Staedtler Mars GmbH & Co. KG (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɛtlɐ]) is a German multinational stationery manufacturing company based in Nuremberg. The firm was founded by J.S. Staedtler (1800–1872) in 1835 and produces a large variety of stationery products, such as writing implements (including technical drawing instruments),[1] art materials, and office supplies.

Staedtler Mars GmbH & Co. KG
FormerlyMars Pencil and Fountain Pen Factory (1937)
Founded3 October 1835; 187 years ago (1835-10-03)
FounderJ.S. Staedtler
Area served
Key people
Axel Marx (Managing Director)
    • Ergosoft
    • Fimo
    • Karat
    • Lumocolor
    • Mars
    • Noris
    • Rasoplast
    • Textsufer
    • Triplus
Number of employees

Staedtler claims to be the largest European manufacturer of wood-cased pencils, overhead projector pens, mechanical pencils, leads, erasers, and modelling clays.[2] Staedtler has over 26 global subsidiaries and nine manufacturing facilities.[3][4] Almost two thirds of the production take place in the four production facilities in Nuremberg, Germany,[4] though some of its products are made in Japan. Its "Noris' line of pencils is extremely common in British schools.[5]


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. However, that activity was forbidden by the Council of Nuremberg, which stated that the manufacturing had to be developed by two different experts. Eventually, Staedtler's work helped to abolish that regulation, therefore facilitating the work of other pencil manufacturers in Nuremberg.[6]

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 black lead, 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.[7]

First version of the "head of Mars" logo, released in 1908

In 1900, Staedtler registered the Mars brand (which represented the Ancient Roman god of war), using the name for some lines of products, also launching the head of Mars logo.[8][7] In 1901 the Noris brand was released by the company.[6]

In 1922 a United States subsidiary (located in New York) was established,[9] It was followed by a Japanese 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. The head of Mars became the Staedtler definitive logo in 1958.[8] This logo has had several style modifications since then, the last in 2001.[7]

In 1962 the company began producing technical pens. In the 1970s, Staedtler bought the Neumarkt factory, which used to be the Eberhard Faber factory. Nevertheless, in 2009 Staedtler sold the rights to the brand "Eberhard Faber" to Faber-Castell, although the company kept the Neumarkt factory, where Staedtler makes wood pencils nowadays.[10]

As from 2010, Fimo (modelling clay products), Mali, Aquasoft and further brands were marketed under the Staedtler name. In addition, the company celebrated its 175th anniversary that same year.[11]


The following chart contains all the Staedtler product lines:[12]

Staedtler's Mars plastic eraser product
Category Products
Writing implements Graphite pencils, mechanical pencils, leads, markers, highlighters, ballpoint pens, rollerball pens, lead pencils, refills
Technical drawing Technical pens, compasses, rulers, set squares, drawing boards, lettering guides
Art materials Colored pencils, crayons, chalks, oil pastels, paints, modelling clay, inks
Accessories Erasers, pencil sharpeners


Staedtler has won awards for its products, most recently for the Wopex Graphite Pencils (designed with "Teams Design") and the Triplus line.



  • Bio Composite of the Year, Wopex Graphite Pencils[14]
  • ISH Design Plus Award, Wopex Graphite Pencils[15]
  • Red Dot Award, Triplus 776 Mechanical Pencils[16]


  • Red Dot Award, Triplus 426 Ballpoint Pens[17]


  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. ^ a b "About STAEDTLER". STAEDTLER. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Noris in the Wild". Bleistift.Blog. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b Lápices alemanes con cuatro siglos de historia familiar by María Matos Elices on El País
  7. ^ a b c Quality and history on Staedtler website
  8. ^ a b Logotipo de Staedlter on
  9. ^ Staedtler on WHSmith website
  10. ^ Visiting Staedtler's Nuremberg factory, 14 Sep 2016
  11. ^ Bayley, Caroline (13 April 2011). "Staedtler and Faber-Castell's Productive Pencil Rivalry". BBS News. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  12. ^ Staedtler products, retrieved 4 Dec 2019
  13. ^ Announcement of 2008 Red Dot Award
  14. ^ 2009 Bio Composite of the Year Award Archived 7 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ 2009 Design Plus Award Wopex
  16. ^ Staedtler Announcement of 2009 Red Dot Award
  17. ^ 2011 Red Dot Award Triplus Pens

External linksEdit