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In 1891 our students declared that orange would be UT’s primary school color, and more than a century later, there’s still no mistaking Tennessee Orange. Our orange is vibrant, it’s energetic, it’s the color of the Volunteer spirit and the university’s tradition of excellence. We wear Tennessee Orange with pride, and we want our work to evoke that same sense of energy.

Tennessee Orange should be prominent in all communications from the university. Using our signature color brings a visual consistency to communications.

White and Smokey Gray should always be used to underscore the boldness of Tennessee Orange. Any additional colors should be unobtrusive, used sparingly, and allow our orange to shine. 


Primary Colors


Using Tennessee Orange

Tennessee Orange is a very specific hue, and the guidelines below are our recommendations to best reproduce it. Keep in mind that different printers, paper, materials, and digital screens may render these color recommendations differently than others.

Printing Promotional Items
The official Tennessee Orange is PMS 151. That is the color you should specify with a university-contracted licensed vendor if you are producing merchandise like T-shirts, pens, lanyards, mugs, etc.

Printing on Paper
Almost all printed university communications use the four-color CMYK process for orange (CMYK 0-50-100-0), which cannot accurately reproduce PMS 151.

However, if a printer requests a Pantone (PMS) color to guarantee a match for a four-color print job, specify PMS 144C. Although typically 144C is used on coated paper, we have found that it also matches our orange more accurately on uncoated paper than does 144U. 

Looking for a large swatch of UT Orange? We have that! Send an email to 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
  • Behr: Joyful Orange
  • PPG/Glidden: Jack O’ Lantern
  • Valspar: Fresh Persimmons
  • Sherwin-Williams: Carnival or Navel

Sewing something? Here are our recommendations.

  • Orange: Madeira Poly 1765 and Robison-Anton 2328
  • White: Madeira 1002
  • Smokey: Madeira Poly 1540

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 Gray instead.

Digital 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).

Even though orange is our primary brand color, orange text on a white background and white text on an orange background do not meet accessibility standards.

To remedy the accessibility issues, we have a palette of colors to be used just for text on the web.

Smokey Gray

For headlines

HEX 58595B
RGB 88 89 91

Smokey X

For paragraph text and smaller only

HEX 333333
RGB 51 51 51


For text links

HEX 006C93
RGB 0 108 147