Colors create an immediate visual connection to a brand, and UW–Madison’s primary color combination of Badger Red and white is core to our identity. Our set of secondary colors offers contrast, variety, and flexibility.

Primary colors

Badger Red and white are carried throughout the entire visual expression of UW–Madison, serving as the foundation and centerpiece of all branded materials.

Badger Red

For web/digital
Hex: #C5050C
RGB: 197, 5, 12

For Print
CMYK: 3, 100, 66, 12
PMS: 200 C


For web/digital
RGB: 255, 255, 255

For Print
CMYK: 0,0,0,0

Pantone Color books are no longer available in Adobe software without a Pantone Connect subscription. Using the official UW CMYK color break for standard four-color printing should give you the correct output results. For printers that require a PMS color, you can create a swatch with the CMYK color break, change the color type to “Spot Color,” and then label it as PMS 200.

Secondary colors

What pairs well with Badger Red? Check out these reliable color combinations for print and web/digital use.


Calibrated to the digital color space, these secondary brand colors are used on UW websites for backgrounds, page elements, and design accents. They should also be used for digital materials such as social media, email, and PowerPoints.

Dark Red

Hex: #9B0000
RGB: 155, 0, 0

Text Dark Gray

Hex: #333333
RGB: 51, 51, 51

Light Gray

Hex: #F7F7F7
RGB: 247, 247, 247

Link Blue

Hex: #0479A8
RGB: 4, 121, 168

Building a website?

No need to look for colors here — the web palette is included in our UW Theme for WordPress and HTML templates for other web platforms.


Secondary brand colors — black, crimson red, and light gray — pair seamlessly with Badger Red and white while providing visual variety.

Crimson Red

CMYK: 9, 100, 64, 40

Light Gray

CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 10


CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 100

Accent colors (print only)

In certain applications, more color options may be desired. These accent colors pair nicely with the UW’s main colors. However, they should always be used in moderation and in a less pronounced way than the primary and secondary colors. 


CMYK: 0, 25, 100, 0

Med Gray Blue

CMYK: 30, 0, 0, 40


CMYK: 45, 0, 0, 60

Accessibility requirements for digital text

Make sure your text is easy to read and accessible. Digital text color combinations must meet a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 in order to comply with the UW–Madison’s Digital Accessibility Policy. Use contrast checkers to ensure your digital text meets contrast ratio guidelines.

WebAIM’s Color Contrast Checker