(ABC News) – Thanks to Crayola, children of many different backgrounds can have access to crayons that are reflective of their own skin tone.
The handicraft company announced its “Colors of the World” line featuring 24 new crayon colors representing 40 global skin tones.
In partnership with CEO of MOB Beauty Victor Casale, the shades were carefully crafted to go from extra light to deepest while incorporating rose, almond and golden undertones.
Casale has over 30 years of experience in creating foundation colors for global skin tones and was formerly chief chemist and managing director R&D of MAC cosmetics as well as co-founder and chief innovation officer of Cover FX.
“Inclusivity should be accessible for all ages and a discussion about diversity should be encouraged in order to foster a sense of belonging,” Casale told “GMA.” “Whether at home or in a classroom this collection gives children a greater opportunity to accurately represent themselves through creativity and self-expression.”
Working closely with Crayola’s research and development team, it took about three months to get the transfer from realistic complexions to crayon shade conversion.
To successfully create an accurate and inclusive skin-tone palette, Crayola not only conducted rigorous consumer testing on real people and worked with Casale to bring everything together starting with the highest and darkest hues first.
“Throughout my career, I have systematically created shades that step down from light to deep by 4% to create a shade palette that captures all shades,” explained Casale. “I also have stepped the shades to have a pink, neutral and golden undertone to take into account the many varying ethnic skin tones. The shades are very precise, and differences can only be seen when applied to the face and compared to your own skin and not easily noticed on white paper when compared to each other.”
Each crayon is wrapped in a gradient skin-tone label with the color name in English, Spanish and French, with names such as light golden, deep almond and medium deep rose to help kids identify which feels closest to their skin tone.
Just in time for the United Nations’ World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, consumers will have the option to submit their email address on Crayola’s website to be alerted when the new line will be available for purchase.
There are also plans for a presale on Walmart’s website, featuring all 24 new colors in addition to four hair- and four eye-color crayons.
This launch feels near and dear to Casale as he relates to it from two specific past experiences: “As a kid, I had to use pink and brown crayons to try to get my color; it was almost impossible to do.”
He continued, “Also, as a product formulator for complexion products, I have witnessed the feeling people show when they find their skin shade. It gives them a sense of being acknowledged and represented.”
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