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Why Brown Crayons?

Shades of brown girls


We always knew we wanted to use the word brown in our name. It fits us as a multi-racial company. Black is beautiful and white is generally the default, in the United States. If you mix the colors together, you get brown. Brown also made sense to us because it reflects the BIPOC (Black, Indigeneous, People of Color) girls that we strive to reflect with our illustrations.

We know that brown often has negative connotations.  People have never hesitated to tell us that brown is blah or reminds them of negative things.  However, brown encompasses so much and suits us. We are reclaiming it. Brown is sometimes considered the least favorite color. Not for us! We did go through many interesting names, (one of which sounded like a tattoo parlor or maybe a publishing house) until we landed on brown crayons, which in retrospect seems so obvious.

Kids use crayons.  Crayons don't make fine lines.  They make imperfect scribbles and can lead to coloring outside the lines. Children, when asked to draw themselves with crayons, often use a crayon color that is lighter than they are, rarely using the brown crayon. In the old days, there was a Crayola crayon called “flesh."  In 1962 Crayola realized it wasn’t the color of everyone’s flesh, and changed it to peach, which still doesn’t work (there are some other reasons they may have changed it as well but we’ll leave it there for now). Now there are crayons you can buy that reflect the vast array of skin tones and in 2020 Crayola (finally!) released a "colors of the world" set of crayons acknowledging the vast array of shades of skin tones.

As a company attempting to put images out into the world of diverse girls and embracing various cultures, we knew brown was important. We welcome all into our brown crayons family, we aren’t exclusive.  We are embracing a big, huge part of the world that is usually excluded and put on the fringes. We put brown girls front and center in our designs celebrating all that they can do and all that they can be!