From Snail Snot to Color of The Year

April 10, 2018 | by Melissa Muñoz

1993 was a very important year. It was the year of Got Milk?, President Bill Clinton, Jurassic Park and the dawn of Mary-Kate & Ashley’s wholesome media empire. But more important than all of that, 1993 was the year I got my first Crayola Big Box, featuring a whopping 96 crayons. These waxy pillars of chromatic possibility (plus built-in pencil sharpener) ignited a thirst for color—more color!—at my house and in households around the world.

Kids everywhere went from an era of basic primaries to a paradise of Cerulean, Razzmatazz, Purple Mountain’s Majesty, Tickle Me Pink, Macaroni and Cheese and Jungle Green. Times were good.



(Poor Kirsten Dunst only had the 24 count.)



But things weren’t always so bright and colorful. Before the Industrial Revolution, colors like Electric Lime and Cadet Blue weren’t so easy to come by. In the time before pigments, dyes and paints were manufactured in factories, we had to make them ourselves using things like semi-precious stones, flowers, minerals and mucus from the glands of putrefied crushed sea snails.


Express Yo’ Self

We’ve made a lot of color breakthroughs since our days of snail harvesting. Crayola keeps adding crayons to their collection and our desire for self-expression through color grows on. A mere five years after the Big Box hit the shelves of Walmarts nationwide, Apple wanted to taste the rainbow as well. In 1998, they expanded their line of iMacs to include these bright little jellybeans—and everyone wanted one. Gone were the days of boring gray hardware. Now we had color options to express our individuality.



Another early capitalizer of color, KitchenAid makes preparing food a delight for all of the senses with their line of colorful mixers. You can de-lump mashed potatoes in an appliance that shines in Aqua Sky, Majestic Yellow, Empire Red and many more. Better yet, you can now indulge your culinary creative side with KitchenAid’s color of the year! Yes, that’s right—they’ve caught the Pantone bug and announced that 2018 will be the year of Bird of Paradise.




Says Whirlpool of this breakthrough in appliance trends:

KitchenAid tapped into the year’s hottest design trends and paired that with the spirit of the passionate maker—those who find escape in their kitchen on the quest for culinary adventure, whether a sensory tour of the past or new tastes and textures of tomorrow. Bird of Paradise embodies the lush, tropical paradise, an escape from the everyday, and boasts a spirit of exploration inviting the passionate maker to take on any culinary adventure.

Wow. This orangey-pink mixer will take you on a sensory quest to explore the textures of tomorrow? I’m all in.



From the Big Box to the Color of the Year, this visual rainbow taps into our emotions, our perception of value, our mood and our unique tastes. Whether you’re a tiny tyrannical six year old crayon hoarder, a consumer or a brand, having access to a color palette that can make you stand out in the classroom or on the shelves can mean all the difference.

Do you have any memories of when color made a breakthrough in your life? Would you ever extract mucus from a snail to achieve color nirvana? Do you fill your home, office or brand with the Color of the Year? Let us know in the comments below!


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