The latest color to replace the newly retired "dandelion yellow" Crayola crayon in the company's boxes is a shade of blue that was discovered in 2009 by Oregon State University chemist Mas Subramanian, according to a Friday press release. The blue pigment, known as YInMN, isn't exactly the greatest name for a crayon, so Crayola is holding a naming competition.
WATCH | Crayola welcomes a new crayon to the family.
In a press release, Smith Holland, CEO of Crayola, said, "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. "The new blue crayon color will help Crayola to continue to inspire kids and kids at heart, to create everything imaginable."
The blue pigment, like many scientific discoveries before it, surfaced by accident.
A student in Subramanian's lab mixed yttrium, indium and manganese oxides in a furnace. The result was an electrifying blue color--the first blue to be discovered since cobalt in 1802.
"It was serendipity, or a happy accident because we weren't looking for it," Subramanian said to Fast Company. "Most of the science discoveries come from an unexpected place."
Thanks to a partnership between Crayola, Oregon State University, and Shepherd Color Company, North Americans will have a say in the newest color.
"Fans in North America have told us through previous polls and surveys that blue is their favorite color. Now, not only will they have a new blue color to fall in love with, but also the opportunity to be a part of Crayola history by naming it," said Melanie Boulden, Senior Vice President, U.S. and Global Marketing at Crayola. "Starting today we invite fans to unleash the power of their creativity and submit name ideas for the new Crayola blue crayon."
On July 1, 2017, Crayola will release the top five blue crayon color names at Crayola.com/NewColor. The winner will be announced in September 2017 and will begin appearing in Crayola products in late 2017 through early 2018.