Color Palette Criteria

Valparaiso University in Color

A complete color palette, including primary, accent, and neutral colors, has been developed to support the Valparaiso University brand. Colors are one of the strongest ties to memory, and the consistent application of our palette is of utmost importance. Repetitive use of this palette will build recognition, and distinguish Valpo from its competition.

The values to the right provide color formula standards for multiple reproduction methods. These formulas must be adhered to strictly when developing any Valparaiso-sponsored communication products.


Valpo’s enduring brown is one of strength, heritage, truth, consistency, foundation, and balance. The color brown is an homage to Henry Baker Brown, who reopened the school in 1873 as Northern Indiana Normal School after the original Valparaiso Male and Female College failed. Valpo Brown is the cornerstone color in the palette, and thus is used most prominently in the design system, at about 50 percent in ratio. When represented in grayscale, all brown elements should appear as 100 percent black.


Like its primary counterpart, Gold has been a longstanding color in the Valparaiso palette, chosen in honor of the hair color of Oliver Perry Kinsey, who, with Henry Baker Brown, helped run Northern Indiana Normal School. The bright tone speaks to quality, value, promise, and light. Gold should be used at a 25 percent ratio against the total color palette. When represented in grayscale, all gold elements should appear as 40 percent black.


Green is the life-giving, energy-infusing, invigoratingly electric accent color. Green: enthusiasm, delight, relish, zest, spirit, fervor. Use green at about 10 percent ratio. When represented in grayscale, all green elements should appear as 65 percent black.


Staples in any design system, black and neutral shades will round out the color system at about a 15 percent ratio.


This treatment signifies quality and distinctiveness in high-end use. Spot metallic inks are specified for use in limited print applications. These colors are applied only to the Valparaiso seal in our formal mark, the entire formal signatures (seal and logotype), and prestige signature. Additionally, metallic treatments are only to be applied to specialty printing items such as formal invitations, executive business cards, commencement programs, diploma cases, presidential certificates, and awards or other appreciations, and for use with the prestige signature as warranted.

The official spot metallic inks are PANTONE® 8641 C (Gold) and PANTONE® 8562 C (Brown).

Never print tints of spot metallic inks. The colors shown here are an approximation of printed metallic inks. Consult with your vendor to view actual swatches prior to production.


Full color, sometimes referred to as CMYK, or process printing, needs special attention to detail.

Please consult with approved University print vendors on a project-by-project basis when printing any project in full color.

Variables such as paper stock, type of printing press and many others can drastically alter the appearance of the University’s approved color palette.

For more information, contact Integrated Marketing and Communications
at or call 464.6800.