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Using Color

The way we use color to reflect the Stanford identity sets the mood for each of our pieces. It reflects our heritage, our surroundings, and evokes emotion. ย 

The chart below shows our university’s primary and accent colors placed on a grid with four categories that express attributes of creative work. This tool can be a guide for using color to convey a mood in a communication piece based on the project audience and message. You can use this grid as you evaluate other potential color combinations and choices for projects large and small.

Color and mood spectrum

The four color applications below represent four different moods and examples of proportional representation one might use throughout a designed piece. Each color bar width indicates suggested use ratio in a given communication piece.

Color palette examples

The examples below show some general ratios for how much of each color can be used within a composition. Color palettes help us connect with various audiences and set the mood for each of our communication pieces.

Formal and bold

Weโ€™ve used the chart to the left to convey a set of example highlighted moods, in this case FORMAL and BOLD. The palette of Stanford primary and accent colors below reflect a sample suggested color palette.

Stanford primary colors appear on the left, accent colors on the right.

Bold and casual

Weโ€™ve used the chart to the left to convey a set of example highlighted moods, in this case BOLD AND CASUAL. The palette of Stanford Primary and accent colors below reflect a sample suggested color palette.

Stanford primary colors appear on the left, accent colors on the right.

Casual and subtle

Weโ€™ve used the chart to the left to convey a set of example highlighted moods, in this case CASUAL AND SUBTLE. The palette of Stanford Primary and accent colors below reflect a sample suggested color palette.

Stanford primary colors appear on the left, accent colors on the right.

Subtle and formal

Weโ€™ve used the chart to the left to convey a set of example highlighted moods, in this case SUBTLE AND FORMAL. The palette of Stanford Primary and accent colors below reflect a sample suggested color palette.

Stanford primary colors appear on the left, accent colors on the right.

Accessibility

Stanford University is committed to providing an online environment that is accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. Please visit the Stanford Online Accessibility Program and Stanford Online Accessibility Policy for more information.

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