Whenever I teach color workshops I find that most people don’t know that Red is not a primary mixing color in paint, polymer, dyes and inks. They struggle to think of Red as a secondary color that comes from a mixture of Magenta and Yellow. When I start explaining the CMY color system most of them can visualize Magenta but many don’t have a clue what Cyan looks like.
I have books from the early 1900’s that call the primaries Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. That’s over a century ago. I’m not sure why most people still think that Red, Yellow and Blue are the primaries but I think it would help tremendously if Crayola came out with a new package of eight crayons that included the cyan, magenta, and yellow of the CMY system, and the red, green and blue of the RGB system. CMYRGB. Smirgby?
Children learn color names from their crayons. Crayola knows this. I found out yesterday that the printed names on Crayola crayons are purposely not capitalized because lower case text is easier for children to read.
There’s already a red, green and blue in the traditional box of eight crayons. We grew up with these colors and it would be hard to change our memories of what these colors look like. That’s why new names are needed. Whether Crayola makes new colors, reformulates old colors, or renames old colors, I’d love to see a modern box of eight on the shelves with these eight crayons:
magenta (their violet-red is better than their current magenta but neither is quite right)
I’ve thought about visiting Crayola for a long time. Since I am staying with my sister in eastern Pennsylvania this week, I figured it was now or never. The package I prepared was passed on to Cheri Sterman, Director of Child Development. In my cover letter I said, “This small box of crayons could open huge doors. Little by little the world would shift from ROYGBIV to CMYRGB and Crayola could say they helped make it happen.” I’m not sure what the next step will be but I’ll keep you posted on the journey.