When it comes to color, consistency is key. Used strategically, color can tie together content, highlight the main messages on a page, or help direct users down a certain path.

Black and gold are CU’s colors, and we use and wear them with pride. It is imperative that these guidelines are followed to create impact and a strong tie to the CU brand. All colors not listed below should be used as accents through graphics and photography.

Primary Colors

Our colors of black and gold should be used in all visual communications and should be featured more prominently than any other colors. Always reproduce our brand colors faithfully and accurately, using the values below.


CU Gold

RGB 207 / 184 / 124
CMYK 0 / 10 / 48 / 22
PMS 4525
Thread color: Vegas Gold


CU Black

HEX #000000
RGB 0 / 0 / 0
CMYK 0 / 0 / 0 / 100
CMYK 40 / 40 / 40 / 100 (Rich Black)
PMS Black

Accent Colors

The following accent shades can be used to expand the range of color in visual communications. Accent colors should be used sparingly and never as replacements for the official brand colors.


Dark Gray

HEX #565A5C
RGB 86 / 90 / 92
CMYK 38 / 28 / 21 / 63
PMS 425


Light Gray

RGB 162 / 164 / 163
CMYK 16 / 11 / 11 / 29
PMS 422



RGB 0 / 0 / 0
CMYK 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
PMS n/a

Color Hierarchy

Color can strategically organize information, elevate the impact of a piece, and provide visual cohesion between various products. Below is some guidance on how to use our colors.

Overall color approach

Gold is our highlight color. Used sparingly, it draws the audience’s attention to the top two or three elements of information. Used more extensively, it creates a nice soft background to contrast black text. Never use white text on a gold background because the contrast is too low for legibility.

Black creates a strong contrast to both gold and white backgrounds, making it a good color to draw the eye toward certain elements. Too much black will make a piece feel heavy and dense.

Secondary Colors: White and Grays
White, grays, and outside graphics are a good way to organize various elements and are best used for secondary and tertiary information.


Accessibility Contrast

The chart below is a guide to verify that your background color and text color meet accessibility standards, especially for digital usage, like websites and presentations.

Normal text: 14 POINT BOLD (18.66PX) OR LARGER

Large text: 18 POINT (24PX) OR LARGER

Contrast for digital screens: WCAG 2.0 LEVEL AA REQUIRES A CONTRAST RATIO OF 4.5:1 (NORMAL TEXT) AND 3:1 (LARGE TEXT).


Additional Resources

Check Your Color Contrast

CU Denver strives to keep all color contrast on its digital platforms at a AA rating or better. Check your color contrast with an online tool to make sure they meet accessibility.

Color Swatches

Download Adobe Swatch Exchange (.ase) files with our brand and accent color values, for use in Adobe Creative Cloud applications.