Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Change is not always good...Crayola...are you listening?

I love Crayola markers, but I have a complaint.  I may have to write an email complaining about this, which I usually don't complain about a product...I usually just find a replacement.  I may eventually have to do that, but I am going to let them know before I do. So, if you are not aware of this change, Crayola apparently is going green with their Crayola markers.  I read about this in another art teacher blog, which I did not know, until I realized that I had already received some of these 'green' markers.  (See the pictures and explanation below.)

Two Classpacks of Crayola Markers
put together to hold all of the colors.
Some of the colors are displayed on the lids.
I have used Crayola marker classpacks for many years in my high school art class and I love the box that they come in. It allows for me to organize the markers that come in the box, plus add more colors that come in other packages, like the Tropical and Bold colors.  Recently I have added the Multicultural classpacks to my collection of colors for my students to chose from.  The Tropical package has the sky blue marker that is always the first color that runs out.  So, if I could talk to the makers of Crayola markers, I would ask them to add Sky Blue to the Classpack, or start selling them individually. (If they do, I'm not aware of it.)

Crayola Blue Lagoon
Always run out of these!
When using the markers for a current class project, I put two boxes together on top of the cabinet beside my desk, where I can keep an eye on them throughout class time. Students can easily get the colors that they need at the beginning of class and easily put the markers back in the correct place in the box when they are finished or at the end of class. Most of my students are very good about putting them back in the correct spot and aiming in the correct direction, but I straighten them up a little at the end of each class.  It sounds obsessive, but they can get unorganized very quickly if I don't keep an eye on it.  Finding the correct color quickly is important.  Class is only 45 minutes long, so we have to have a routine to get supplies out and cleaned up and still have time to get to the fun stuff!
The 'Green' markers stayed in a box this year.
When I read about Crayola changing their markers to go green, I thought it had to do with the box being a little smaller.  But, unfortunately, I found out that they have changed the actual markers to a black color for all of the colors in the classpack.  I bought an extra classpack of markers last year, so I had a package with the regular markers.  But then I realized that I also had a package with the new markers.  At the beginning of the year, when I opened the box with the black markers, I put the black markers in a box to use later, because I still had lots of good markers from last year, thank goodness.  Then I started wondering how this will affect my marker organization method.  And realized that it will not work at all.   So I took some pictures of the new black markers to compare what they look like and how easy or difficult it will be to match the correct lid to the correct marker color.  It is not easy to do with some of the darker colors.  Knowing my students, there will be mismatched markers, which will be a headache, not just for me, but for the student who picks up a blue marker, expecting to blue color to go on their paper and will be disappointed and mad when that student realizes that it is actually a black or brown marker!  The only two markers that are obvious are the orange (that actually looks red) and the yellow.  Yes, there is a name of the color on the side of the marker, but it is the same color as the rest of the marker. No identification of color on the marker itself.    I hope that Crayola will listen to the people who purchase these supplies.  I understand that many teachers will be switching to another brand.   I don't understand how a black marker is going green.  If that is 'greener', then they need to put the matching color on the marker.  If not, then they may be losing a lot of business.
The darker colors do not look like the color they should be.
Without the caps on them, they are difficult to identify.

They all look black to me. 

This summer, as I make out my supply list and order for next school year, I need to decide if I want to switch brands or try to work out a new system with these black markers. If any art teachers have any suggestions, I would love to hear from you.

Mrs. Macre♥Art   

1 comment:

  1. When this happened last year, a k-2 teacher group contacted Crayola in mass-as I am sure many others did. We offered many suggestions and heard back quickly from Crayola. I suggested they add a colored label.

    For my kindergarten kids, we helped the kids color a label with the appropriate marker and add it to the barrel. This was very time consuming. For us, most of them cannot read color words at the beginning of the year, and the print was so small and blurred. I found your blog posts when I was looking for info from Crayola after happily finding white barrels in the WalMart back to school supplies. It is nice to know that they listened to the people that are probably most responsible for a big part of their sales. Between teacher purchases and teacher suggestions, Crayola could probably not afford to lose teacher endorsement. Today, I had actually already added Roseart markers to my cart but gave the Crayola a look. Glad I did. :)


DIY Painted Pumpkin on Canvas

How to Paint a Pumpkin For Art Teachers and Personal Use I decided I needed a few more Fall decorations but I didn't want to spend too...