Baylor branding black color ban is excessive

Hannah Holliday | Cartoonist

Say goodbye to any Baylor branded material in the color black.

The student media and journalism, public relations and new media departments were recently denied the ability to order new Baylor-branded black polos, coffee mugs and leather portfolios. Jason Cook, the chief marketing officer for Baylor, said the reason for the new color and branding restrictions are to implement consistency in the new university brand across as aspects of Baylor.

“I think what you’re seeing across the university is a very concerted effort to promote our university across the board,” Cook said. “It’s just part of a larger effort that we want the Baylor family to be proud of our institution. We want the Baylor family to be proud of our colors, and the only way that we can grow the brand to realize the national promise that we think that we deserve is with a consistent application of our brand – that includes the logo, that includes the colors.”

The primary colors of the re-established Baylor brand are “Baylor green” and “university gold,” and Cook said there’s a complementary neutral color palette that’s been introduced that includes a gray, but it doesn’t include black. Guidelines for the new Baylor branding can be found at

Cook said green and gold have been connected to Baylor since 1897 but haven’t been used consistently, and that’s what the branding shift is trying to change.

“Colors are a very important part of a brand and essentially are the brand, particularly within the college space,” Cook said. “Baylor is the only Power 5 school outside of Oregon that has anything near our color combination of green and gold. It is very unique. It’s important that when we use our school colors, we use them consistently and boldly because we want someone when they see the colors green and gold to automatically associate those colors with Baylor.”

Cook said the argument for discontinuing the use of black in any aspect of the Baylor brand is that it’s not a distinguishing color for the university.

While the Baylor United and rebranding effort makes sense and is ultimately a positive thing for Baylor, it’s excessive to deny a department the ability to order a black leather portfolio, black coffee mug or black mug just because the Baylor logo would go on it. Black can’t be used in any new Baylor branded products.

Blackout games and the matte black football uniforms were a popular part of athletics, and black apparel and merchandise is popular among fans who want to support Baylor through their apparel or merchandise but desire a neutral color — the most neutral and consistent color in existence.

Having a complementary palette of neutral colors that doesn’t include black as part of the new Baylor branding doesn’t make sense, especially if the goal is consistency. It’s also just wildly inconvenient. No more black fleeces, polos or even mugs and folders.

Not only will the university not offer black branded material, but outside companies or partners with the university won’t be authorized to make or sell black apparel or merchandise with the Baylor logo either.

The color black is a staple, and while the Baylor family seems pretty on-board with the new brand, a ban on the use of black in any Baylor material provokes confusion and frustration. Such a strict restriction is excessive and seems to counteract the desired enthusiasm and support for this a major Baylor-nationwide shift.