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Staedtler Mars GmbH & Co. KG (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɛtlɐ]) is a German fine writing instrument company and a manufacturer and supplier of writing, artist, and engineering drawing instruments. The firm was founded by J.S. Staedtler in 1835 and produces a large variety of writing instruments, including drafting pencils, propelling pencils, professional pens and standard wooden pencils.[1] It also produces plastic erasers, rulers, compasses and other drawing/writing accessories. Staedtler claims to be the largest European manufacturer of wood-cased pencils, OHP pens, mechanical pencil leads, erasers, and modelling clays.[2] Staedtler has over 20 global subsidiaries and seven manufacturing facilities.[3] Over 85% of the production takes place in the headquarters in Nuremberg, though some of its products are made in Japan. Its "Noris" line of pencils are extremely common in British schools.[4]

Staedtler Mars GmbH & Co. KG
Founded3 October 1835; 184 years ago (1835-10-03)
FounderJ.S. Staedtler
Area served
Key people
Axel Marx (Managing Director)
ProductsTechnical drawing instruments
Number of employees


Staedtler Noris HB pencils
Staedtler ball point pen
Staedtler 925 65

The origins of the brand can be traced since the 17th century, when Friedrich Staedtler took over the totality of the pencil manufacturing process, from the lead to the wood. Nevertheless, that activity was forbidden by the Council of Nuremberg, which stated that the manufacturing had to be developed by two different experts. Finally, Staedtler's work helped to abolish that regulation, therefore facilitating the work of other pencils manufacturers in Nuremberg.[5]

The company was founded by Johann Sebastian Staedtler in 1835 as a pencil factory, first established in Nuremberg, but the roots of the company go back to 1662, when references to Friedrich Staedtler as a pencil-making craftsman were made in the city annals. Staedtler received permission from the municipal council to produce blacklead, red chalk and pastel pencils in his industrial plant. In 1866, the company had 54 employees and produced 15,000 gross (2,160,000 pencils) per year.[6]

Between 1900 and 1901 the Mars[6] and Noris[5] brands were created. In 1922 the US subsidiary (located in New York) was established,[7] which was followed by the Japan subsidiary four years later. In 1937 the name was changed to Mars Pencil and Fountain Pen Factory and the product range was expanded to include mechanical writing instruments. In 1949 began the production of ballpoint pens, which started to be widely used instead of fountain pens (although Staedtler still produces the latter today).

In 1950 propelling pencils (or mechanical pencils) began to be manufactured, the first being made out of wood. Four years later, the "Lumocolor" brand was registered. This brand was used to design the wide range of Staedtler markers. In 1962 the company began producing technical pens.

As from 2010, FIMO, MALI, Aquasoft and further brands are being marketed under the Staedtler name. In addition, the company celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2010.[8]

Visual identityEdit

Staedtler's first logo came in 1908, when the company introduced the head of Mars (the god of war in Ancient Rome religion), for its homonymous brand of pencils. The Mars figure became the official logo of the whole company in 1958.[9]

The image of the head of Mars has had several style modifications since its creation, specifically in 1912, 1925, 1952, 1957, 1963, 1973 and 2001.[6]


The following chart contains all the Staedtler product lines.[10] Staedtler products have been manufactured in Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Australia, China and Indonesia.

Category Range of Products
Markers Permanent and non-permanent markers, refill stations, refill inks
Clay Polymer clay, industrial clay, accessories
Pens Fountain pens, ballpoint pens, rollerball pens, digital pens, technical pens
Pencils Pencils, mechanical pencils, erasers, sharpeners
Accessories Compasses, drawing boards, lettering and circle stencils (templates), rulers, squares, glue sticks, scissors,
Art and Craft Colored pencils, oil pastels, chalks, paper vellum


Staedtler is committed to introducing innovative products and has won awards as a result. Most recently, the Wopex Graphite Pencils (design with TEAMS Design) and the Triplus line have won awards.



  • Bio Composite of the Year, Wopex Graphite Pencils[12]
  • ISH Design Plus Award, Wopex Graphite Pencils[13]
  • Red Dot Award, Triplus 776 Mechanical Pencils[14]


  • Red Dot Award, Triplus 426 Ballpoint Pens[15]


  1. ^ Staedtler Mars GmbH & Co. KG (2007)
  2. ^ "Company Profile." STAEDTLER. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 September 2013.
  3. ^ © 2007, Hoover's, Inc., All Rights Reserved
  4. ^ "Noris in the Wild". Bleistift.Blog. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b Lápices alemanes con cuatro siglos de historia familiar by María Matos Elices on El País
  6. ^ a b c Quality and history on Staedtler website
  7. ^ Staedtler on WHSmith website
  8. ^ Bayley, Caroline (13 April 2011). "Staedtler and Faber-Castell's Productive Pencil Rivalry". BBS News. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  9. ^ Logotipo de Staedtler
  10. ^ Staedtler products
  11. ^ Announcement of 2008 Red Dot Award
  12. ^ 2009 Bio Composite of the Year Award Archived 7 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ 2009 Design Plus Award Wopex
  14. ^ Staedtler Announcement of 2009 Red Dot Award
  15. ^ 2011 Red Dot Award Triplus Pens

External linksEdit