What’s that colour called?

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Hope you all had a restful bank holiday weekend.
Today is all about colour, and what you call it?

I have been working on some new enamel pieces and as always am thinking about how best to describe the colour. I have chosen to name some of the colours Putty Grey and Heliotrope, Old White and Indigo blue. I always think the description of colours help to evoke a feeling or memory. Some colours are obvious as to how they got their name, Duck egg blue, Pillar box red, daffodil yellow …. Do you have any particular colours that bring up happy or otherwise memories, school grey, mauve, violet?

Recently I bought my son the book by Oliver Jeffers called ” The Day The Crayons Quit” This is a brilliant book about how all the colours in a pencil case feel about and relate to each other. imgres

For a bit of fun I looked up some of the names of other crayons colours and how they had changed over the years. Amazing and great Fun. According to factmonster.com

Crayola Crayon Colors

A Timeline


Binney & Smith Co. introduces the first Crayola Crayons. There are 8 colors in a box:

black blue brown
green orange red
violet yellow


There are 40 colors added:

apricot bittersweet blue green
blue violet brick red burnt sienna
carnation pink cornflower flesh1
gold gray green blue
green yellow lemon yellow magenta
mahogany maize maroon
melon olive green orange red
orange yellow orchid periwinkle
pine green Prussian blue2 red orange
red violet salmon sea green
silver spring green tan
thistle turquoise blue violet blue
violet red white yellow green
yellow orange
1. Name changed to “peach” in 1962.
2. Name changed to “midnight blue” in 1958.

There are now 48 colors in the biggest box of Crayola Crayons.


There are 16 colors added:

aquamarine blue gray burnt orange
cadet blue copper forest green
goldenrod Indian red1 lavender
mulberry navy blue plum
raw sienna raw umber sepia
sky blue
1. Name changed to “chestnut” in 1999.

There are now 64 colors in the biggest box of Crayola Crayons. For the first time, the big box comes with a built-in sharpener.

In response to educators’ requests, “Prussian blue” is renamed “midnight blue.” Teachers felt that children were no longer familiar enough with Prussian history to recognize that this crayon color referred to the famous deep-blue uniforms of Prussian soldiers.


Partly in response to the civil rights movement, Crayola decides to change the name of the “flesh” crayon to “peach.” Renaming this crayon was a way of recognizing that skin comes in a variety of shades.


There are 8 fluorescent colors added:

chartreuse hot magenta ultra blue
ultra green ultra orange ultra pink
ultra red ultra yellow
In 1990 these were renamed:
atomic tangerine blizzard blue hot magenta
laser lemon outrageous orange screamin’ green
shocking pink wild watermelon

There are now 72 colors in the biggest box of Crayola Crayons.


There are 16 colors added:

cerulean dandelion electric lime
fuchsia jungle green magic mint
neon carrot purple pizzazz radical red
razzle dazzle rose royal purple sunglow
teal blue unmellow yellow wild strawberry
vivid tangerine

There are 8 colors retired:

blue gray green blue lemon yellow
maize orange red orange yellow
raw umber violet blue

There are now 80 colors in the biggest box of Crayola Crayons.

Crayola felt that the retired colors (and their names) were too dull to appeal to children today.


There are 16 colors added:

asparagus cerise denim
granny smith apple macaroni and cheese mauvelous
pacific blue purple mountain’s majesty razzmatazz
robin’s egg blue shamrock tickle me pink
timber wolf tropical rain forest tumbleweed

There are now 96 colors in the biggest box of Crayola Crayons.

Crayon lovers chose the 16 newest color names through Crayola’s “Name the New Color Contest,” part of the company’s 90th anniversary celebration.


There are 24 colors added:

almond antique brass banana mania
beaver blue bell brink pink
canary Caribbean green cotton candy
cranberry desert sand eggplant
fern fuzzy wuzzy brown manatee
mountain meadow outer space pig pink
pink flamingo purple heart shadow
sunset orange torch red vivid violet

There are now 120 colors in the biggest box of Crayola Crayons.


In response to educators’ requests, “Indian red” is renamed “chestnut.” Contrary to popular belief, the original name of this color was not meant to represent the skin color of Native Americans. Instead, the name referred to a reddish pigment from India that was often used in oil paints.

The new name was the winner of a contest that attracted more than 250,000 entries. Other ideas for renaming the color included “crab claw red,” “mars red,” “baseball mitt,” “red clay,” and “old penny.”


Thistle was removed and replaced by indigo; torch red was given a new name, scarlet.

A number of small “specialty sets” of Crayola Crayons are available. These include glitter crayons, pearl brite crayons, and techno-brite crayons.


There are 4 colors added:

inch worm jazzberry jam mango tango
wild blue yonder

And 4 colors are retired:

blizzard blue magic mint mulberry
teal blue

To mark Crayola’s 100th anniversary, crayon users named four new colors and voted out four other shades.


In 1993 they even added a colour called ‘macaroni and cheese’!!

I like working with crayons in some of my artwork, they are great for creating a resist, melting, scratching through with other mixed media materials. I think the grown up term is ‘Encaustic Art’ but it is the same principle.

Here is another great craft idea of using crayons in a hot glue gun to create wax seals for envelopes and boxes.

Have Fun Always

Gail x