Working with the Colour Palettes in 4 Steps

Step 1:

USMC Brand Blue
Pantone 2945 C

Brand Blue 2945 Dominates. Begin with Primary Brand Blue Pantone 2945 as the dominant colour.

Use Pantone 2945 for Heading 1, Heading 2, and Heading 3 etc.
Or, use Pantone 2945 for main colour blocks.

Step 2:

Pantone Neutral Black C
Pantone Cool Gray 9 C

Black Text for Main Content. Select black for the main content body and paragraphs. NEVER use black as a  background.

Add interest and “gray out” secondary content.

Use Pantone Gray 9 for Secondary Text. Use Pantone Cool Gray 9 (or 90% black) for sidebars, captions, pull quotes, and testimonials.

Step 3:

USMC Dark Blue Pantone 2955 C
USMC Light Blue Pantone 290 C

Optional Darker Blue. Apply the darkest blue Pantone 2955 to the most important title for example, the Page Title, or Report Title.

Alternatively, apply the darkest blue as a block behind the USMC logo.

Step 4:

USMC Ruby Pantone 676 C
USMC Purple Pantone 266 C
USMC Teal Pantone 320 C
USMC Green Pantone 369 C

Add One Optional Accent. Select ONE of the bright colours and use as an accent or for colour coding.

Tip: Pick one accent per layout.

Use the same accent colour on a “call to action” for important text or a button.

Don’t use the accent as the predominate colour.

Use pale colours over dark.

To Create a Colour Coded Series:

Use a different accent colour but apply it to the same element (such as a colour block) on another layout in the series.

The official USMC palette is built into all Adobe Illustrator/InDesign, and MS Office Documents (RGB).


Use USMC’s Primary Brand Blue (Pantone 2945) as the dominant colour to help build and reinforce the University’s brand identity.
Use secondary accent colours to complement or contrast with USMC’s Primary Blue (Pantone 2945).

Keep the palette simple.
Use one accent per layout and use sparingly.

In general, use black and gray for text only.

NEVER use black for a background colour or dominant colour block.
Keep the overall look bright!


Never use a bright or paleaccent behind the logo. Use white or the darker blue Pantone 2955.

Avoid using more than one bright or pale accent colour per layout.

Don’t use black as a background or colour block.

Don’t replace the primary and/or secondary palettes with different colours.

Don’t add any new colours not shown in this chart.

Don’t use black, gray, gold, ruby or teal as a background colour behind the logo.

If your page has a coloured background and colour blocks then use the Footer Info Band and place the USMC logo in the bottom right.
Generally, use black, dark gray and dark gold (invitations) for text only.


Consider accessibility when using white or pale coloured text on a dark background. Avoid using dark backgrounds for text-heavy material.
The minimum size for white or pale text on a dark background is 9-point.