As a lover of data visualization, I couldn’t resist sharing this one from Stephen Von Worley depicting the evolution of beloved Crayola crayons from their humble roots as an eight-pack of fun in 1903 to today’s 120-pack.
I’m a total data geek, which is why I love data visualizations. I couldn’t help looking for patterns and analyzing the official chronology of what has been added, retired, renamed, etc. in each iteration.
Some noteworthy nuggets I found:
- The original eight are all still in the box, and they were good enough for 32 years.
- I wonder why, during the Great Depression, Crayola decided to double the number of colors. Seems like an odd time to innovate, due to higher costs, but definitely a morale booster during economic times, at least for those who could afford crayons. I wonder if the box of 16 became a status symbol.
- There’s a good correlation with macroeconomic cycles, i.e. the 90s spurred lots of color innovation, raising the box to its current population of 120. Likewise, after the Bubble burst in 2000, the colors have remained more stable, and the box has stayed at 120.
- I immediately wondered where the retired colors went; turns out they were enshrined in the Crayola Hall of Fame.
- The color name changes mirror the political climates of the time.
Enjoy, and share any patterns or anomalies you see in these data. I love this stuff.