New Shade of Blue to Join Crayon Boxes; Naming Contest Next

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May 7, 2017

It's out with the old and bright yellow and in with the newly discovered blue, as Crayola has announced its inspiration for a new crayon color.

The crayon manufacturing company recently announced that it would remove dandelion from its color palette. In response for sudden demand for the color to be retired, the company began selling 64-crayon packs containing only dandelion-colored crayons.

Crayola also announced that the new color would be a shade of blue, but the specific shade had not been announced. The official name of the pigment is YlnMn, an acronym made up of the chemical symbols of three of the four elements used to create it: 

  • Yttrium has the atomic number 39 and the chemical symbol Y.
  • Indium has the atomic number 49 and the chemical In
  • Manganese has the atomic number 25 and the chemical symbol Mn.

The new shade of blue was discovered by scientists at Oregon State University in 2009. Another name for the new shade is MasBlue, after Mas Subramanian, the lead researcher at OSU. Subramanian and the team were granted a patent for the shade in 2012.

The company has announced a Web-based name-selection contest, which will run from May 5 to June 2; the company will announce the five top vote-getters on July 1 and allow voting on those five names until 1 September. Crayons bearing the newly selected color will appear boxes soon after that.

Crayons first appeared in 1903; no firm number of original colors exists. Boxes of crayons number from 24 to 120.

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