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Logo Color

The Smithsonian logo consists of two elements, the "sunburst" and the lettering. The sunburst is made of two parts: the "sun" and the circular "sky" around the sun. See below for color options.

  • The logo lettering may only be black or white.
  • The sun is NEVER black.
  • The sun is NEVER yellow without the blue sky

See "Color Values" for specific information on Pantone, CMYK and other color modes.

Three colors: Preferred version, when practical
  • Sunburst consists of a yellow sun and blue circular sky.

  • When used on a white or light, background the lettering is black.

  • When used on a dark background, the lettering is white.

Black and white: Appropriate for printing or producing in one color only
  • Sunburst consists of a white or transparent sun and a black sky.

  • Use on a white or light background.

  • Lettering is black.


Reversed out: Appropriate for use on a very dark background
  • The sun and the lettering appear in white.

  • The sky around the white sun is deleted.

  • When using the sun alone without the sky, the sun may never be yellow.

  • The sun and the lettering may appear the color of the paper underneath, if the logo is reversed out of a dark-color bar printed on very light paper.

Engraved or foil stamped: For engraving or foil stamping in gold or silver

  • Lettering is normally black, as reflective letters are too difficult to read.

  • This version also is appropriate for use on items made of metal, such as lapel pins or plaques.

  • This version uses the heavy outline sunburst, which is not available for download from this Web site. Contact the Office of Public Affairs to request a heavy outline logo.


Blue and white: Appropriate for use where economy dictates

  • Sunburst consists of white sun and blue sky.

  • This version is recommended for use on a white or light background, with lettering in black.

  • When used on a dark background, the lettering is white.

One color that is not black
  • If printing in one color that is not black, use the black-and-white version (above) with a white sun and the sky and lettering the same color as the ink you are using.

  • A dark color ink is preferred.

Quick Tips

Sun is NEVER black

Using the logo on dark backgrounds

Only use black-and-white logo when printing on office printer

Printing with one-color ink

Pantone, CMYK, RGB and hexadecimal