Green Bay Packers fans are known for their iconic team colors of green and gold. However, there has been some debate over whether the secondary color is truly gold or yellow. In this article, we will examine the history of the Packers’ colors, what the current official colors are, and how the gold vs. yellow debate came about.
History of Packers Colors
The Green Bay Packers were founded in 1919 by Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun. The original team colors were blue and gold. Blue represented the color of the local Green Bay East High School and gold symbolized the money raised by the team in its early days from local businesses and sponsors.
In 1950, the Packers changed their official colors to hunter green and “athletic” gold. Hunter green was selected as a nod to the Green Bay Packers nickname. The shade of gold was changed to a lighter, brighter hue compared to the previous gold color. This new gold was described as “athletic” gold at the time.
The Packers have kept the same hunter green and athletic gold color combination from 1950 up until the present day. Green Bay uses a proprietary custom color called “Packers gold” that is specifically mixed for the team. This color is not available as a stock paint color from any major paint supplier.
Official Packers Colors
According to the Green Bay Packers’ official brand guidelines, the current official team colors are:
- Dark Green (PMS 555C)
- Gold (PMS 1235C)
PMS refers to the Pantone Matching System, which is a proprietary color space used for printing and graphic design. PMS 555C is Green Bay’s custom hunter green shade. PMS 1235C is the custon “Packers gold” color.
On the standard RGB color scale, the Packers official colors are:
- Dark Green – R:0 G:51 B:41
- Gold – R:255 G:204 B:0
So in technical terms, the Packers do not use a pure yellow, but instead a golden yellow hue (PMS 1235C) as one of their main colors.
The Green vs Gold/Yellow Debate
Even though the Packers use a defined custom gold color, many fans will still refer to the jerseys and merchandise as being green and yellow. Part of this stems from the fact that PMS 1235C is a bright, vibrant shade of gold that appears more yellowish under certain lighting conditions.
Additionally, from a layman’s perspective, it’s simpler to just call the secondary color “yellow” rather than the technical PMS designation of “1235C gold.” Saying the Packers colors are green and gold versus green and yellow requires knowing the specific Pantone color number.
The gold vs. yellow debate has been going on for decades in Green Bay. In the 1970s, hall of fame defensive end Willie Davis famously said “We are green and gold, not green and yellow. The Bears are green and yellow.” This quip underscored the sensitivity around properly describing the Packers’ colors.
Part of the confusion also comes from replicated team merchandise and apparel. For cheaper production runs, manufacturers will often use a plain yellow instead of custom mixing the PMS 1235C gold. When fans purchase these products, they assume the yellow version is the true team color even if it isn’t precisely accurate.
How To Tell the Difference
To the untrained eye, PMS 1235C and a brighter yellow can be difficult to distinguish. However, there are a few ways to discern the Packers gold from regular yellow:
- Authentic Packers merchandise will use the official PMS 1235C gold. If you have an officially licensed jersey, hat, or shirt, it will display the proper color.
- The custom gold has a slightly darker, more muted tone than bright yellow. It provides more contrast with the green background.
- Pure yellow is much more vibrant, almost neon-like. The Packers gold is more golden in hue.
- Stadium graphics and field markings use the accurate PMS 1235C gold directly from the team.
When viewing Green Bay Packers colors, keep in mind that televisions, computer monitors, phones, and printing can all alter how the colors are reproduced. The truest representation comes directly from the team’s official brand guidelines.
Examples of Packers Gold vs Yellow
Here are some side-by-side examples showing the difference between the official Packers gold and plain yellow:
|Packers Gold (PMS 1235C)
As you can see, the Packers gold is a darker, muted shade compared to the bright yellow. While the difference is subtle, you can notice the custom gold has more bronze tones versus the neon vibrancy of plain yellow.
The Green Bay Packers official colors are hunter green and “Packers gold,” a custom yellow-gold hue specifically formulated for the team. Many fans will refer to the colors as simply green and yellow due to its brightly-colored appearance and yellowish tones under certain lighting.
The team has gone to great lengths to differentiate its gold from plain yellow, emphasizing that green and athletic gold are the classic Packers colors. When viewing official merchandise and graphics, look for the darker, more golden shade of PMS 1235C to see the accurate representation of Green Bay’s secondary color.
So is it gold or yellow? Technically it’s a customized “Packers gold,” but casual observers will still call it green and yellow. Ultimately, the most important thing is representing the spirit and identity of the Green Bay Packers – regardless of whether you call it gold or yellow!