Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture

Getting geeky with Crayola

From Geekdad:

image from

Crayons had been around a while, but did you know they were over a hundred years old?

And during that time, Crayola’s non-specialty colors have gone from 8 to 133 with a few retired colors along the way. The folks over at gathered the color information and dates from wikipedia to create this nifty visualization of the Crayola color spectrum of the past 100 years. They also made a surprising discovery from the data: the number of standard crayon colors double every 28 years.

But is there an upper limit to the number of colors Crayola can simultaneously have on the market? Looking at the chart, there are quite enough shades and hues to cover most drawings an 8-year-old would want to make. And unlike Moore’s law whereby the number of transistors in a chip double roughly every two years leading to increased performance and computing power, it’s unclear how Crayola’s color trajectory will similarly improve artistic talent, not to mention the elegant simplicity and functionality of the ubiquitous 64-color box.

However, the interior paint industry has certainly taught us that should Crayola determine that new shades of brown between Fuzzy Wuzzy (#CC6666) and Chestnut (#BC5D58) are needed, they will never run out of names for all the possible crayons in the 240-color box debuting in 2028.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.