Primary Palette

  •   PMS 200
    CMYK: 3 100 63 12
    RGB: 187 0 0
    HEX: #bb0000
  •   PMS 424
    CMYK: 56 47 47 15
    RGB: 102 102 102
    HEX: #666666
  •   White
    CMYK: 0 0 0 0
    RGB: 255 255 255
    HEX: #ffffff
  •   Black
    CMYK: 0 0 0 100
    RGB: 0 0 0
    HEX: #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.

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 and gray: tints and shades

See the full, extended palette for correct uses of tints and shades of scarlet.

  • 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