About the color system
The Citadel color palette is an important differentiator for our visual identity. By using color wisely, you can help create a strong visual identity for The Citadel brand.
PMS, CMYK, RGB, HEX—what does it all mean? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Primary Color Palette
Our color palette consists of three colors—Citadel Blue, Navy and Dress White. All three colors should be represented together as often as possible.
R 255 G 255 B 255
Secondary Color Palette
The secondary color palette is designed to provide creative flexibility. These colors are complementary to the primary color and were chosen so that they do not compete with Citadel Blue.
The secondary color palette does not replace the primary color palette. In order to use colors from the secondary palette, you must first use all
Each of the four secondary brand colors have corresponding tints and shades to provide a range of color options.
PMS Warm Gray 2
Band of Gold
There are four main color modes that keep our colors consistent across print, web and merchandising.
PMS—Pantone® Matching System
Pantone® Matching System colors are patented, standardized color inks made by the Pantone company. We use PMS colors for our branding, especially our logos, to ensure the highest color consistency across print products.
PMS colors are only used for offset printing. One or two-color print jobs often use PMS colors, but they can also be used as spot colors in addition to four-color process. You can also use PMS color codes when working with vendors to order promotional products. By providing our unique PMS color code, they’ll be able to help you find merchandise that closely matches the colors of our brand.
CMYK—Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black)
The CMYK color mode uses different combinations of large and small transparent dots in four inks colors—cyan, magenta, yellow and black—which overlap to create a wide spectrum of colors
The CMYK color mode is used in for offset and digital printing. CMYK colors are ideal for full-color brochures, flyers, posters and other printed designs. When you’re sending a project to the printer in your office, use the CMYK color mode.
RGB—Red, Green, and Blue
When using the RGB color mode, colors are rendered onscreen by using combinations of red, green and blue.
RGB is specific to digital applications only. This includes mobile devices, computer monitors, laptops, TV and movie screens, games and illuminated signs. Use the RGB color mode when you’re designing for social media, digital design or online content.
A HEX color code is shorthand for its RGB values. Use the HEX color mode when you’re working on web design.
Why do I need to worry about the color mode?
Using the incorrect color mode often leads to disappointment when you see your finished piece.
For example, if you design a flyer onscreen in the RGB color mode, it will appear vibrant because the colors are illuminated and there is a larger range in color gamut than what you’d get on the printed page. However, when you print the document, you’ll notice the colors appear dull. The CMYK color mode compensates for the loss of color gamut—on the screen the colors will appear more vibrant than you expect, but the printed product will be consistent with our brand colors.