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The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola

Part 16 – Fun Alternative Color Names

 

This is a multi-part series of articles written to tell the tale of the history of color names for Crayola. 

You can visit earlier parts here: Part 1 - In the Beginning there was..., Part 2 - The Original Color Line Up, Part 3 - Other Color Names, Part 4 - The Gold Medal Changeover, Part 5 - Dwindling Down, Part 6 - Changes in the Roaring 20s, Part 7 - Crayola Color Wheel, Part 8 - New Assortments Equals New Color Changes, Part 9 - Crayola's Biggest Assortment Secret, Part 10 - War Time Changes, Part 11 - Enter the No. 48, Part 12 - The 50s, Part 13 - The Revolutionary No. 64, Part 14 - The Consistent Years, Part 15 - Specialty Crayons

 

So Big

 

Crayola So Big boxThere were several primary ways Crayola’s color line changed and expanded after the 1970s.  The first of those were to shake up the main color assortment by swapping new colors in, removing old colors and changing colors between the names.  They had been using this strategy since day one and whether they did it without fanfare (as they had done up to this point) or they went through official retirements and color contests for renaming (as they would in the future) it was still the same thing:  changing out their core colors.  The second primary method was through their specialty crayons which they began in 1972.  The third method was developed in 1983 although they once practiced it quite heavily from 1903 until about the 1930s; that of using the same colors as other names.  This time around though they did it with specific intention by creating interesting and fun names to suit the market they were after.

 

Take the case of their new line of toddler-focused crayons, So Big, introduced in 1983.  These crayons were by far the largest crayons they had ever made.  It’s interesting to note that originally crayon manufacturers targeted small children with small crayons; the thinking behind it was probably because they had small hands they needed small crayons to hold.  Well fast forward nearly a century and everything was going the other direction.  Larger crayons helped smaller kids develop their motor skills easier.

 

So for this line of crayons, Crayola kept with their basic true colors but gave them entirely new names; a trend they would continue to use more and more up to current day.

 

In the original So Big 8 color assortment, they created: Birdie Blue, Bunch of Grapes Purple, Bunny Brown, Candy Apple Red, Kitty Cat Black, Jack ‘O’ Lantern Orange, Leap Frog Green and Sunshine Yellow

 

Crayola So Big Original Colors

 

The assortment was essentially just a fancy super-sized version of their standard No. 8 assortment colors given a fun new wrapper with cute kid drawings related to the color name they created.  In terms of how it affected their overall color line, these had the exact opposite impact of the Fabric crayons before them in that with the Fabric crayons, no new names were used but they were all new true colors.  These crayons had no new true colors but they were all new color names.

 

For the purposes of our color history, at the end of 1983 we had:

 

Birdie Blue was a new name but its true color came from Blue (true color 70)

Bunch of Grapes Purple was a new name but its true color came from Violet (true color 28)

Bunny Brown was a new name but its true color came from Brown

Candy Apple Red was a new name but its true color came from Red (true color 31)

Kitty Cat Black was a new name but its true color came from Black (true color 1)

Jack ‘O’ Lantern Orange was a new name but its true color came from Orange (true color 25)

Leap Frog Green was a new name but its true color came from Green (true color 61)

Sunshine Yellow was a new name but its true color came from Yellow (true color 48)

 

So, from 1983 up until 1986, this increased our overall named color count from 148 to 156 and our true color count remained the same at 125.  Active named colors in use went from 71 to 79 while true colors stayed at 80; they were nearly back in synch again for a brief time.

 

Let’s take a look at the color list at the end of 1986:

 

Named
Color #

True
Color #


Color Name

Year

Named

True Color

Year

End

Date


End Reason

All

UC

All

LC

Mix

UC/LC


Other Name Variations on Wrapper


Notes

1

1

Black

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Kitty Cat Black

1

125

Black

1903

1980

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

2

2

Blue

1903

1903

1935

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

True color renamed to Celestial Blue

2

66

Blue

1903

1935

1949

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

2

70

Blue

1903

1949

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

Same color as Birdie Blue

2

117

Blue

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

3

3

Brown

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Van Dyke Brown, Bunny Brown

4

4

Burnt Sienna

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bt. Sienna, Burnt-Sienna

 

4

118

Burnt Sienna

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

bt. sienna

Part of the Fabric specialty set

5

5

Burnt Umber

1903

1903

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

6

6

Celestial Blue

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Only found in No. 51 box

6

2

Celestial Blue

1903

1903

1944

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Reused color name for orig. 1903 Blue color; only found in No. 52 box

7

7

Charcoal Gray

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Charc Gray

 

8

8

Chrome Green, Dark

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Chr. Green DK, Ch. Green Dk.

Same color as Green, Dark, Dark Green, Pine Green

9

9

Chrome Green, Light

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

Yes

 

Yes

Chr Green L, CHR. GREEN L, Chr Green Lt.

Same color as Green, Light

10

10

Chrome Green, Medium

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Chr. Green M

Same color as Green, Medium; Medium Green

11

11

Chrome Yellow, Light

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Yellow

12

12

Chrome Yellow, Medium

1903

1903

1935

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Chr Yellow Med.

Same color as Yellow, Medium; Medium Yellow; Goldenrod

13

13

Cobalt Blue

1903

1903

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Blue; only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon 1935-1943; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

14

14

Copper

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Unavailable between 1915 and 1958

15

15

Dark Blue

1903

1903

1917

Used as other name

Yes

 

No

 

Same color as Prussian Blue, Midnight Blue

16

8

Dark Green

1903

1903

1949

Switched true colors

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Green Dark, Pine Green

16

71

Dark Green

1903

1949

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Forest Green 

17

16

English Vermillion

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Eng. Vermillion, Eng. Vermilion

 

18

17

Flesh Tint

1903

1903

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon starting 1935; Same color as Flesh, Pink Beige, Peach; Not available 1944 due to WWII

19

18

Gold

1903

1903

1953

Switched true colors

 

 

Yes

 

1915-1943 only offered in Bulk; Not available 1944-1952 due to WWII

19

84

Gold

1903

1953

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

 

20

19

Gold Ochre

1903

1903

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Golden Ochre, Maize

21

19

Golden Ochre

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Gold Ochre, Maize

22

20

Green

1903

1903

1930

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

22

61

Green

1903

1930

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Leap Frog Green

22

119

Green

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

23

8

Green, Dark

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Chrome Green, Dark; Dark Green; Pine Green

24

9

Green, Light

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Chrome Green, Light

25

10

Green, Medium

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

Yes

 

No

Green, Med.,

Same color as Chrome Green, Medium; Medium Green

26

21

Indian Red

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ind. Red

 

27

11

Lemon Yellow

1903

1903

1910

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Yellow.  Only found in No. 51 box

27

38

Lemon Yellow

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

Color name reused starting 1958, Same color as second Light Yellow

28

14

Light Blue

1903

1903

1917

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Cobalt Blue.   Made exclusively for E.C. Charlton Stores

28

85

Light Blue

1903

1958

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

 

 

Only available for a small part of 1958

28

120

Light Blue

1903

1976

1980

Discontinued

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

29

11

Light Yellow

1903

1903

1949

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

Yellow Lt.; Lt. Yellow

Same color as Lemon Yellow, second Yellow, Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII;

29

38

Light Yellow

1903

1903

1958

Used as other Name

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Yellow (true color 38) that it inherited in 1949, second Lemon Yellow

30

22

Madder Lake

1903

1903

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

31

23

Magenta

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Permanent Magenta; Not available 1944 due to WWII

32

10

Medium Green

1903

1903

1939

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Med. Green

Same color as Green, Medium; Chrome Green, Medium; 1935-1939 only avail in long crayon size in No. 99

33

12

Medium Yellow

1903

1903

1958

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Med. Yellow

Same color as Yellow, Medium; Chrome Yellow, Medium, Goldenrod, Golden Rod; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

34

24

Olive Green

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

 

35

25

Orange

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Jack “O” Lantern Orange

35

121

Orange

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

36

26

Permanent Geranium Lake

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

37

23

Permanent Magenta

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Magenta

38

27

Pink

1903

1903

1917

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Rose Pink

49

15

Prussian Blue

1903

1903

1958

Used as other Name

Yes

 

Yes

Prus. Blue

Same color as Dark Blue, Midnight Blue

40

28

Purple

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Violet

41

29

Raw Sienna

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

41

86

Raw Sienna

1903

1958

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

Name revived 48 years after discontinuing it but with a new true color

42

30

Raw Umber

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

43

31

Red

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Same color as Candy Apple Red

43

122

Red

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

44

27

Rose Pink

1903

1903

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Pink, Carnation Pink

45

32

Silver

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

1915-1943 offered only as bulk; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

46

33

Ultramarine Blue

1903

1903

1958

Discontinued

Yes

 

Yes

ULT. BLUE; Ult. Blue

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; not available 1949-1957

47

3

Van Dyke Brown

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Brown.  Only found in No. 51 box

48

34

Venetian Red

1903

1903

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Ven. Red

Only available in bulk as a named wrapper crayon from 1935-1937 Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

49

35

Venetian Red, Dark

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

50

36

Venetian Red, Light

1903

1903

1910

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

 

51

28

Violet

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Violet (Purple) 

Same color as Purple, Bunch of Grapes Purple; 1949-1957 used another true color but reverted back in 1958

51

123

Violet

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

51

72

Violet

1903

1949

1958

Switched true colors

Yes

 

 

 

 Same color as second Blue Violet

52

37

White

1903

1903

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

 

53

38

Yellow

1903

1903

1949

Switched true colors

Yes

 

Yes

 

Same color as Light Yellow (second one)

53

48

Yellow

1903

1926

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

Same color as Maximum Yellow, Sunshine Yellow

53

124

Yellow

1903

1976

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

Part of the Fabric specialty set

54

12

Yellow Medium

1903

1903

1914

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Chrome Yellow, Medium; Medium Yellow

55

9

Light Green

1910

1910

1949

Switched true colors

 

 

Yes

Lt. Green

Same color as Chrome Green, Light; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

55

73

Light Green

1910

1949

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

 

 

Same color as Sea Green

56

39

Maximum Black

1926

1926

1935

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935

57

40

Maximum Blue

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

58

41

Maximum Blue Green

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Maximum Blue-Green

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Blue Green; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

59

42

Maximum Green

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

60

43

Maximum Green Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Maximum Green-Yellow

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

61

44

Maximum Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

62

45

Maximum Purple Blue

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Maximum Purple-Blue

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

63

46

Maximum Red

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

64

47

Maximum Red Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Maxmimum Red-Purple

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

65

48

Maximum Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Gamboge Yellow, Yellow (second one); Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

66

49

Maximum Yellow Red

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Middle Yellow-Red

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Yellow Orange; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

67

50

Middle Blue

1926

1926

1949

Used as other Name

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; Same color as Light Turquoise Blue, same color as Aquamarine

68

51

Middle Blue Green

1926

1926

1958

Used as other name

Yes

 

Yes

Middle Blue-Green

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII, same color as second Blue Green

69

52

Middle Grey

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Same color as Neutral Gray, Gray; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

70

53

Middle Green

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

71

54

Middle Green Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Middle Green-Yellow

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

72

55

Middle Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

73

56

Middle Purple Blue

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Middle Purple-Blue

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

74

57

Middle Red

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

75

58

Middle Red Purple

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

Middle Red-Purple

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

76

59

Middle Yellow

1926

1926

1949

Discontinued

 

 

Yes

 

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII

77

60

Middle Yellow Red

1926

1926

1949

Used as other name

 

 

Yes

Middle Yellow-Red

Munsell wrappers used prior to 1935; Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; Same color as Medium Orange

78

40

Blue Green

1930

1930

1958

Switched true colors

Yes

 

 

Blue-Green

Same color as Maximum Blue

78

51

Blue Green

1930

1926

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

blue-green

Same color as Middle Blue Green

79

62

Blue Violet

1930

1930

1958

Switched true colors

Yes

 

 

Blue-Violet

Same color as Violet Blue

79

72

Blue Violet

1930

1949

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

blue-violet

Same color as second Violet

80

52

Neutral Gray

1930

1926

1956

Used as other Name

Yes

 

 

Neutral-Gray

Same color as Middle Grey, Gray

81

63

Red Orange

1930

1930

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

Red-Orange

 

82

64

Red Violet

1930

1930

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

Red-Violet

 

83

65

Yellow Green

1930

1930

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

Yellow-Green

 

84

49

Yellow Orange

1930

1930

1958

Switched true colors

Yes

 

 

Yellow-Orange

Same color as Maximum Yellow Red

84

87

Yellow Orange

1930

1958

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

 

85

67

Carmine

1935

1935

1949

Used as other Name

 

 

Yes

 

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII; Same color as Carmine Red

86

68

Sepia

1935

1935

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Not available 1944-1948 due to WWII, discontinued from 1949-1957

87

69

Turquoise Blue

1935

1935

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

 

88

48

Gamboge Yellow

1941

1903

1944

Used as Other Name

 

 

Yes

 

Same color as Maximum Yellow; used only on hex; color name dropped during WWII shortage even though yellow was still available

89

2

Azure Blue

1949