project, whether the job is being sent to a professional printer like University Printing and Mail or being printed on your office inkjet printer.

RGB & HEX: Colors for electronic communications
Communications that appear on the web, including email, or are projected or displayed on a screen use different color codes than print communications. You should use a color’s hexadecimal (HEX) code or RGB breakdown when designing electronic communications.

Pantone (PMS): Colors for specialty printing
Occasionally you may need to have something produced that doesn’t utilize the four-color CMYK process but is printed using spot colors. This process is typically reserved for merchandise. In these cases, you should use a color’s Pantone Matching System (PMS) color.

Colors, Digital Screens, and Accessibility

Per system policy, all UT websites aim to meet WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines for accessibility. This includes a required contrast ratio for text and images of text of at least 4.5:1. This applies to both live text and image text (digital banners, images, or graphics).

Here’s more information as well as a chart of text and color combinations from the brand palette that meet or exceed these accessibility standards.

(Spoiler: Tennessee Orange is tricky!)