Skip to content Skip to navigation

Color Standards


One of the most enticing and unique aspects of UC Merced is the environment that surrounds it, from the granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada to the green and golden San Joaquin Valley floor — all of this is part of the DNA of UC Merced.

The color palette of UC Merced’s award-winning website reflects the university’s environment. Deep, rich colors of the Earth are reminiscent of the hues and tones our students, staff and faculty see around them each day. The palette is also a signal to prospective students of the kind of environment they will experience here.

The color palette, carefully chosen in 2014 by a committee representing the campus community and tested with various audiences, is a striking visual reminder of the incredible landscape that surrounds us. It’s also a nod to some of our most interesting and applicable research into water, the environment, climate change and agriculture.


MERCED RIVER BLUE: (PMS 546) Our deep-water blue is inspired by the work of UC Water and the many natural sciences and engineering researchers at UC Merced who dive into what is rapidly becoming Earth’s most precious and scarcest commodity. We took this particular color from the Merced River, which flows through the southern part of our partner, Yosemite National Park, to eventually nourish the crops that help feed a third of the country. It’s a cool, soothing, almost royal color that denotes the majesty of the river and the venerability of the UC itself.

Merced River Blue

FOOTHILLS GOLD: (PMS 4515) Just look to the northeast of campus and, for eight months of the year, you will see a blanket of gold across the rolling hills of the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve, the land UC Merced protects and preserves. The reserve is used by students and researchers from all three schools for experiments and studies, as well as inspiration for humanities’ writing assignments. This gold — almost the same color as the bobcats that give UC Merced its mascot — is such a sweeping backdrop to the campus that it has been incorporated into UC Merced’s very buildings. Foothills Gold is so ubiquitous throughout the San Joaquin Valley, everyone here knows it as one of the major signals of the cycles of life in the valley.

Foothills Gold

SIERRA SKY BLUE: Sierra Sky Blue captures glimpses into every day’s changing blues as the clouds and sunsets leave their brush marks across the big sky of the Valley. As the light changes throughout each day and each season, so do the blues. It’s a color that makes you want to go outside, to think about the last time you got to go camping or hiking or just enjoy Yosemite for the day. The outdoors is a vital part of our campus and student life, and this color invites people to make some fond memories of their own.

Sierra Sky Blue

WILDFLOWER BABY BLUE EYES: Springtime in the valley delivers an abundance of wildflowers in every hue, across campus and throughout the foothills. Baby Blue Eyes showcases a delicate color that can be found in native flora across the state — including in our own nature reserve. The native flora can be used in the water-conserving gardens that many of our staff and faculty members have adopted to help further the campus’s commitment to sustainability.

Wildflower Baby Blue Eyes

YOSEMITE SNOW WHITE: One of the most stunning sights people can enjoy is the snow-laden Sierra Nevada. Some of our most highly regarded researchers work through the Sierra Nevada Research Institute in the deep winter, gathering data that will affect how people throughout the state use water in the years to come. This shade is one valley residents also hope to see on the lower foothills come January and February, to indicate had a good, cold, rainy winter. It’s also a tone that improves readability on the site.

Yosemite Snow White

HALF DOME SLATE: It’s iconic. Half Dome, one of the most recognizable natural features in the country, is in our back yard, in the beautiful national park we partner with. We’ve named residence halls and conference rooms for it. We chose it to grace our palette, pulling Half Dome Slate from near the top of the real Half Dome — an area that signifies steadiness and the success of reaching the pinnacle. It reflects our campus, steeped in the rock-like tradition of the UC while striving to reach its own heights and build the future.

Half Dome Slate

MERCED RYE GREEN: The campus sits in the middle of the nation’s fruit basket, and its emerging work in precision agriculture is going to optimize farmers’ abilities to grow their operations. Green is also a color that symbolizes its commitment to sustainability, from its Triple Zero pledge to its conservations efforts. Every aspect of the campus is “green,” from purchasing and construction to campus life. We take the name of this color from the vigorous and sustainable grain that helps stabilize our precious soil and is specially grown here in the area.

Merced Rye Green



WEB #092f44 #a29061 #5f8498 #2980b9
PRINT PMS 546 PMS 4515 C82 M33 Y33 K3 C99 M34 Y10 K0
WEB #F8F5EC #5B5B5B #235B16
PRINT C1 M3 Y6 K0 C62 M54 Y53 K27 C97 M35 Y100 K34