Friday, December 16, 2011

Ode to the Crayon

Inspired by our Project Manager Naomi and her "Color Outside the Lines" notebook we thought we could regress a bit this week and take a little trip down color memory lane. Many of us had our first introduction to color with crayons. 

We all loved to draw as kids, with a lack of talent but lots of enthusiasm. Crayons were one of the first introductions to pure color for many people. Before we had Photoshop to deliver almost any color with the click of the mouse, those little wax treasures brought the blue of the sky or the green of an tree down to kid size, literally made color tangible, usable and understandable. They even had that distinct caryon-y smell, ah the sense memories. 

So this week we are looking at coloring and crayons with grown up eyes. But we weren't the only ones to mature over the years, crayons have grown up too.

In 2010 Diem Chau, of The Pleasure of Tiny Things blog, was commissioned to carve 66 of these beautiful crayon soccer players for Nike in honor of the World Cup. They were put in eleven special VIP boxes designed by Wieden and Kennedy

Sculptor Peter Goldlust has also been taking a new look at the crayon with these beautifully carved geometric crayon pieces.  

Artist Christian Faur uses thousands of crayons to create an "pixalized" images, one point of color at a time. This work brings the crayon to digital image manipulation transition that comes with age in to sharp relief. 

But what rediscovery of crayons would be complete without a look at our long lost favorite colors of childhood. And what do you know, the folks over at wikipedia were helpful enough to provide hex numbers for all the Crayola crayons of our youth. Their list is wonderful, we never realized how many specialty crayons were out there. Along with the standard colors we can also choose from the silver swirls, gem tones, pearl brights, or metallic FX collections. Adult eyes also reveal details children rarely notice. For example one color name carries with it the history of racism and political correctness in America; "Chestnut" was originally called "Indian Red" until 1999. 

So now that we have scoured though all those crayon colors we threw together a few palettes. If you need a bit of whimsy and wax smell for your next project consider some crayon inspiration. There are some great projects out there if you need help getting started recycled crayons, window decorations, or wreathes and frames.

- Emily Eifler, Associate Designer, Colour Studio


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