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An assortment of crayon boxes produced by Binney & Smith between 1903 and 1920

Since the introduction of "Crayola drawing crayons by "Binney & Smith in 1903, more than two hundred distinctive colors have been produced in a wide variety of assortments. The line has undergone several major revisions in its history, notably in 1935, 1949, 1958, and 1990. Numerous specialty crayons have also been produced, complementing the basic Crayola assortment.

Contents

1903: the original Crayola colors[edit]

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A Crayola ad from 1905.

After several decades producing commercial pigments, Binney & Smith produced their first crayon, the black Staonal Marking Crayon, in 1902. The following year, the company decided to enter the consumer market with its first drawing crayons. The name Crayola was suggested by Alice Binney, wife of company founder "Edwin Binney, combining craie, French for "chalk," a reference to the pastels that preceded and lent their name to the first drawing crayons, with the suffix -ola, meaning "oleaginous," a reference to the wax from which the crayons were made.[1] Initially this was just one of the brands produced by Binney & Smith; other crayons were produced under names such as Cerola, Cerata, Durel, Perma, and Boston, among others; but the Crayola brand proved the most successful, and was produced in two lines: Crayola Gold Medal School Crayons and "Rubens" Crayola Artists' Crayons.[2]

Early Crayola advertising mentions thirty different colors,[3] although there is no official list; in fact thirty-eight different crayons are known from Crayola boxes of this period.[a] The largest labeled assortment was box No. 51, titled Crayola Young Artists' Drawing Crayons, which included twenty-eight different crayons.[b] Other colors were found in different boxes, including the "Rubens" No. 500, a twenty-four crayon assortment. The names of several crayons varied from box to box; in general the larger assortments tended to use names associated with oil paints, and in fact early Crayola literature frequently describes drawing with crayons as a form of painting.[2]

Over time, simpler names were favored, and several colors were discontinued by 1910, including Light and Dark Venetian Red, Permanent Geranium Lake, Celestial Blue, Raw Sienna, and Charcoal Gray; the use of "Purple" as an alternative for "Violet" ended about 1914; and after 1915 Gold, Silver, and Copper were no longer available in assortments, although Gold and Silver were still available in bulk.[2]

The colors in the following table approximate each of the thirty-eight colors produced during this early period.[c]

Color H S V R G B Hexadecimal Notes
 Red 346 96 93 237 10 63 #ED0A3F[4]
 English Vermilion 358 65 80 204 71 75 #CC474B[5] Also spelled "Vermillion."
 Madder Lake 359 75 80 204 51 54 #CC3336[5]
 Permanent Geranium Lake 0 80 88 225 44 44 #E12C2C[d] Discontinued by 1910.
 Indian Red 3 61 73 185 78 72 #B94E48[4] Same color as "Chestnut" (1999–present).[2]
 Dark Venetian Red 10 80 70 179 59 36 #B33B24[5] "Venetian Red, Dark" on labels. Discontinued by 1910.
 Venetian Red 10 70 80 204 85 61 #CC553D[5]
 Light Venetian Red 10 60 90 230 115 92 #E6735C[5] "Venetian Red, Light" on labels. Discontinued by 1910.
 Orange 25 80 100 255 136 100 #FF8833[4]
 Gold Ochre 44 70 95 242 198 73 #F2C649[5] "Golden Ochre" on some labels. Same color as "Maize" (1958–1990).[2]
 Medium Chrome Yellow 45 59 99 252 214 103 #FCD667[4] Same color as "Medium Yellow" (1903–1958) and "Goldenrod" (1958–present).[2]
 Yellow 52 55 98 252 232 131 #FBE870[4]
 Olive Green 59 49 71 181 179 92 #B5B35C[4]
 Light Chrome Yellow 60 38 100 255 255 159 #FFFF9F[5][e] On labels "Chrome Yellow, Light." Same color as "Light Yellow" (1903–1958) and "Lemon Yellow" (1903–1910, 1958–1990).[2]
 Light Chrome Green 75 67 90 190 230 75 #BEE64B[5] "Chrome Green, Light" on labels. Same color as "Light Green" (1903–1935).[2]
 Green 135 65 65 58 166 85 #3AA655[5]
 Medium Chrome Green 137 35 65 108 166 124 #6CA67C[5] "Chrome Green, Medium" on labels. Same color as "Medium Green" (1903–1939).
 Dark Chrome Green 175 99 47 1 120 111 #01786F[4] "Chrome Green, Dark" on labels. Same color as "Dark Green" (1903–1949) and "Pine Green" (1958–present).[2]
 Blue 196 80 90 46 180 230 #4997D0 Same color as "Celestial Blue" (1930–1949) and "Azure Blue" (1949–1958).[2]
 Prussian Blue 210 100 55 0 70 140 #00468C[5][f] Same color as "Midnight Blue" (1958–present).[2]
 Cobalt Blue 236 30 78 140 144 200 #8C90C8[5]
 Celestial Blue 240 45 80 112 112 204 #7070CC[5] Discontinued by 1910.
 Ultramarine Blue 250 80 75 63 38 191 #3F26BF[5]
 Purple 306 60 45 115 46 108 #732E6C[5] "Violet" from about 1914.
 Permanent Magenta 329 66 96 246 83 166 #F653A6[4] Same color as "Magenta" (1903–present).[2]
 Rose Pink 336 35 100 255 166 201 #FFA6C9[4] Same color as "Pink" (1903–1917) and "Carnation Pink" (1958–present).[2]
 Burnt Sienna 14 65 91 233 116 81 #E97451[4]
 Van Dyke Brown 25 60 40 102 66 40 #664228[5] Same color as "Brown" (1903–1935).[2]
 Flesh Tint 26 36 100 255 203 164 #FFCBA4[4] Same color as "Flesh" (1949–1956, 1958–1962), "Pink Beige" (1956–1958), and "Peach" (1962–present).[2]
 Burnt Umber 27 60 50 128 85 51 #805533[5]
 Raw Umber 31 50 40 102 82 51 #665233[5]
 Raw Sienna 42 60 90 230 188 92 #E6BC5C[5] Discontinued by 1910.
 Gold 60 25 57 146 146 110 #92926E[5] Metallic; swatch represents nominal hue only. Available only in bulk after 1915.[2]
 Silver 21 7 79 201 192 187 #C9C0BB[4] Metallic; swatch represents nominal hue only. Available only in bulk after 1915.[2]
 Copper 18 53 85 218 138 103 #DA8A67[4] Metallic; swatch represents nominal hue only. Discontinued in 1915.[2]
 Black 0 0 0 0 0 0 #000000[4]
 Charcoal Gray 30 15 45 115 106 98 #736A62[5] Discontinued in 1910.
 White 0 0 100 255 255 255 #FFFFFF[4]

Munsell Crayola, 1926–1944[edit]

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Three boxes of Munsell crayons; the first from the Munsell Color Company, and the others from Binney & Smith.

In 1926, Binney & Smith acquired the Munsell Color Company's line of crayons, based on the "Munsell color system developed by "Albert Henry Munsell. This marked the first time that Crayola crayons incorporated the concept of the "color wheel. The Munsell color wheel consisted of five "principal hues" (red, yellow, green, blue, and purple), and five "intermediate hues" (yellow red, green yellow, blue green, blue purple, and red purple). Each color was available in either "maximum chroma" or with "middle value and middle chroma." Three different packages were offered: a box of seven, containing the five principal hues at maximum chroma, plus Middle Gray and Black;[g] a box of twelve, containing the five principal hues, both at maximum chroma, and at middle value and chroma, plus Middle Gray and Black; and a box of twenty-two, containing both the principal and intermediate hues, each at maximum chroma as well as with middle value and chroma, plus Middle Gray and Black.[2]

The Munsell color wheel prompted Binney & Smith to adopt a similar color wheel concept for Crayola crayons in 1930, using six principal hues (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet) and six intermediate hues (red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet), for a twelve-color wheel. These were combined with Black, Neutral Gray, White, and Brown to produce a sixteen-color box. Munsell Crayola boxes were discontinued in 1935, although the crayons were produced in specially-marked Crayola boxes until 1944, when wartime shortages made many of the pigments necessary for crayon production unavailable. Munsell crayons were not produced again after the war, but the concept of the color wheel pioneered by Munsell remained a fundamental part of the Crayola lineup until 1990.[2]

All of the Munsell colors depicted in this table are based on physical swatches of Crayola Munsell crayons, unless otherwise noted.

Color H S V R G B Hexadecimal Notes
 Maximum Red 0 85 85 217 33 33 #D92121[h]
 Middle Red 15 50 90 229 144 115 #E58E73[5]
 Middle Yellow Red 30 50 93 236 177 118 #ECB176[5] Same color as "Medium Orange" (1949–1958).[2]
 Maximum Yellow Red 40 70 95 242 186 73 #F2BA49[5]
 Middle Yellow 55 100 100 255 235 0 #FFEB00[5]
 Maximum Yellow 60 78 98 250 250 55 #FAFA37[5]
 Maximum Green Yellow 65 65 90 217 230 80 #D9E650[5]
 Middle Green Yellow 72 50 75 172 191 96 #ACBF60[5]
 Maximum Green 90 65 55 94 140 49 #5E8C31[5]
 Middle Green 130 45 55 77 140 87 #4D8C57[5]
 Middle Blue Green 170 35 85 141 217 204 #8DD9CC[5]
 Maximum Blue Green 180 75 75 48 191 191 #30BFBF[5]
 Middle Blue 190 45 90 126 212 230 #7ED4E6[5]
 Maximum Blue 195 65 80 71 171 204 #47ABCC[5]
 Maximum Blue Purple 240 25 90 172 172 230 #ACACE6[5]
 Middle Blue Purple 260 40 75 139 114 190 #8B72BE[5]
 Maximum Purple 290 60 50 115 51 128 #733380[5]
 Middle Purple 325 40 85 217 130 181 #D982B5[5]
 Maximum Red Purple 325 65 65 166 58 121 #A63A79[5]
 Middle Red Purple 0 83 83 165 83 83 #A55353[5]
 Middle Grey 33 8 55 139 134 128 #8B8680[4] Spelled "Grey" on labels, but "Gray" on boxes. Same color as "Neutral Grey" (1930–1956), "Gray" (1956–present).[2]
 Black 0 0 0 0 0 0 #000000[4] References to "Maximum Black" are erroneous.

Changes through 1949[edit]

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The Crayola No. 48, introduced in 1949. Note both the "Rubens" and "Gold Medal" emblems.

From 1930 to 1935, Binney & Smith refined the Crayola line-up, discontinuing some colors and adjusting others, and incorporating the Munsell colors into its regular line. In 1939, the company introduced the No. 52 assortment, containing fifty-two colors, including all of the Munsell colors and all but six of the other crayons then being produced. Although it was by far the largest Crayola assortment yet offered, the No. 52 received little publicity, and was only produced for about five years; in 1944, wartime shortages made the pigments necessary to produce many colors unavailable.[2]

When full production was resumed in 1949, Binney & Smith eliminated most of the Munsell colors, and their significant overlap with other hues. The new lineup was based around the twelve-color wheel of Crayola colors, first developed during the 1930's. While new crayons were added to the assortment, the overall number of colors dropped to forty-eight, and the No. 52 box was formally discontinued in favor of the new No. 48 assortment, containing all of the colors then being produced.[2]

While a number of older crayons were eliminated from the Crayola line, several new colors representing light, medium, and dark shades of the principal and intermediate hues were added, to create the most systematic assortment yet produced. For ten years, the No. 48 box was Crayola's largest collection, and for decades afterward it remained an integral part of the line.

Color H S V R G B Hexadecimal Notes
 Red 346 96 93 237 10 63 #ED0A3F[4]
 Dark Red 346 83 76 195 33 72 #C32148[4] Same color as "Maroon" (1958–present).[2]
 Indian Red 3 61 73 185 78 72 #B94E48[4] Same color as "Chestnut" (1999–present).[2]
 Red-Orange 20 88 100 255 104 31 #FF681F[4]
 Orange 25 80 100 255 136 51 #FF8833[5]
 Medium Orange 30 50 93 236 177 118 #ECB176 Same color as "Middle Yellow Red" (1926–1949).[2]
 Yellow-Orange 34 74 100 255 174 66 #FFAE42[4]
 Gold Ochre 44 70 95 242 198 73 #F2C649[5] Same color as "Maize" (1958–1990).[2]
 Medium Yellow 45 59 99 252 214 103 #FCD667[4] Same color as "Medium Chrome Yellow" (1903–1910) and "Goldenrod" (1958–present).[2]
 Yellow 52 55 98 251 232 112 #FBE870[4]
 Olive Green 59 49 71 181 179 92 #B5B35C[4]
 Light Yellow 60 38 100 255 255 159 #FFFF9F[5] Same color as "Lemon Yellow" (1903–1910, 1958–1990).[2]
 Yellow-Green 76 46 88 197 225 122 #C5E17A[4]
 Dark Green 140 43 65 95 167 119 #5FA777[4] Same color as "Forest Green" (1958–present).[2]
 Light Green 149 34 87 147 223 184 #93DFB8[4] Same color as "Sea Green" (1958–present).[2]
 Green 158 99 64 1 163 104 #01A368[4]
 Light Turquoise Blue 186 36 91 149 224 232 #95E0E8[5][i] Same color as "Aquamarine" (1958–present).[2]
 Turquoise Blue 186 53 91 108 218 231 #6CDAE7[4]
 Middle Blue-Green 191 100 72 0 149 183 #0095B7[4] Same color as "Blue-Green" (1958–present).[2]
 Blue-Green 195 65 80 71 171 204 #47ABCC[5] Same color as "Maximum Blue" (1926–1949)[2]
 Azure Blue 196 80 90 46 180 230 #4997D0 Same color as "Blue" (1903–1935) and "Celestial Blue" (1930–1949).[2]
 Cerulean Blue 200 75 80 51 154 204 #339ACC
 Prussian Blue 210 100 55 0 70 140 #00468C[5] Same color as "Midnight Blue" (1958–present).[2]
 Blue 216 100 100 0 102 255 #0066FF[4]
 Medium Blue 224 70 90 69 112 230 #4570E6[5] Same color as "Blue" (1935–1949).[2]
 Cobalt Blue 236 30 78 140 144 200 #8C90C8[5]
 Blue-Violet 245 45 78 118 110 200 #766EC8[5] Same color as "Violet-Blue" (1958–1990).[2]
 Violet 249 53 72 100 86 183 #6456B7[4] Same color as "Blue-Violet" (1958–present).[2]
 Medium Violet 280 60 70 143 71 179 #8F47B3[5]
 Lavender 287 30 80 191 143 204 #BF8FCC[5]
 Brilliant Rose 311 55 90 230 103 206 #E667CE[5]
 Medium Red-Violet 314 31 89 226 156 210 #E29CD2[4] Same color as "Orchid" (1958–present).[2]
 Medium Rose 315 50 85 217 108 190 #D96CBE[5]
 Light Magenta 320 25 92 235 176 215 #EBB0D7[5] Same color as "Thistle" (1958–1999).[2]
 Red-Violet 324 73 73 187 51 133 #BB3385[4]
 Magenta 329 66 96 246 83 166 #F653A6[4] Same color as "Permanent Magenta" (1903–1914).[2]
 Rose Pink 336 35 100 255 166 201 #FFA6C9[4] Same color as "Carnation Pink" (1958–present).[2]
 Carmine Red 340 80 90 230 46 107 #E62E6B[5] Same color as "Carmine" (1935–1949).[2]
 Salmon 350 43 100 255 145 164 #FF91A4[4]
 Mahogany 360 74 79 202 52 53 #CA3435[4]
 Burnt Sienna 14 65 91 233 116 81 #E97451[4]
 Brown 14 65 69 175 89 62 #AF593E[4]
 Flesh 26 36 100 255 203 164 #FFCBA4[4] Same color as "Flesh Tint" (1903–1949), "Pink Beige" (1956–1958), and Peach (1962–present).[2]
 Raw Umber 31 50 40 102 82 51 #665233[5]
 Silver 21 7 79 201 192 187 #C9C0BB[4] Metallic; swatch represents nominal hue only.
 Black 0 0 0 0 0 0 #000000[4]
 Neutral Gray 33 8 55 139 134 128 #8B8680[4] Same color as "Middle Grey" (1926–1949), "Gray" (1956–present).[2]
 White 0 0 100 255 255 255 #FFFFFF[4]

Crayola No. 64[edit]

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Crayola No. 64, introduced in 1958.

Introduced in 1958, the Crayola No. 64 was Binney & Smith's largest regular assortment for more than thirty years, and featured the last major changes to Crayola colors before 1990.[j] The iconic flip-top box arranged sixty-four crayons in four rows of sixteen, progressively raised to allow for easier access, and a crayon sharpener built into the back of the box.[2]

Although a few of the colors from the No. 48 box were discontinued at this time, most were retained, sometimes with different names, and several new crayons were added to the assortment, including six new "intermediate" hues, as the Crayola color wheel expanded from twelve to eighteen colors.[2]

Color H S V R G B Hexadecimal Notes
 Red 346 96 93 237 10 63 #ED0A3F[4]
 Maroon 346 83 76 195 33 72 #C32148[4] Same color as "Dark Red" (1949–1958)[2]
 Brick Red 352 77 78 198 45 66 #C62D42[4]
 Indian Red 3 61 73 185 78 72 #B94E48[4] Same color as "Chestnut" (1999–present).[2]
 Orange-Red 3 71 100 255 63 52 #FF5349[4] One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 Bittersweet 6 63 100 254 111 94 #FE6F5E[4]
 Burnt Orange 18 71 100 255 112 52 #FF7F49[4]
 Red-Orange 20 88 100 255 104 31 #FF681F[4]
 Orange 25 80 100 255 136 51 #FF8833[5]
 Yellow-Orange 34 74 100 255 174 66 #FFAE42[4]
 Maize 44 70 95 242 198 73 #F2C649[5] Same color as "Gold Ochre" (1903–1958). One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 Orange-Yellow 45 58 97 248 213 104 #F8D568[4] One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 Goldenrod 45 59 99 252 214 103 #FCD667[4] Same color as "Medium Chrome Yellow" (1903–1910) and "Medium Yellow" (1903–1958).[2]
 Yellow 52 55 98 251 232 112 #FBE870[4]
 Green-Yellow 54 44 95 241 231 136 #F1E788[4]
 Spring Green 59 20 93 236 235 189 #ECEBBD[4]
 Olive Green 59 49 71 181 179 92 #B5B35C[4]
 Lemon Yellow 60 38 100 255 255 159 #FFFF9F[5] Same color as "Light Yellow" (1903–1958). One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 Yellow-Green 76 46 88 197 225 122 #C5E17A[4]
 Forest Green 140 43 65 95 167 119 #5FA777[4] Same color as "Dark Green" (1949–1958).[2]
 Sea Green 149 34 87 147 223 184 #93DFB8[4] Same color as "Light Green" (1949–1958).[2]
 Green 158 99 64 1 163 104 #01A368[4]
 Pine Green 175 99 47 1 120 111 #01786F[4] Same color as "Dark Chrome Green" (1903–1910) and "Dark Green" (1903–1949).[2]
 Light Blue 180 34 85 143 216 216 #8FD8D8[4] Discontinued in 1958; replaced by Turquoise Blue.[2]
 Aquamarine 186 36 91 149 224 232 #95E0E8[5] Same color as "Light Turquoise Blue" (1949–1958).[2]
 Sky Blue 190 50 92 118 215 234 #76D7EA[4]
 Blue-Green 191 100 72 0 149 183 #0095B7[4] Same color as "Middle Blue Green" (1949–1958).[2]
 Cornflower 201 37 92 147 204 234 #93CCEA[4]
 Green-Blue 204 80 78 40 135 200 #2887C8[5] One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 Navy Blue 210 100 80 0 102 204 #0066CC[4]
 Midnight Blue 210 100 55 0 70 140 #00468C[5] Same color as "Prussian Blue" (1903–1958).[2]
 Blue 216 100 100 0 102 255 #0066FF[4]
 Cadet Blue 219 13 76 169 178 195 #A9B2C3[4]
 Periwinkle 223 15 90 195 205 230 #C3CDE6[4]
 Violet-Blue 245 45 78 118 110 200 #766EC8[5] Same color as Blue-Violet (1930–1958). One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 Blue-Violet 249 53 72 100 86 183 #6456B7[4] Same color as "Violet" (1949–1958).[2]
 Violet 274 45 64 131 89 163 #8359A3[4] On labels "Violet (Purple)".
 Brilliant Rose 311 55 90 230 103 206 #E667CE[5] Discontinued in 1958; replaced by Magenta.[2]
 Plum 314 65 56 142 49 121 #8E3179[4]
 Orchid 314 31 89 226 156 210 #E29CD2[4] Same color as "Medium Red-Violet" (1949–1958).[2]
 Thistle 320 25 92 235 176 215 #EBB0D7[5] Same color as "Light Magenta" (1949–1958). "Retired" in 1999.[2]
 Mulberry 323 60 78 200 80 155 #C8509B[5] "Retired" in 2003.[2]
 Red-Violet 324 73 73 187 51 133 #BB3385[4]
 Lavender 332 31 98 251 174 210 #FBAED2[4]
 Carnation Pink 336 35 100 255 166 201 #FFA6C9[4] Same color as "Rose Pink" (1903–1958).[2]
 Violet-Red 337 72 97 247 70 138 #F7468A[4]
 Salmon 350 43 100 255 145 164 #FF91A4[4]
 Mahogany 360 74 79 202 52 53 #CA3435[4]
 Melon 10 32 100 254 186 173 #FEBAAD[4]
 Burnt Sienna 14 65 91 233 116 81 #E97451[4]
 Brown 14 65 69 175 89 62 #AF593E[4]
 Sepia 17 59 62 158 91 64 #9E5B40[4]
 Raw Sienna 24 67 82 210 125 70 #D27D46[4]
 Tan 25 50 85 217 154 108 #D99A6C[5][k]
 Peach 26 36 100 255 203 164 #FFCBA4[4] Same color as "Flesh Tint" (1903–1949), "Flesh" (1949–1956, 1958–1962), and "Pink Beige" (1956–1958).[2]
 Apricot 28 30 99 253 213 177 #FDD5B1[4]
 Raw Umber 31 50 40 102 82 51 #665233[5] One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 Gold 34 40 90 230 190 138 #E6BE8A[4] Metallic; swatch represents nominal hue only.
 Silver 21 7 79 201 192 187 #C9C0BB[4] Metallic; swatch represents nominal hue only.
 Copper 18 53 85 218 138 103 #DA8A67[4] Metallic; swatch represents nominal hue only.
 Black 0 0 0 0 0 0 #000000[4]
 Gray 33 8 55 139 134 128 #8B8680[4] Same color as "Neutral Gray" (1926–1956).[2]
 Blue-Gray 240 2 80 200 200 205 #C8C8CD[4] One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 White 0 0 100 255 255 255 #FFFFFF[4]

Changes 1958–1990[edit]

The first changes to the No. 64 box were made in its first year of production, as Light Blue and Brilliant Rose were replaced by Turquoise Blue and Magenta. From then to 1990, no colors were replaced, although in 1962 Flesh was formally renamed Peach, ostensibly in response to the civil rights movement, although it should be noted that the color had been known as Flesh Tint until 1949, and was called Pink Beige from 1956 to 1958.[2]

The 1970's saw the introduction of Crayola's first specialty crayons, eight fluorescent colors designed to glow under black light. These were never added to the No. 64 box, but were available separately or in a special box of 72 crayons, typically packaged with activity books or crayon stands. Fabric crayons were introduced in 1980, as the Crayola brand continued to expand beyond regular drawing crayons. Colored pencils and markers followed.[2]

1990–present[edit]

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Thirteen colors "retired" since 1990: Lemon Yellow, Violet Blue, Blue Gray, Orange Red, Maize, Raw Umber, Orange Yellow, Green Blue, Blizzard Blue, Magic Mint, Mulberry, Teal Blue, and Thistle.

1990 saw the first major changes to Crayola drawing crayons in more than thirty years, as eight colors were "retired into the Crayon Hall of Fame," and eight new colors were introduced, followed by sixteen more in 1993, and twenty-four more in 1998. Five colors were replaced between 2000 and 2003.[2][6]

The first major change was the replacement of eight colors that had long been part of the Crayola lineup. These were: Orange-Red (first produced in 1958), Maize (formerly Gold Ochre, produced since 1903), Orange-Yellow (1958), Lemon Yellow (formerly Light Yellow, produced since 1903), Green-Blue (1958), Violet-Blue (produced as Blue-Violet from 1930 to 1958), Raw Umber (1903), and Blue-Gray (1958).[l] With the loss of Orange-Red, Orange-Yellow, Green-Blue, and Violet-Blue, the Crayola color wheel was reduced from eighteen to fourteen colors, with six "principal hues" and eight "intermediate" hues. The eight new colors were: Vivid Tangerine, Dandelion, Jungle Green, Teal Blue, Cerulean, Royal Purple, Fuchsia, and Wild Strawberry.[2]

Late in 1992, Binney & Smith introduced the Crayola No. 96 Big Box, containing the sixty-four existing colors, as well as sixteen fluorescent crayons, and sixteen unnamed colors, the names of which were to be chosen in a nationwide contest. The winners were announced the following year, and included: Macaroni and Cheese, Asparagus, Granny Smith Apple, Shamrock, Tropical Rain Forest, Robin's Egg Blue, Pacific Blue, Denim, Purple Mountains' Majesty, Wisteria, Cerise, Razzmatazz, Tickle Me Pink, Mauvelous, Tumbleweed, and Timberwolf.[2]

In 1996, a special color called Blue Ribbon was produced to celebrate the production of one hundred billion Crayola crayons since 1903. Crayons of this color were included in "limited edition" versions of the No. 96 box produced early that year, but it did not become part of the regular assortment. The following year, four bright colors were introduced: Sunset Orange, Caribbean Green, Vivid Violet, and Pink Flamingo, which were then incorporated into the regular lineup. 1997 also saw a contest called to name eight new colors, incorporated into assortments the following year: Torch Red, Banana Mania, Mountain Meadow, Outer Space, Purple Heart, Brink Pink, Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown, and Shadow.[2]

1998 saw the introduction of Crayola's first 120-count assortment. In addition to the existing colors, twelve more were added to the lineup in order to bring the count of regular and fluorescent crayons up to 120. These were: Canary, Fern, Manatee, Blue Bell, Eggplant, Cotton Candy, Cranberry, Pig Pink, Beaver, Desert Sand, Almond, and Antique Brass, a metallic crayon. The same year, Torch Red became Scarlet.[2]

In 1999, Indian Red, part of the Crayola lineup since 1903, was renamed Chestnut, ostensibly because of confusion that children would assume that the color referred to the skin color of American Indians, rather than a reddish pigment from India. Thistle, originally produced as Light Magenta in 1949, was replaced by Indigo.[2]

To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Crayola Crayons in 2003, a special 100-count box was created, adding four new colors to the existing 96-color box. As in 1992 and 1996, the names were chosen as part of a contest, and the four new crayons became part of the No. 96 box at the end of the anniversary year. The new colors were: Mango Tango, Inchworm, Wild Blue Yonder, and Jazzberry Jam. To make room for them, four other crayons were retired; two of the sixteen fluorescent colors (Magic Mint and Blizzard Blue), plus Mulberry (produced since 1958) and Teal Blue (introduced in 1990).[2] Crayola enthusiasts were given the opportunity to save one of five colors nominated for retirement via an internet poll: the winner was Burnt Sienna.[7][8]

Three colors received new names in 2005, as Brink Pink became Pink Sherbert [sic], Cranberry became Blush, and Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown was shortened to Fuzzy Wuzzy. Since these changes, the Crayola lineup has remained steady, with changes confined to specialty crayons.[2]

On March 31, 2017, Crayola announced it would retire Dandelion, to replace it with a blue color. A public vote was held, and in September 14, 2017, the new crayon color's name was announced as "Bluetiful".[9][10] The crayon color will be included in the boxes for sale in late January 2018.


The following table includes all of the standard colors introduced since 1990.

Color H S V R G B Hexadecimal Notes
 Scarlet 350 94 99 253 14 53 #FD0E35[4] Introduced in 1998. Same color as "Torch Red" (1998).[2]
 Sunset Orange 4 75 100 254 76 64 #FE4C40[4] Introduced in 1997.[2]
 Vivid Tangerine 12 50 100 255 153 128 #FF9980[4] Introduced in 1990.[2]
 Macaroni and Cheese 28 52 100 255 185 123 #FFB97B[4] Introduced in 1993. Also found as "Macaroni & Cheese" and "Macaroni-n-Cheese".[2]
 Mango Tango 30 100 91 231 114 0 #E77200[4] Introduced in 2003.[2]
 Banana Mania 44 29 98 251 231 178 #FBE7B2[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Dandelion 46 63 100 254 216 93 #FED85D[4] Produced 1990–2017.[2][9]
 Canary 60 40 100 255 255 153 #FFFF99[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Inchworm 75 92 89 175 227 19 #AFE313[4] Introduced in 2003.[2]
 Asparagus 92 43 63 123 160 91 #7BA05B[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Granny Smith Apple 112 34 88 157 224 147 #9DE093[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Fern 126 46 72 99 183 108 #63B76C[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Shamrock 160 75 80 51 204 153 #33CC99[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Mountain Meadow 162 85 70 26 179 133 #1AB385[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Jungle Green 163 76 67 41 171 135 #29AB87[4] Introduced in 1990.[2]
 Caribbean Green 165 100 80 0 204 153 #00CC99[4] Introduced in 1997.[2]
 Tropical Rain Forest 168 100 46 0 117 94 #00755E[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Robin's Egg Blue 180 100 80 0 204 204 #00CCCC[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Teal Blue 180 100 50 0 128 128 #008080[4] Produced 1990–2003.[2]
 Outer Space 189 22 23 45 56 58 #2D383A[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Pacific Blue 192 100 77 0 157 196 #009DC4[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Cerulean 193 99 83 2 164 211 #02A4D3[4] Introduced in 1990.[2]
 Denim 213 89 74 21 96 189 #1560BD[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Bluetiful 224 74 91 60 105 231 #3C69E7[10] Introduced in 2017.[10]
 Wild Blue Yonder 225 34 72 122 137 184 #7A89B8[4] Introduced in 2003.[2]
 Indigo 227 60 78 79 105 198 #4F69C6[4] Introduced in 1999.[2]
 Manatee 231 12 63 141 144 161 #8D90A1[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Blue Bell 240 25 80 153 153 204 #9999CC[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Purple Heart 263 77 76 101 45 193 #652DC1[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Royal Purple 267 61 63 107 63 160 #6B3FA0[4] Introduced in 1990.[2]
 Wisteria 281 27 86 201 160 220 #C9A0DC[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Vivid Violet 289 62 56 128 55 144 #803790[4] Introduced in 1997.[2]
 Purple Mountains' Majesty 291 21 87 214 174 221 #D6AEDD[4] Introduced in 1993. Also found as "Purple Mountain Majesty" and "Purple Mountain's Majesty."[2]
 Fuchsia 300 56 76 193 84 193 #C154C1[4] Introduced in 1990.[2]
 Pink Flamingo 300 54 99 252 116 253 #FC74FD[11] Introduced in 1997.[2]
 Jazzberry Jam 328 93 65 165 11 94 #A50B5E[4] Introduced in 2003.[2]
 Eggplant 329 34 38 97 64 81 #614051[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Cerise 330 77 85 218 50 135 #DA3287[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Wild Strawberry 330 80 100 255 51 153 #FF3399[4] Introduced in 1990.[2]
 Cotton Candy 335 28 100 255 183 213 #FFB7D5[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Razzmatazz 338 95 89 227 11 92 #E30B5C[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Pig Pink 339 15 99 253 215 228 #FDD7E4[4] Introduced in 1998.[2] Also called "Piggy Pink."
 Blush 342 63 86 219 80 121 #DB5079[4] Same color as "Cranberry" (1998–2005).[2]
 Tickle Me Pink 342 49 99 252 128 165 #FC80A5[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Mauvelous 345 40 94 240 145 169 #F091A9[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Pink Sherbert 12 43 97 247 163 142 #F7A38E[4] Same color as "Brink Pink" (1998–2005).[2]
 Fuzzy Wuzzy 20 77 53 135 66 31 #87421F[4] Same color as "Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown" (1998–2005).[2]
 Beaver 22 38 57 146 111 91 #926F5B[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Tumbleweed 24 42 87 222 166 129 #DEA681[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Desert Sand 25 26 93 237 201 175 #EDC9AF[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Almond 30 18 93 238 217 196 #EED9C4[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Shadow 38 39 51 131 112 80 #837050[4] Introduced in 1998.[2]
 Timberwolf 42 5 85 217 214 207 #D9D6CF[4] Introduced in 1993.[2]
 Antique Brass 22 50 78 200 138 101 #C88A65[4] Introduced in 1998.[2] Metallic; swatch represents nominal hue only.

The Crayola color wheel[edit]

1926: 10 colors[edit]

The concept of the color wheel first became associated with Crayola crayons with Binney & Smith's acquisition of the Munsell line in 1926. Munsell's color system was based on five "principal hues" and five "intermediate hues," resulting in a color wheel of ten colors. The principal hues were red, yellow, green, blue, and purple; the intermediate hues were yellow red, green yellow, blue green, blue purple, and red purple. Each was available with either maximum chroma or with middle value and middle chroma. The following table depicts all of the principal and intermediate hues at maximum chroma.

Color H S V R G B Hexadecimal Notes
 Maximum Red 0 85 85 217 33 33 #D92121[m]
 Maximum Yellow Red 40 70 95 242 186 73 #F2BA49[5]
 Maximum Yellow 60 78 98 250 250 55 #FAFA37[5]
 Maximum Green Yellow 65 65 90 217 230 80 #D9E650[5]
 Maximum Green 90 65 55 94 140 49 #5E8C31[5]
 Maximum Blue Green 180 75 75 48 191 191 #30BFBF[5]
 Maximum Blue 195 65 80 71 171 204 #47ABCC[5]
 Maximum Blue Purple 240 25 90 172 172 230 #ACACE6[5]
 Maximum Purple 290 60 50 115 51 128 #733380[5]
 Maximum Red Purple 325 65 65 166 58 121 #A63A79[5]


1930: 12 colors[edit]

In 1930, Binney & Smith adopted the concept of the color wheel into its own line, including orange as a principal hue, and basing the other hues on its existing colors rather than the Munsell version. This resulted in a twelve-color wheel that fit neatly into the regular Crayola lineup.

Color H S V R G B Hexadecimal Notes
 Red 346 96 93 237 10 63 #ED0A3F[4]
 Red-Orange 20 88 100 255 104 31 #FF681F[4]
 Orange 25 80 100 255 136 51 #FF8833[5]
 Yellow-Orange 34 74 100 255 174 66 #FFAE42[4]
 Yellow 52 55 98 251 232 112 #FBE870[4]
 Yellow-Green 76 46 88 197 225 122 #C5E17A[4]
 Green 158 99 64 1 163 104 #01A368[4]
 Blue-Green 195 65 80 71 171 204 #47ABCC[5] Same color as "Maximum Blue" (1926–1944)[2]
 Blue 196 80 90 46 180 230 #4997D0 Same color as "Celestial Blue" (1935–1949).[2]
 Blue-Violet 245 45 78 118 110 200 #766EC8[5] Same color as "Violet-Blue" (1958–1990).[2]
 Violet 274 45 64 131 89 163 #8359A3[4]
 Red-Violet 324 73 73 187 51 133 #BB3385[4]

Adjustments in 1935 and 1949[edit]

The only significant changes to the Crayola color wheel between 1930 and 1958 occurred in 1935, when the original blue was replaced with a darker hue, and 1949, when a new version of violet was introduced:

Color H S V R G B Hexadecimal Notes
 Blue (1903) 196 80 90 46 180 230 #4997D0 Same color as "Celestial Blue" (1935–1949).[2]
 Blue (1935) 224 70 90 69 112 230 #4570E6[5] Same color as "Medium Blue" (1949–1958).[2]
 Violet (1930) 274 45 64 131 89 163 #8359A3[4]
 Violet (1949) 249 53 72 100 86 183 #6456B7[4] Same color as "Blue-Violet" (1958–present).[2]


1958: 18 colors[edit]

In 1958, Binney & Smith introduced the No. 64 box, with numerous changes to the existing palette, and a major revision of the color wheel, which expanded from twelve to eighteen colors. The six intermediate hues were doubled, so that there were now two intermediate hues between each of the principal hues. The 1935 blue was replaced with a more intense color, and a new, darker blue-green was substituted for the previous version; the 1930 version of violet returned, while the 1949 violet became blue-violet, and the original blue-violet became violet-blue. The 1958 color wheel remained a fixture of Crayola crayons until 1990, when four of the colors were discontinued: orange-red, orange-yellow, green-blue, and violet-blue. Without these colors, the Crayola color wheel includes fourteen colors; there are two hues between yellow and green, and two between violet and red, but only one between the other principal hues.

Color H S V R G B Hexadecimal Notes
 Red 346 96 93 237 10 63 #ED0A3F[4]
 Orange-Red 3 71 100 255 63 52 #FF5349[4] One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 Red-Orange 20 88 100 255 104 31 #FF681F[4]
 Orange 25 80 100 255 136 51 #FF8833[5]
 Yellow-Orange 34 74 100 255 174 66 #FFAE42[4]
 Orange-Yellow 45 58 97 248 213 104 #F8D568[4] One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 Yellow 52 55 98 251 232 112 #FBE870[4]
 Green-Yellow 54 44 95 241 231 136 #F1E788[4]
 Yellow-Green 76 46 88 197 225 122 #C5E17A[4]
 Green 158 99 64 1 163 104 #01A368[4]
 Blue-Green 191 100 72 0 149 183 #0095B7[4] Same color as "Middle Blue Green" (1949–1958).[2]
 Green-Blue 204 80 78 40 135 200 #2887C8[5] One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 Blue 216 100 100 0 102 255 #0066FF[4]
 Violet-Blue 245 45 78 118 110 200 #766EC8[5] Same color as Blue-Violet (1930–1958). One of eight colors "retired" in 1990.[2]
 Blue-Violet 249 53 72 100 86 183 #6456B7[4] Same color as "Violet" (1949–1958).[2]
 Violet 274 45 64 131 89 163 #8359A3[4] On labels "Violet (Purple)".
 Red-Violet 324 73 73 187 51 133 #BB3385[4]
 Violet-Red 337 72 97 247 70 138 #F7468A[4]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ This discrepancy may be due to the fact that several crayons were simply different shades of other colors; for example Chrome Green came in light, medium, and dark; in addition to Venetian Red there were Light and Dark Venetian Red; Chrome Yellow came in both light and dark varieties.
  2. ^ Crayola No. 100 contained thirty crayons, but they were not labeled.
  3. ^ Due to several factors, the values given should only be considered approximations. The apparent color of any crayon depends on the thickness with which the wax is laid down, the color and brightness of the surface being colored, and other considerations, such as the age and quality of individual crayons. In addition, crayons are produced using pigments, which are normally described using subtractive colors, with the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue; but electronic displays produce colors using the additive method, combining the primary colors of red, green, and blue.
  4. ^ No swatch available; color estimated from picture of crayon.
  5. ^ Swatch matches the hue of "Laser Lemon" and "Unmellow Yellow."
  6. ^ The digital swatch provided by Crayola gives the values 0, 51, 102, considerably darker than the actual crayon.
  7. ^ Although sometimes identified as "Maximum Black," Munsell wrappers and boxes simply identify this crayon as "Black." Since Black is achromatic and has no intermediate grades, there could be no "Middle Black" or "Maximum Black."
  8. ^ No swatch available; color estimated from picture of crayon.
  9. ^ Crayola has digital swatches labeled "Aqua" and "Aqua Marine," but Aqua is much brighter and Aqua Marine much darker than Aquamarine, which should be a lighter version of Turquoise Blue.
  10. ^ A seventy-two crayon box was also introduced about this time, but it contained no additional colors, instead including duplicates of the eight most-used crayons. In the 1970's, the duplicates were replaced by Crayola's first specialty crayons, eight fluorescent colors that would fluoresce under black light.
  11. ^ The digital swatch provided by Crayola is 250, 157, 90. Although the correct hue, this color is much more intense than a tan crayon.
  12. ^ The last versions of these crayons produced before they were discontinued spelled the names without hyphens.
  13. ^ No swatch available; color estimated from picture of crayon.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Colors of Childhood". Smithsonian Magazine. November 1999. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em en eo ep eq er es et Ed Welter, The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola, CrayonCollecting.com.
  3. ^ New York Teachers Monographs. Vol 7 (No 1 ed.). New York, NY: American Book Company. Mar 1905. p. 125. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em en eo ep eq er es et eu ev ew ex ey ez fa fb fc fd fe ff fg fh fi fj fk fl fm fn fo fp fq fr fs Crayola: Explore Colors, [1], retrieved 5 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf Color values estimated using swatch of original crayon.
  6. ^ "Crayon & Color Info". Crayola LLC. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  7. ^ "Change of colors at Crayola, but voters save burnt sienna", USA Today, 11 Oct. 2003 (online, retrieved 10 Oct. 2016).
  8. ^ http://www.crayola.com/faq/another-topic/what-are-the-names-of-the-retired-crayon-colors/
  9. ^ a b Crayola.com,"Crayola Announces the Retirement of Dandelion on National Crayon Day", retrieved 14 September 2017.
  10. ^ a b c Crayola.com, "Meet Bluetiful", retrieved 14 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Custom Box Creator". SureSource LLC. from the web page source. Archived from the original on 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 


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