EASTON, Pa. — Crayola’s new crayon colour will be based on a blue pigment discovered in 2009.
Scientists at Oregon State University accidentally discovered the brilliant blue hue when they were experimenting with materials that could be used in electronics.
Crayola said Friday that it’s partnering on the new crayon with Oregon State and The Shepherd Color Company, which licenses the pigment known as blue.
“With the discovery of YInMn brand new pigment, who other than Crayola would be best to bring it to life?” said Leena Vadaketh, Crayola’s VP of Research & Development, North America.
The crayon maker recently retired the colour dandelion. Crayola is leaving it to fans to come up with a name for the replacement crayon, which will make its debut this year.
Mas Subramanian, an Oregon State University (OSU) chemist, discovered the color with his then-grad student. He said that chemists in many ways have a lot in common with the children who will soon use the “YInMn” blue-inspired crayon.
“Curiosity starts at a young age, as chemists we are curious just like kids,” he said. “I can understand the excitement of adding a new crayon color to the box, like adding a new element to the periodic table,” Subramanian said.
The new color’s name will be revealed in early September, and the crayons will roll out in late 2017.
“We are a company all about kids, creativity and color, so we strive to keep our color palette innovative and on-trend, which is why we’re excited to introduce a new blue crayon color inspired by the YInMn pigment,” said Smith Holland, CEO and President of Crayola.
Crayola is based in Easton, Pennsylvania, and is a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards Inc., based in Kansas City, Missouri.