Color Me Sad: Crayola Retires 'Dandelion' Crayon

Bye-bye, dandelion: Crayola gives one of its crayon colors the boot. (Image credit: botulinum21/Shutterstock)

Fans of the cheerful yellow Crayola color "dandelion" might be feeling a little blue right now.

Crayola announced today (March 31) — National Crayon Day — that it will be bidding farewell to dandelion, one of the mainstay colors in the company's 24-count crayon box. Crayola made the announcement in New York City's Times Square in a news conference that was streamed live on Facebook.

A bit of the announcement's thunder was stolen yesterday by a short video Crayola shared on Facebook, in which an animated "dandelion" crayon announced, "I think retirement's going to be my wildest adventure yet!" [How 8 Colors Got Their Symbolic Meanings]

Crayola plans to introduce a new color to take dandelion's place, Melanie Boulden, a senior vice president of U.S. and global marketing at Crayola, said at the news conference. Details will be formally released to the public in May; however, the new color "will be part of the blue family," and Crayola will invite fans to help find a name for the new shade, Boulden said.

In the days leading up to the announcement, Crayola urged its social media followers to name the color they "can't live without," under the #ShareYourFave hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.

About 4,000 people followed the Facebook stream, and the announcement of dandelion's retirement had many seeing red. The post quickly gathered nearly 1,000 comments, many expressing dismay about the decision. Comments included: "Why not a different color!?!?;" "Not Dandelion yellow!!! It color is so bright and vivid!!;" and "I'll tell you where I want Dandelion to go... Right back in the dang box where it belongs!!"

Responses showed that many people have distinct opinions about colors. And no wonder — historically, certain colors have been infused with cultural meaning or linked to superstitions, and many of these associations persist today.

For example, the color red signifies passion and power, and recent studies have shown that both men and women who wear red are often perceived to be sexier and more desirable.

But the color red has negative connotations, too — ask anyone who ever received a big, red "F" grade on a test. In another study, researchers found that exposing study participants to the color red before a test undermined their performance, as they associated the color red with failure, according to the study, published in October 2007 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Another study, published in February 2010 in the journal BMC Medical Research Methodology, proposed using a color wheel to investigate the relationship between certain colors and moods. Researchers discovered that people were most drawn to colors in shades of blue and yellow, and that more saturated colors were associated with darker moods. The findings suggest that the shade of the color was as significant, if not more so, than the color itself, the study authors said. 

If you need a new favorite color to grab from the 24-count box, here's how things are looking: It still contains rainbow hues: red, orange, yellow, blue, green, indigo and violet, as well as subtle variations on those shades: cerulean, apricot and scarlet. Other tints — such as carnation pink, yellow orange, yellow green, green yellow, blue green, blue violet, red violet, red orange, and violet red — round out the palette. Essential colors for outlining, shading and highlighting — black, brown, white and gray — are thrown in as well.

Original article on Live Science.

Mindy Weisberger is a Live Science editor for the channels Animals and Planet Earth. She also reports on general science, covering climate change, paleontology, biology, and space. Mindy studied film at Columbia University; prior to Live Science she produced, wrote and directed media for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Her videos about dinosaurs, astrophysics, biodiversity and evolution appear in museums and science centers worldwide, earning awards such as the CINE Golden Eagle and the Communicator Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in Scientific American, The Washington Post and How It Works Magazine.