Fordham's maroon is 'something like claret wine with the sun shining through it.'- Stephan Wall, Class of 1875
There is as much folklore as there is fact surrounding the history of Fordham’s official school color. But one thing is known for certain — maroon was not the original school color, magenta was. (That colorful story is recounted below.)
Today, there is a very strictly established Pantone, CMYK, or Hex number ensuring that the maroon you see is Fordham’s Maroon. The specifications are detailed in the expandable index below.
Primary and Secondary Colors
Our primary colors are Fordham Maroon and White. The university is deeply associated with these colors, so it is important to always make them prominent in all brand touch points. Brand recognition is important for our audiences and even more importantly it establishes a strong branding message to prospective audiences. To emphasize this, primary colors need to dominate all of our work.
Secondary colors broaden our maroon palette with neutral shades that provide visual interest without leaving the recognized palette. Our secondary colors compliment the primary colors but they should not dominate a project. A safe guideline is no more than 50% of a communication should contain the secondary colors. Some of these colors are closely associated with different parts of the university. In these instances, the project might use a higher percentage of that secondary color.
|Fordham Dark Gray||#58585B||R:88
|Fordham Light Gray||#E1E1E1||R:225
|New York Gold||
Accent color complement our primary and secondary colors. They are not meant to be recognizable as identifiers for Fordham. They should be used sparingly as an accent. Some of our accent colors are closely associated with different parts of the university and can take a higher percentage in those instances. For example, Historic Blue is associated with Marymount University. Purpose Yellow is associated with the Gabelli Schools and Performance Red is the same red used for WFUV.
|Edwards Parade Green||
Magenta was used on the uniforms of Fordham’s “Baseball Nines,” the first athletic club at Fordham, organized in 1859. But magenta was also used by Fordham’s archrival in athletics, Harvard University. In 1874, the matter came to a head. Both institutions claimed prior use of the color, and neither was willing to concede.
Since it was considered improper for two schools to be wearing the same color, the matter was to be settled by a series of baseball games. The winning team could lay claim to magenta; the losing team would have to find a new color.
Fordham won the competition, but Harvard reneged on its promise to surrender magenta as its school color.
Later that year, as the student body gathered to meet the newly installed 10th president, Rev. William Gockeln, SJ, one of the matters discussed was that of choosing an official college color that would belong to Fordham and Fordham alone. Stephen Wall, class of 1875, suggested maroon, a color not widely used at the time.
He explained in a letter to the editors of the College paper that the color looked “something like claret wine with the sun shining through it.” The committee charged with determining the official college color unanimously agreed, and maroon has been the official color ever since.
An ironic footnote: Harvard also stopped using magenta in favor of crimson.
If you have questions about which format you should use for your project, contact the Marketing Department at [email protected].
Traditional 4-Color Printing:
Printing at the office or with a professional printer uses a 4/color process of Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y), and Black (K) values. Fordham Maroon has the following CMYK breakdown:
CMYK: 27 | 100 | 82 | 29
Special projects with professional printers may use the Pantone Management System (PMS) and a 5/color process to most accurately recreate Fordham Maroon.
Uncoated: PMS 201
Coated: PMS 202C
Digital materials use the Red (R), Green (G), Blue (B) color space to represent color digitally. If you are creating a piece for digital media, it’s important to use the RGB values so colors appear vibrant and accurate on screens.
RGB: 144, 0, 40
Web colors are represented with HEX values. See above for a breakdown of web-safe color combinations.
Fordham Athletic Maroon
Pantone (PMS) 209c | CMYK: 0/100/34/53
We call WFUV red, Performance Red in our accent palette. Use those same values in WFUV materials.
We call Gabelli yellow, Purpose Yellow in our accent palette. Use those same values in Gabelli materials.
We call Marymount blue, Historic Blue in our accent pallet. Use those same values when representing Marymount in alumni materials.
Pantone (PMS) 294c | CMYK: 98/71/13/2
When designing material for Fordham University, never represent the Fordham seal or wordmarks in any colors other than the official Fordham maroon, black, or as a white knockout on a field of black or maroon.
In other designs and illustrations, never use the following:
- Tints and shades of any of our colors, especially Fordham Maroon (which render as unacceptable shades of pink)
- Colors that are not a part of our official palettes
For additional advice on and approval of acceptable colors, contact University Marketing and Communications at [email protected].