The Ratings: Crayola Colors

This was always kind of an eerie color for me. Maybe I haven't spent enough time around corn, but this crayon just seems wrong. It's blue. It's kind of this dusky blue with no corn-like qualities whatsoever. It's also one of those superfluous colors. There's really nothing you're going to be coloring to make you say "I need cornflower!" It's just this sad isolated hue. C-

Essentially unconvincing. This color was obviously designed to look good on the stick at the expense of its appearance on paper. In cylindrical form it looks all shiny and exciting and glinty but on paper it's just this muddy, vaguely golden smear. What was intended to be a huge gleaming pot of gold comes out looking like mediocre curry. D

Useless. Invisible on white paper, not at all white on colored paper, and not as effective for creating light colors as just not pressing as hard. I wouldn't be at all surprised if a no-nonsense audit into the Crayola Corporation's books revealed that this non-color is only included as a method of saving on the cost of wax dye. D-

Brick Red
A red among reds. A true red's red. Oh, sure, I wouldn't want to do without plain old "red," but brick red adds that certain je ne sais whatever to everything from fire engines to Superman's cape. It says "I see the world in a more shadowy, but perhaps deeper tone than most." It also says "My brother's using the red." B+

Burnt Umber
The question on everyone's mind, of course, is "what's an umber, and why would someone want to burn one?" Well, breaking with the long-standing Ratings tradition of making stuff up, I actually went and checked a dictionary. Umber is darker than ocher or sienna, and it's burnt because that way it's different. No need to thank me, and send any contributions of gratitude to the charity of your choice. C

Green Yellow
It's hard to believe that the same company that brought us "midnight blue" and "vivid tangerine" also saddled us with "yellow green" and "green yellow." I'm thinking interns. At any rate, I've never been able to remember which the more greeny one is and which is more yellowy. I mean, okay, maybe "coloring in Dopey's shirt" isn't high up there on the list of important world issues, but a man comes to expect a little certainty from his crayons. C-