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The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola

Part 27 – Smells like a Second Try

 

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, Part 26 - The Discovery Series

 

Crayola Color 'n Smell - 16 colors.jpgCrayola Color 'n Smell - 8 colors.jpg1997 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 fourth part of 1997’s history.

 

Another Round of Scented Crayons

 

With all the troubles from the Magic Scent specialty set back in 1994 and 1995, it was surprising that Crayola put out another scented crayon product.  But sure enough, in 1997 they introduced Color ‘n Smell.  This time around they kept to their more straight-forward formula of introducing 8-color and 16-color assortments in the standard crayon size.

 

Gone were the confusing larger sizes and different box designs.  Crayola used a new name for the specialty set, a newly designed box and new wrappers on the crayons.  As for the colors, the assortments contained:

 

8-color:  baby's powder, baseball mitt, grandma's perfume, koala tree, flower shop, new sneakers, smell the roses, sunny day. 

 

16-color:  baby's powder, baseball mitt, bubble bath, earthworm, grandma's perfume, fresh air, koala tree, flower shop, new sneakers, pet shop, pine tree, saw dust, sharpening pencils, smell the roses, sunny day, wash the dog

Color n Smell crayons 1997.jpg

All of the new colors were unique color names with the exception of Fresh Air.  That was originally used with the Magic Scent colors.   Pine Tree was merely a new name variation for Pine; also used in the original Magic Scent set. As for the true colors; these were merely reused colors.  They also avoided any food names that might tempt a child to ingest them.

 

The mapping of the true colors was:

 

baby's powder - White

baseball mitt – Burnt Sienna

bubble bath - Tickle Me Pink

earthworm – Brick Red

grandma's perfume - Orange

fresh air – Sky Blue

koala tree – Jungle Green

flower shop – Wisteria

new sneakers - Black

pet shop - Brown

pine tree – Pine Green

saw dust - Peach

sharpening pencils - Goldenrod

smell the roses - Red

sunny day - Yellow

wash the dog - Dandelion

 

 

Star and Techno

 

Late in the year Crayola put out a couple other “Brite” specialty sets.  Their Star Brite set didn’t contain color names on the wrappers although they did have their own special wrapper designs.  But the Techno Brite set did have unique color names specifically associated with technology.  Once again though, the true colors were simply existing colors.  Originally, they came in an 8-color and 16-color assortment.  They used a fancy embossed design for the original run and upon reprint they changed that to a normal four-color print using the same design for the box.  A couple of years later (in 1999) there was a 6-color Smucker’s Jam promo box that had Techno Brites but they weren’t anything different.

 

Crayola Techno Brite (crayons below) - 16 colors.jpgCrayola Techno Brite - 16 colors.jpgCrayola Techno Brite (crayons above) - 8 colors.jpgCrayola Star Brite - 8 colors.jpgCrayola Star Brite - 16 colors.jpg8-color:  green.com, infra red, megahertz maroon, on-line orange, ultra violet, web surfin' blue, world wide web yellow, www.purple

 

16-color:  circuit board green, cyber space orange, floppy yellow, graphic green, green.com, infra red, megabyte blue, megahertz maroon, on-line orange, plug & play pink, point & click green, transistor yellow, ultra violet, web surfin' blue, world wide web yellow, www.purple

 

 

 

Techno-Brite crayons.jpgThe mapping of the true colors was:

 

circuit board green – Shamrock

cyber space orange – Orange

floppy yellow – Dandelion

graphic green – Green

green.com – Screamin’ Green

infra red – Wild Watermelon

megabyte blue – Pacific Blue

megahertz maroon - Maroon

on-line orange – Neon Carrot

plug & play pink – Shocking Pink

point & click green – Electric Lime

transistor yellow – Atomic Tangerine

ultra violet – Red Violet

web surfin' blue – Blizzard Blue

world wide web yellow - Yellow

www.purple – Violet (purple)

 

Many of the true colors were from the Neon (formerly Fluorescent) set of colors.  Traditionally, these have been the brightest looking colors offered.  It was interesting to see a collection of fluorescent colors with regular colors in the same box.  Clearly the fluorescent ones don’t color in the same way that non-fluorescent colors do.  In fact, on regular paper, fluorescents are not rich in color at all.  I would have thought that added confusion on the part of the consumer; wondering why some of the colors didn’t color well.  Apparently that wasn’t the case since they sold long enough to change the box design slightly.

 

Pooh

 

Pooh - 8 colors.jpgAnother themed set of crayons came out of Crayola in 1997 but one might debate whether these were truly Crayola colors since they didn’t say “Crayola” on the actual crayon wrappers.  The Crayola logo was on the box though and so I’m going to go ahead and include them.  There have been many other crayon brands made by Binney and Smith (now Crayola LLC) that had unique color names never used in the Crayola crayon line but none of these brands carried the Crayola name either.

 

One of the things that sets Crayola apart from other crayon manufacturers over time was that they weren’t dependent on licensed characters to sell their products.  In fact, Crayola has utilized only a handful of familiar characters on their crayon products.  The earliest goes back to a Baby Snookums Color set in the 1920s.  Baby Snookums was an early film phenomenon and many companies used his likeness on their products.  Crayola has also used Uncle Wiggily, 101 Dalmations, Star Wars, Batman, Spiderman and the Disney as licensed characters on their crayon boxes.  Some of these have been unique wrappers but none with unique names other than the Pooh.  Even in naming colors for the Pooh set, they only did so for the large sized 8-color assortment.  They also did a standard size 16-color assortment but chose not to name the colors.

 

Again, as with all the other theme sets of colors, Crayola used existing true colors for the set.

Pooh crayons 1997.jpg

The mapping of true colors was:

 

Blustery Blue - Blue

Huggable Bear Orange - Orange

Pouncy Purple – Violet (purple)

Red Balloon - Red

Springtime Meadow Green - Green

Storm Cloud Black - Black

Sunshiny Yellow - Yellow

Whoo Brown – Brown

 

As a side note:  These were exactly the colors one would find in a No. 8 Crayola box from this time.

 

So, after all of these new sets, for the color history, we did add 38 new color names. Here were the color list impacts:

 

baby's powder was a new color name but its true color came from White

baseball mitt was a new color name but its true color came from Burnt Sienna

Blustery Blue was a new color name but its true color came from Blue

bubble bath was a new color name but its true color came from Tickle Me Pink

circuit board green was a new color name but its true color came from Shamrock

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

earthworm was a new color name but its true color came from Brick Red

floppy yellow was a new color name but its true color came from Dandelion

flower shop was a new color name but its true color came from Wisteria

fresh air was a previously used color name and its true color came from Sky Blue so it didn’t add to the overall color list; just the active color name list.

grandma's perfume was a new color name but its true color came from Orange

graphic green was a new color name but its true color came from Green

green.com was a new color name but its true color came from Screamin’ Green

Huggable Bear Orange was a new color name but its true color came from Orange

infra red was a new color name but its true color came from Wild Watermelon

koala tree was a new color name but its true color came from Jungle Green

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

megahertz maroon was a new color name but its true color came from Maroon

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

on-line orange was a new color name but its true color came from Neon Carrot

pet shop was a new color name but its true color came from Brown

pine tree was a new color name but its true color came from Pine Green

plug & play pink was a new color name but its true color came from Shocking Pink

point & click green was a new color name but its true color came from Electric Lime

Pouncy Purple was a new color name but its true color came from Violet (purple)

Red Balloon was a new color name but its true color came from Red

saw dust was a new color name but its true color came from Peach

sharpening pencils was a new color name but its true color came from Goldenrod

smell the roses was a new color name but its true color came from Red

Storm Cloud Black was a new color name but its true color came from Black

Sunshiny Yellow was a new color name but its true color came from Yellow

sunny day was a new color name but its true color came from Yellow

transistor yellow was a new color name but its true color came from Atomic Tangerine

ultra violet was a new color name but its true color came from Red Violet

wash the dog was a new color name but its true color came from Dandelion

web surfin' blue was a new color name but its true color came from Blizzard Blue

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

world wide web yellow was a new color name but its true color came from Yellow

www.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 28 - More Specialty Changes for 1997