Color Palette

The core color palette serves as a foundation palette for the office of UNC Research that should be incorporated into materials produced for all other branches and groups within the UNC Research scope.

An expanded color palette may be used when more colors are required.

Web Colors: In 2017, the University adopted a new policy for web accessibility. Follow these color guidelines to ensure your website meets WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility standards.* For more information regarding accessibility, visit

Core Colors

Carolina Blue
PMS® 542
CMYK 60, 19, 1, 4
Web #4B9CD3
RGB 75, 156, 211

Dark Blue
PMS® 300 U
CMYK 92, 55, 0, 0
Web #006DB6
RGB 0, 109, 182

Dark Gray
PMS® 444
CMYK 38, 15, 18, 43
Web #707C7C
RGB 112, 124, 124

PMS® 586 5 C
CMYK 7,4,31,9
Web #CDC693
RGB 205, 198, 147


CMYK 0,0,0,0
RGB 255, 255, 255

PMS® 389 C
CMYK 23,0,83,0
Web #CFDE00
RGB 207, 222, 0

Expanded Colors

PMS® 7711 U
CMYK 79,21,31,0
Web #169BAB
RGB 22, 155, 171

Jungle Green
PMS® 3278
CMYK 100,0,59,0
Web #009b74
RGB 0, 155, 116

PMS® 362 C
CMYK 78,2,98,9
Web #4E9D2D
RGB 78, 157, 45

PMS® 7406 C
CMYK 5,22,100,0
Web #F5C400
RGB 245, 196, 0

PMS® 472 C
CMYK 0,44,53,1
Web #E89E6C
RGB 232, 158, 108

PMS® 1385 C
CMYK 0,56,100,7
Web #D87900
RGB 216, 121, 0

Burnt Orange
PMS® 723 C
CMYK 5,53,79,20
Web #B46A1F
RGB 180, 106, 31

PMS® 4625 C
CMYK 29,78,91,78
Web #512C1D
RGB 81, 44, 29

PMS® 463 C
CMYK 17,52,87,63
Web #784D28
RGB 120, 77, 40

PMS® 402 C
CMYK 10,13,16,29
Web #9F958B
RGB 159, 149, 139

PMS® 7527 C
CMYK 3,4,14,8
Web #D8D2C4
RGB 216, 210, 196

CMYK 100,100,100,100
Web #000000
RGB 0, 0, 0

Success criteria for contrast ratios

4.5:1 for normal text

3:1 for large text (14+pt & bold, or 18+pt)*

WCAG Contrast Checker by Acart Communications This one has an interactive picker when you click the mini palette next to your hex code that lets you dial in to the exact pixel that passes the contrast test.

Lea Verou’s Contrast Ratio Pretty interface to compare foreground and background colors.

WebAIM Color Contrast Checker Lighten and darken incrementing is a great feature.

Tota11y Toolkit Chrome Extension Reviews published pages and reports errors and warnings right on the spot.

Chrome Color Contrast Analyzer Extension from NCSU Grab sections of the page with text on images and this tool scans the pixels to demonstrate if enough contrast exists (eyeball test).

The point unit is indicated in the WCAG guidelines; however, points are rarely used in web development. This can create confusion! The point is larger than the more common pixel. However, the official warning below suggests that success in this area is a joint responsibility between authors and users.

The actual size of the character that a user sees is dependent both on the author-defined size and the user’s display or user-agent settings. For many mainstream body text fonts, 14 and 18 point is roughly equivalent to 1.2 and 1.5 em or to 120% or 150% of the default size for body text (assuming that the body font is 100%), but authors need to check this for the particular fonts in use. When fonts are defined in relative units, the actual point size is calculated by the user agent for display. The point size should be obtained from the user agent, or calculated based on font metrics as the user agent does, when evaluating this success criterion. Users who have low vision would be responsible for choosing appropriate settings.