Primary Color Palette

  • Blue: PMS 2965, Hex #003A63
  • Red: PMS 186, Hex #E51937
  • Grey: PMS 425, Hex #5F6062

Full Color Palette (Primary & Secondary)

Download the color palette chart


Color Parameters

  • The primary colors should always be given priority. Blue should always be dominant. Red should make up no more than 25% of the color scheme.
  • Secondary colors are meant to be used as accents, such as for active and hover effects for hyperlinks, borders, etc.

Howard Logo

  • Obtain official logo image files from the Office of Communications. Do not use images downloaded from the web.
  • Logos may not be altered, stretched, or rearranged in any way.
  • Use the Clock tower logo preferably horizontal/landscape treatment and position in the left-hand-side of the website masthead.
  • The logo should normally serve as an active web link leading to the main university homepage at  If the logo is not in the header in a way in which it can be linked in this way, then another type of link leading to should be added to the site header.
  • The University Seal may not be used.

Secondary Logos & Graphic Identifiers

The creation of new secondary logos is strongly discouraged. Units must obtain written permission from the Office of Communications before development of any new secondary logo, as well as final approval of the final design. Permission to develop a secondary logo or graphic identifier will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • The unit can justify its need for external branding for marketing purposes
  • The unit is officially named for a donor or benefactor
  • The program or organization is not a legal entity of Howard University but exists to benefit a program
  • The unit is a state or federal program operated by Howard University

Contact the Office of University Communications for more detailed guidelines for use and development of secondary logos.

Also, consult and adhere to the graphics and branding guidelines set by the Office of University Communications


Other Style Elements


  • Primary header font: Georgia (serif)
  • Primary body font: Open-sans (sans-serif)
  • Font-size: Site context-dependent

Font Families

  • Use font-families to define site fonts that end in “serif” and “san-serif” in case a browser does not support the above fonts.
  • “Fallback” Fonts: It is best practice when using web fonts to designate appropriate “fallback” fonts in your site’s CSS. To ensure maximum compatibility between operating systems and browsers, the font-family property should reference several font names as a “fallback” system. If the browser does not support the first font in the list, it tries the next font. Start with the font you want, and end with a generic family to let the browser pick a similar font in the generic family if no other fonts are available.
  • Recommended Font-Family Fallbacks
    • Header font-family: Georgia, ‘Serif12beta’, ‘Playfair Display’, ‘Times New Roman’, serif
      • html header tags include: h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6
      • Note: custom css styling that creates what appear to be header fonts should also follow these guideline
    • Body font-family: ‘Open Sans’, ‘Gill Sans’, Calibri, Arial, sans-serif;
      • html body tags include, but are not limited to: p, ol, ul, blockquote
      • Note: custom css styling that affects fonts within what appears to be text body should also follow these guidelines
  • Markup Example Page: See the sample styles page of font/mark-up use on our example style webpage.

Website Backgrounds

Website backgrounds should be subtle and be either a light grey or white.  A subtle background pattern can be overlayed as well.  Anything beyond that can be distracting and begin to clash with the content of the site, and so should not be used.



Photography use is encouraged for all Howard University communications, as appropriate. Photos should exhibit decorum consistent with the University’s values. Photography style may vary, however for most marketing, communications, positioning, and capital campaign efforts, portraying authentic subjects in a natural setting is appropriate and effective. Overly scripted/posed shots in artificial settings should generally be avoided.

Photography is an important tool for telling the Howard story. There are two elements we use to frame this story: our people and our places. Photography of people should convey the energy and emotion that makes Howard unique, while images of buildings and places should convey the strength and excellence of our institution.  Photography should always appear genuine and natural while being of professional, high-resolution quality. When using stock imagery and directing photographers, keep in mind that overly scripted/posed shots in artificial settings should generally be avoided. Images should always have a positive connotation. Metaphorical, over-exaggerated, and inauthentic imagery should not be used to represent the Howard brand.

Note: Click an image to download if you need to see a larger version.