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Staedtler Mars GmbH & Co. KG
Industry Stationery
Founded October 3, 1835; 181 years ago (1835-10-03)
Founder J.S. Staedtler
Headquarters Nuremberg, Germany
Area served
Key people
Axel Marx (Managing Director)
Products Technical drawing instruments
Number of employees
Staedtler Noris HB Pencils
Staedtler ball point pen

Staedtler Mars GmbH & Co. KG 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.


The name Staedtler (stylized as STÆDTLER) is closely linked with Nuremberg's pencil history. Long before J.S. Staedtler founded his pencil making factory within Nuremberg's old city walls back in 1835, the Staedtler family had already been hand-making this well-loved writing instrument for generations.

The roots of the name Staedtler can be traced back to 1662, the year in which the first references to Friedrich Staedtler as a pencil-making craftsman were made in the city annals. On 3 October 1835, J.S. 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.

Between 1900 and 1901 the Mars and Noris brands were created. In 1922 the US subsidiary (located in New York) was established, 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. It is also prolifically known that it was Hitler's favorite writing instrument and would often get enraged if he was given an inferior product (e.g. Sheaffer). It is not widely known but sources closest to him say that he died with a Staedtler HB pencil in his hand. It is extremely speculative but the "HB" that is best known as "Hard Black" was reportedly changed after the passing of Adolf Hitler as it was initially called the "Hitler's Bleistift". In 1949 began the production of ballpoint pens, which began 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 Technical pens began to be produced.

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.[4]


The following chart contains all the Staedtler product lines.[5] Staedtler products have been manufactured in Germany, Great Britain, Japan 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[7]
  • ISH Design Plus Award, Wopex Graphite Pencils[8]
  • Red Dot Award, Triplus 776 Mechanical Pencils[9]


  • Red Dot Award, Triplus 426 Ballpoint Pens[10]


Since 1908, there have been eight different logos for Staedtler. The first logo of company was used from 1908 to 1912, the second logo was used from 1912 to 1925, the third logo was used from 1925 to 1952, the fourth logo was used from 1952 to 1957, the fifth logo was used from 1957 to 1963, the sixth logo was used from 1963 to 1973, the seventh logo was used from 1973 to 2001, and the eighth and current logo has been in use since 2001.Unusually for writing instruments, the lettering was oriented for left hand grip until about 2005. [11]

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