Primary Official Colors
USC’s official colors are PMS 201C (USC Cardinal) and PMS 123C (USC Gold). When used in combination, these colors are one of our brand’s most prominent assets. To maintain brand equity and prevent misuse, USC Cardinal must always be used at 100 percent — it must never be screened. In limited situations, when USC Gold is used as a background color, the color may be screened, but no less than 20 percent. Please note that all type must appear in either 100 percent USC Cardinal, 100 percent USC Gold over USC Cardinal, white over a background that provides suitable contrast, black or screens of black no lighter than 60 percent. All printed materials, whether on coated or uncoated stock, should match color to the coated PMS chips.
The only acceptable screened usage of USC Gold is when used as a background color against white. This color should not be screened lighter than 20 percent.
Secondary Color Palette
A secondary, or supportive, color palette offers flexibility by providing a range of options designed to further enhance the official colors. Secondary colors have been carefully selected to complement, not compete, with USC Cardinal and USC Gold. Typography is a prominent visual element, therefore, all type must appear in either of the official colors or black. Secondary colors must not be used for type.
Any color within the secondary palette may be screened to allow for ultimate flexibility across various applications. Typically, colors should be screened lighter than 10 percent.
Color Conversion Chart
The chart below offers numerical formulas for matching official colors for both print and web applications:
Approved Color Combinations for Logos
When the logotype appears on a cardinal background it reverses to white with the monogram in gold. This is the preferred scheme for marketing and signage.
When the logotype appears on a gold background it can either reverse to white or appear in black. In either case, the monogram will remain cardinal on a gold background. The reverse version SHOULD NOT be used at a smaller size because it is difficult to read.
When the logotype appears on a dark background it reverses to white with the monogram runs in either cardinal, gold or 50 percent black.
When black is the only color available the USC monogram should appear at 50 percent black whether the logotype is on a white or black background.
When the logotype appears on a white background it should be black with the monogram in cardinal.
An exception to the one-color rule may occur when the only available color is PMS 201C. This exception is permissible in applications such as metal lapel pins, signage, or other instances in which only one color or material is available, and must be approved by the Marketing and Communications department before production.