Crayola recently announced that it is putting a new color in its box of 24 crayons. (That’s the standard box that smelled great when you opened it as a kid, not the overpowering big box of 64 crayons that used to have a crayon sharpener hole on the back side that never really worked right.)
The new color is a shade that Crayola has decided to call “bluetiful.” The new color is based on a hue, called YinMn, that scientists accidentally discovered while experimenting with electronics materials. And because a 24-crayon box can only have 24 crayons by definition, the decision to add a new color means that an old color is hitting the cutting room floor. In this instance, the replaced color is dandelion — presumably, a shade of yellow — that joins mulberry, teal blue, magic mint and other “retired colors” in the “Crayola Hall of Fame.”
I groaned when I read this news. Don’t scientists have enough to do without discovering new colors? Don’t scientists know that there are people out there, like me, who think we have too many colors already? We not only can’t remember where certain colors fall on the color spectrum, which means we never fully grok deep conversations about the outfits people are wearing — hey, is “citron” a kind of yellow, or a green, or something else? — we can’t even distinguish the fine gradations in hues that are presented to us when it comes time to decide on paint colors. We are shown tiny squares of colors like “coastal gray” and “cloud” as potential “accent colors” and they already look pretty much the same. God help us if scientists discover even more tints of light gray in between. And now there’s bluetiful, elbowing its way onto the blue color palette that is already crowded with colors like sky blue, royal blue, ocean blue, and azure blue.
So I guess I’ve got chromophobia, and the fact that I’m somewhat colorblind doesn’t help, either. I look at “bluetiful,” and it’s all blues to me.