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Industry Stationery
Predecessor Berol
Founded 1938
Headquarters Oak Brook, IL, United States
Area served
North America
Products Pencils, art materials
Parent Newell Brands

Prismacolor is a brand of professional artists' supplies originated by Berol in 1938, and now manufactured by Newell Brands. Among the items in the Prismacolor line are colored pencils, Art Stix, pastels, watercolors, and alcohol-based permanent art markers.


The Eagle Pencil Company founded in the 1800s in Yonkers, New York on John Street. After 5 years, Daniel Berozlzheimer’s son Henry purchased the city’s first iron-framed building for the new factory. The company produced pens, pencils, pen holders and erasers. In 1897, the London branch confirmed the policy of selling manufactured goods with high quality. Over the years, the company changed focus and goods. In 1952, Margros Ltd was founded by Mr. P.G.Hooley, who invented Powdered Colour and sold it directly to schools. The business grew and the company was sold to Eagle Pencil Company in 1967.[1]

The company which later became Osmiroid International was started in 1824 by James Perry who joined his brother in the pen‑making business.[1] In 1989, the company was bought by Berol Ltd. The Newell Company joined forces with Berol on November 2, 1995. The merging of the two companies made Berol a branch of the Sanford Corporation.[1]

Colored pencils[edit]

One of Prismacolor's main products are their colored pencils. They have a color-matching 8mm round barrel and are typically packaged in a plastic or tin case. The wax core is 5mm in diameter. [2]

Prismacolor colored pencils are made with a soft wax that tends to break easily. Softer lead tends to break easier when a pencil is sharpened. With Prismacolor colored pencils a common trend is to microwave them,[3] which reportedly helps to heat up the cold and brittle lead within.

Prismacolor currently offers a range of 150 colors and a variety of blending products to blend colors together in an artwork. The blender pencil is a clear, colorless wax pencil used overtop of the colored layer to aid in the color cohesion.[4]


The line of markers Prismacolor produce are illustrating markers.The common method for using Prismacolor markers is to apply the colors in layers. The different tips allow for the color to be applied in various ways on the application being worked on. Artists use varying colors from the same color line to create shadows and textures on the artwork.[5]


Prismacolor Charcoal is used for sketching in general or under paintings. The sticks come in many forms including vine, compressed, and wooden sticks.


Prismacolor offers several varieties of pastels, including hard, soft, oil, and pencil pastels. There are two qualities to pastels: Artist and Student. Artist quality pastels have a higher ratio of pigment giving more intense color. Student pastels contain more fillers and byproduct to help the stick keep shape and allow the pastel to withstand pressure and crumbling. With artist pastels, the richer pigments and lack of binder cause the product to be more fragile yet costly. Hard pastels are made the same way as a soft pastel but contain more binder and less pigment. Hard pastels are more stable in different drawing techniques and come in both artist and student quality. Pastel pencils are for fine details and control. The shape and size of a pastel pencils resemble colored pencils and are suitable for outdoors work. The makeup of oil pastels is pigment coated in wax or oil giving lines and shading a crayon like texture. Oil pastels are more stable than a soft pastel and do not require a fixative to work. Unlike the other types of pastels, oil based pastels will not smudge, crumble or give off dust when working on paper. Although oil pastels lack the ability to blend into other colors, the pigments can be spread on a canvas like oil paints and are available in both student and artist quality.[6]


Prismacolor's range of products include:[7]

Line Range of Products
Colored pencils Colored pencils, watercolor pencils
Graphite Graphite pencils, mechanical pencils
Pastels Softpastels, Nupastels
Charcoal Charcoal sticks and pencils
Markers Markers, highlighters
Accessories Sharpeners, erasers, fixatives, pencil refills,


External links[edit]