Art & Creative Materials Institute
|This article does not cite any references (sources). (October 2013)|
The Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI) is an industry trade group composed of over 200 companies that manufacture art materials. ACMI's main function is to certify art and creative materials (such as paints, pencils, crayons, markers, etc.) as non-toxic. Art and creative materials that have been certified as non-toxic by ACMI are entitled to display an ACMI certification seal on their packaging. Products submitted to ACMI for certification are tested by a toxicologist to ensure they are non-toxic. ACMI also promotes art education, and was a founding member of the Council for Art Education, Inc., which promotes March as Youth Art Month. ACMI was founded in 1936 and is currently headquartered in Hanson, Massachusetts.
Participation in the Art & Creative Materials Institute certification program creates a barrier to entry for rivals. Cost of membership begins at $1275 for the first year, plus testing fees. Use of the certification symbol by large players in the market, the first of which was Crayola (formerly Binny & Smith), created a marketing differentiation tool for the member companies. ACMI certification is not required by law. To become a member, the ACMI also requires the disclosure of the applicant company's revenue and product formula(s) which it claims will remain confidential. An obvious point of concern for any new applicant is that existing or founding members will have access to sensitive information about rivals and the resulting reduction in market competition.
ACMI was initially known as the Crayon, Water Color & Craft Institute, Inc. It was renamed the Art & Craft Materials Institute in 1982. It adopted its current name in the late 2000s.