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crayon colors and accuracy [Incident: 031009-000023]


From: Edith Titus (erthompson_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Aug 16 2004 - 11:05:37 PDT

I realized that crayola has a crayon called yellow-green and one called angered me because im a middle school art teacher trying to teach color theory and that the primary color name always comes first then the secondary color.... it kinda makes me look like a liar. I went onto and they have a freqeently asked questions list... there is a question "what is the difference between blue green and green blue? the response made me even madder. so i wrote crayola telling them to please make a set of crayons which are correct to the color wheel including magenta and cyan. this is there response
angry too...tell others to write crayola and maybe they(crayola) will do something.

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crayon colors and accuracy

Discussion Thread
Response (CHRIS MANN) - 10/20/2003 09:16 AM
Dear Edith,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding several color names of our CRAYOLA crayons. We are pleased to learn you would like to reference Crayola crayons in your lesson plans. Your comments about an art theory box of crayons are appreciated.

Most of our color names are taken from the Universal Color Language and Dictionary of Names published by the U.S. Bureau of Standards. We use this reference guide because everyone sees and expresses color differently. Using the Universal dictionary as a base, we can refer to a standard color system and color names. Many of the crayons found in the Crayola 16 and 24 count boxes are needed for educational purposes in teaching color theory, while many artists and children prefer the assortment of colors that are found in our larger boxes.

There are many color theories and systems that exist and there are various sources that are not all uniform. One particular reference shows 2 different theories. Color theory can be introduced on an elementary level and continue to a very advanced level. It depends on the age and skill level of the individuals.

While this may differ from what you know as traditional color theory we do not name our colors based on this. As stated above, our basic colors come from the Universal Color Language and Dictionary of Names published by the U.S. Bureau of Standards.

If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to e-mail back or call (800) 272-9652 weekdays between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM Eastern Time.

We welcome and value all feedback received from our consumers and hope you will continue to explore!

Customer (Entered by CHRIS MANN) - 10/10/2003 07:05 AM
This feedback is about:

color theory states the primary color name comes first....and your not abbiding by the rules. It becomes very confusing for kids when were teaching for students when a major company is not abbiding to the rule...your color names are not accurate either. i have in front of me crayola color green -yellow based upon your statement it should be mostly green with a little yellow the actual color when using it is mostly yellow. Red - violet when using it appears more violet. and orange - yellow looks yellow with no orange at all,and violet - red looks magenta ...please stick to the color theory your making art a joke.

Auto-Response - 10/09/2003 11:30 AM
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Customer (Edith Thompson) - 10/09/2003 11:30 AM
I am an art teacher and I just opened a new box of crayons and found violet-red and green-yellow ... Art color theory states that the primary color name must always come first... plus the colors are very off. The yellow-green is accurate however,the green-yellow implies that it would be more green than yellow and it is not accurate. The red violet is more like regular violet and the violet-red is more like pink or magenta. Please correct the crayons... it is very difficult to teach art when a major company produces incorrectly named colors. It should be magenta, cyan, yellow as the primary colors (red and blue should be there too). Green, orange, and violet are known as the secondary colors. The intermediate/tertiary colors (with the primary name first) are red-violet, blue-green, red -orange, blue-violet, yellow-green, and yellow-orange. There are additionally 3 properties of color HUE, VALUE AND INTENSITY. Which means that there would be lights and darks of each color I.e. light magenta, dark magenta, light blue -green and dark blue-green. Additionally, neutral colors; black, gray, white, brown, tan , kaki. Please correct the crayons and maybe produce a "correctly labeled colors for the use in art theory in a box of 50 crayons".... Art teachers around the world will buy this over the others.

Thank you.

Edith Thompson

Additionally color wheels should be made using the 3 color mixing primary colors magenta,cyan, and yellow. Thanks again=)

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Question Reference #031009-000023
           Category: Product Questions
       Sub-Category: General Questions
Contact Information:
       Date Created: 10/09/2003 11:30 AM
       Last Updated: 10/20/2003 09:16 AM
             Status: Solved
   Product_Category: Crayons

Colorfully yours,


Christine Mann
Consumer Affairs Representative