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Throwback ’72: Corelle’s new True Blue pattern — a riff on 1970s Old Town Blue

Corelle Old Town BlueYup: Corelle. The company knows a rockin’ retro opportunity when it sees one, and recently introduced a new pattern — True Blue — based on its popular 1972 design Old Town Blue. To come up with the new design — carefully researched among several other options — Corelle reversed the original Old Town Pattern (positive became negative), tweaked the scale, and chose a fresh new color. We love the entire project! Yay for 1972! Props to reader Laura, who tipped us to this reissue.  

Corelle True Blue pattern
Corelle True Blue

The story of Corelle Old Time Blue

We reached out to Corelle’s PR department and connected with Lindsay Rigg, who supplied the vintage advertisements of Old Town Blue as well as the following info:

We are really excited about this pattern and how we were able to take a classic Corelle pattern, Old Town Blue, revitalize it, contemporize it and bring it back to the market in a big way.  I reached out to my design team in Corning, New York, to gain their perspective on how they approached the project and brought True Blue to life.  Below is their response:

We started the initial development of True Blue in the summer of 2012. At this point we were exploring a potential vintage inspired collection across multiple patterns. Retro/vintage was a very strong trend we were seeing at the time. We also noted the popularity of vintage Corelle online.

Corelle Old Town Blue

We focused on five Corelle patterns from the 1970s — Butterfly Gold, Macrame, Old Town Blue, Spring Blossom Green and Woodland Brown. The goal was to create something that kept some aspects of the original pattern but also gave the pattern a fresh new spin.

The question became, what is it about the old patterns that is most attractive or recognizable, and what would translate best in today’s market. Is it the colors or the motifs? And how far can you stretch the old pattern before it becomes unrecognizable?

Corelle Old Town Blue

Four designs made it to the finals in Product Development

We experimented with a lot of different variations. Some were very close to the original pattern, some really pushed the envelope.

corelle dishes
Above: 10.25″ dinner plates — top is Old Town Blue pattern, bottom is True Blue.

Ultimately we ended up with the layout that is now True Blue—this keeps the artwork the same as the original Old Town Blue on the bread and butter plate, but has new layouts with larger, reversed out elements on the dinner and lunch plates. At the time there were still two color options—a cobalt blue that was very close to the original Old Town Blue color, and a new aqua.

We also had a version of this layout for Spring Blossom Green and Butterfly Gold, both staying close to the original colors of those patterns ….

Next, it was up to the consumers to tell us which version they preferred. We put all four options in consumer research in early 2013. True Blue scored well and was thus chosen for launch.

Corelle True Blue pattern

Any more vintage-inspired reissues coming?

We asked whether any of the other patterns developed — the Spring Blossom Green and Butterfly Gold — might be coming to market next. Corelle told us:

At this time we are not moving forward with any additional vintage inspired patterns.  A larger collection was created but our consumer research really showed that True Blue was the clear winner.

Corelle Corner — the personal blog of a Corelle collector and enthusiast — has a lot of great information about Old Town Blue and all of Corelle’s historic patterns — it’s an impressive site! Corelle Corner says that Old Town Blue was designed by artist Cynthia Gerow in 1972. Its inspiration was the very old Meissen blue onion pattern.

I also found this short video showcasing the True Blue pattern.

Where to buy Corelle True Blue — and Old Town Blue is still made, too

  1. Allison says:

    The Old Town Blue pattern was brand new in those long-ago days when I was a new bride, and it was my first set of everyday china.

    It didn’t survive the hands of 4 little boys, and I think it got replaced over time with that dreadful clunky earth-tone “grocery store premium” stuff (I guess I’m too old or I remember it too well to love 70s and 80s stuff).

    Interesting that they’re updating it- is this like making new movies out of old TV shows?

  2. eddy says:

    I have never had a complete set of matched dishes, over the years I had a few pieces of Corelle and always liked them-light and strong. So fast forward to today and at 56 y.o. I buy two sets of Corelle True Blue on clearance! This goes great in my 70’s Kitchen and I can buy vintage or new pieces complement the set! Life is GOOD!

  3. Debby says:

    We are trying to find replacements for my mom’s Corelle set but we don’t know the pattern name. It is from about 2000 and has a sand background with a southwestern print. Does anyone know the pattern name or a way for me to find the name?

  4. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Search on ebay.com for Corelle Mirage and see if that is it. If not, you can search generically for Corelle southwest and see if you can find a photo of what your mom has.

  5. Missy says:

    My parents have a bunch of old town blue pieces. Must have got a set when they married. Grew up eating off it daily… Just used some yesterday!

  6. Hope Plasse says:

    I read that the these older Corelle dishes the designs haad lead in them,is that true?

  7. Pam Kueber says:

    Hope, on questions like these contact the company or have the dishes tested by a professional.

  8. Pearl says:

    I wanted to use my older Corelle dishes in our RV, so I was looking into buying new Corelle. Your article about the BLUE patterns, pointed me in the right direction. Blue, is my favorite color. Especially cobalt blue. And the Old Town Blue and True Blue patterns are gorgeous! I bought dinner set in the True Blue (love that pattern!) and 4 dinner plates in the Old Town Blue. Had to have both patterns! 🙂
    Thank you for your very informative article!

  9. Peggy says:

    I use my Olde Town Blue every day. But I can’t recall when I first bought it. I have been using the same dishes for at least 40 years, but is that realistuc? I still love it in 2020.

  10. Cyndi says:

    With ALL my heart I wish Correlle would bring in a vintage Jadeite green set of dishes!!
    The possibilities are endless as to what could be made!! We the children of the 50’s missed out on the jadeite era and I want it so much!! The real jadeite is out of my reach financially, but I have been a true fan and user of Correlle for years. All my daughters and daughter in laws now have full sets, thanks to my hunting down different patterns. Please let your design team know us 50’s chicks love jadeite!!! Thank you

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