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The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola

Part 26 – The Discovery Series

 

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, Part 16 - Fun Alternative Color Names, Part 17 - Heavy Metal, Part 18 - More So Big, Part 19 - Decade of Experimentation, Part 20 - Dawn of the Color Naming Contest, Part 21 - Contest Winners and more Specialty Crayons. Part 22 - Magic and Mystery, Part 23 - One Hundred Billion, Part 24 - Entertainment Revolution, Part 25 - True Blue Heroes

 

1997 was such a monumental year for changes that I broke up the year into several parts and at the end of those parts combined all of the changes on the revised color list.  This is the third part of 1997’s history.

 

Crayola Discovery - 24 colorsMulti-Themed

 

1997 was also the launch for Crayola’s Discovery Series.  This was a launch of a series of assorted collector tins with specific themes.  While all of the series contained a box of 24 colors inside the tin, two of the series sets had unique color names associated to the theme:  Series #2:  Ocean Dive and Series #3: Space Walk.   The other themes in the series were basic boxes of crayon colors but these two had a special Discovery box along with other Crayola items. 

 

The Ocean Drive box contained:  aquamarine, caribbean sea, coral purple, cultured pearl, deep sea (blue), dolphin fin, jellyfish purple (violet), lobster red (red), mussel shell black (black), ocean floor (brown), ocean green pearl, pacific ocean, salmon, sandy beach, seahorse beige, sea serpent green (green), shark skin gray, shrimp (orange), squid tan, starfish lavender, sunfish yellow (yellow), sunken treasure, tropical reef mauve

 

The Space Walk box contained:  after-burner orange, asteroid brown (brown), black hole (black), blast-off, comet tail, galactic gold, galaxy blue,  jupiter orange, lift-off lime, martian green (green), mercury red (red), milky way, moon rock, moonbeam blue, pulsar pink, satellite gray, saturn's ring, solar flare (orange), space shuttle white, starlight yellow (yellow), starry night, sun glow, twinkle twinkle little star, venus violet (purple)

 

As was common with many of Crayola’s themed color names during this era, they used existing colors for these.

 

All of these crayons were put into special wrappers using a similar type-9 logo but without the oval.  Several of the colors were an interesting choice.  Sun Glow, for example, is just a slight name change on the original Sunglow color previously introduced with the fluorescent color changes.  They didn’t use it to represent this new variation of a color name and instead went with Dandelion.  They reused Aquamarine and Salmon from their core color line.  Two other colors came from the Pearl Brites specialty set:  Ocean Green Pearl and Cultured Pearl.  Some of the colors chosen to represent these new color names were also a bit unusual.  Sky Blue represented both Milky Way and Caribbean Sea.  One would have thought they’d have used Caribbean Blue instead since they’d just introduced that color this year (they did that same thing by using a newly introduced glitter as Comet Tail) but perhaps the timings were off for this one.  Another interesting observation is that they referenced some of their true colors in parenthesis but others weren’t referenced.  All of the ones that were given a reference were the basic eight standard colors.  This wasn’t consistent though because colors like Black Hole weren’t referenced even though they also were part of the basic eight colors used.  I found that Jellyfish Purple (violet) was amusing merely because the true color Violet (purple) references the purple but this color references the violet proving once again what a crazy colorful world of colors Crayola has.

 

For the color history though, we did get 44 new color names out this series. Here were the color list impacts:

 

After-burner orange was a new color name but its true color came from Atomic Tangerine

Aquamarine was neither a new color name nor true color.  It’s the same crayon as the core color one

Asteroid brown (brown) was a new color name but its true color came from Brown

Black hole was a new color name but its true color came from Black

Discover (space) crayons 1997Discover (sea) crayons 1997Blast-off was a new color name but its true color came from Razzle Dazzle Rose

Caribbean sea was a new color name but its true color came from Sky Blue

Comet tail was a new color name but its true color came from White with Confetti Glitter <Glitter specialty set>

Coral purple was a new color name but its true color came from Wisteria

Cultured pearl was neither a new color name nor true color.  It’s the same crayon as the Pearl Brites specialty version.

Deep sea (blue) was a new color name but its true color came from Blue

Dolphin fin was a new color name but its true color came from Periwinkle

Galactic gold was a new color name but its true color came from Gold

Galaxy blue was a new color name but its true color came from Blue

Jellyfish purple (violet) was a new color name but its true color came from Violet (purple)

Jupiter orange was a new color name but its true color came from Orange

Lift-off lime was a new color name but its true color came from Electric Lime

Lobster  red (red) was a new color name but its true color came from Red

Martian green (green) was a new color name but its true color came from Green

Mercury red (red) was a new color name but its true color came from Red

Milky way was a new color name but its true color came from Sky Blue

Moon rock was a new color name but its true color came from Tumbleweed

Moonbeam blue was a new color name but its true color came from Robin’s Egg Blue

Mussel shell black (black) was a new color name but its true color came from Black

Ocean floor (brown) was a new color name but its true color came from Brown

Ocean green pearl was neither a new color name nor true color.  It’s the same crayon as the Pearl Brites specialty version.

Pacific ocean was a new color name but its true color came from Pacific Blue

Pulsar pink was a new color name but its true color came from Tickle Me Pink

Salmon was neither a new color name nor true color.  It’s the same crayon as the core color one.

Sandy beach was a new color name but its true color came from Tan

Satellite gray was a new color name but its true color came from Gray

Saturn's ring was a new color name but its true color came from Lavender

Seahorse beige was a new color name but its true color came from Apricot

Sea serpent green (green) was a new color name but its true color came from Green

Shark skin gray was a new color name but its true color came from Gray

Shrimp (orange) was a new color name but its true color came from Orange

Solar flare (orange) was a new color name but its true color came from Orange

Space shuttle white was a new color name but its true color came from White

Squid tan was a new color name but its true color came from Tumbleweed

Starfish lavender was a new color name but its true color came from Lavender

Starlight yellow (yellow) was a new color name but its true color came from Yellow

Starry night was a new color name but its true color came from Black

Sun glow was technically a new color name; there is a Sunglow color without the space.  This one got its true color came from Dandelion.

Sunfish yellow (yellow) was a new color name but its true color came from Yellow

Sunken treasure was a new color name but its true color came from Gold

Tropical reef mauve was a new color name but its true color came from Mauvelous

Twinkle twinkle little star was a new color name but its true color came from Silver

Venus violet (purple) was a new color name but its true color came from Violet (purple)

 

Continue on for additional 1997 changes with a recap of the entire year’s changes to the color list at the end.

 

Next up:  Part 27 - More Specialty Changes for 1997