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Happy Birthday, Noris!

Happy Birthday, Noris!

Happy Birthday, Noris!

The Noris brand is celebrating its 120th birthday. First registered in 1901, today Noris is a well-known classic in STAEDTLER's product range which appeals to all ages - whether it’s the Noris pencil with the recognisable yellow and black stripe pattern, or a wax crayon, sharpener or compass. Even from a young age, children can enjoy the Noris range which encourages correct grip and aids first writing exercises. We are excited to celebrate 120 years of diversity and stories from all over the world.

History from 120 years of Noris

Noris Trademark Registration

A proud age: In 2021, the Noris brand is  celebrating its 120th birthday. On 1 April 1901, it was signed up for registration and finally registered at the Kaiserlicher Patentamt in Berlin, on 10 September of the same year.

The diverse brand history is developed in numerous historical product catalogues and brochures. Noris appeared in the "Illustrated A4 Price List" from 1919, for example, in 37 places.

"With the 'Noris' stamp in pretty, new equipment, especially inexpensive and attractive item for the wholesale and small goods trade“ – this is how the 1919 price list promotes the early Noris pencils. In addition to pencils, the Noris brand name also includes pocket pencils, pastels and copying pens.


Noris – a Nuremberg brand

The Noris brand has a special feature in common with its country of origin: its name. In the Middle Ages, they knew Nuremberg under the name "Norimberga“ or “Norimberg“. In the 17th century, the Franconian City was then given its famous nickname Noris.

Fabel creatures and fantasy designs  also served as role models for personalised city names at the time.  The  Nuremberg doctor Dr. Johann Helwig  shaped the name Noris, who published a novel in the 17th century with the Nymphe Noris, a personalization of the city.

Visually speaking there is also a strong connection between Noris' product range and its namesake:  the city and its castle served as a template for numerous colourful product packaging and advertising materials from the 1930s to the 1980s. The city view of the Franconian City travelled around the world with Noris.


Yellow-black and striped – the iconic colours of the Noris range

Noris pens did not always look like today: In 1934, STAEDTLER launched the Noris 1100, a "yellow/orange pencil with a traditional dark brown stripe pattern".

Today, people primarily associate the Noris brand with the colours of the Noris 120. The iconic pencil was given its yellow-black striped exterior in 1955. Since then, many other products have also worn the familiar dress.

The stripe pattern can also be found in other colours, such as the Noris colour pencil or the Noris junior children's pens. Today, however, there are also different coloured products in the versatile range.

Nevertheless, yellow-black has a distinctive effect. In a 2017 survey conducted by STAEDTLER in the UK, passers-by were asked to draw a pencil. Eight out of ten respondents painted a striped pencil – half of which were in yellow-black.


Pencil history as school history

The Noris school range is firmly embedded in the minds of schoolchildren and pencil cases today. Writing articles and accessories for everyday school life have long been part of the brand's history.

A STAEDTLER catalogue from 1919 already contains numerous school products under the Noris name: from sharpeners, pencils, fountain pens and copying pens to coloured pastel chalk. What we also found: round and hexagonal Noris pencils. The school also picks up an advertising poster from the 1930s and advertises: "If you like nice handwriting, only write with Staedtler pens."

STAEDTLER further expanded its range in the middle of the last century with erasers, fountain pens, compasses, felt-tip pens, ballpoint pens, eraser lead holders, wax watercolour crayons and writing exercise books. Also included: Noris "for blackboards and booklets" from the 1950s.

STAEDTLER offered its own primary school programme from 1975. The Noris school range was promoted and sold in Germany under the name Kiddi in the 1990s – internationally as Noris Club. STADTLER also used relevant advertising campaigns such as the colourful Noris Club mascot.

Everyday school life is changing and becoming increasingly digital. Noris is joining in: Since 2017 and 2020, the Noris digital classic and Noris digital jumbo have been part of the Noris family as input pens for tablets and co.


The world's longest coloured pencil

In 2015, Noris made it into the Guinness Book of Records: with a Noris colour, which was the longest coloured pencil in the world at the time of the record at 459.97 metres.

At that time, 110 employees worked on the giant in Nuremberg. Thanks to the material WOPEX specially developed by STAEDTLER and its innovative manufacturing process, the pen was created from a single cast.


Known around the world

From its headquarters in Nuremberg around the world: In Greenland, a primary school pupil carries out writing exercises, while in Spain a boy dressed as a policeman makes notes with an extra-large Noris pencil. STAEDTLER enjoyed this international popularity in a 1969 issue of Staedtler Nachrichten.

In Barcelona, Noris caused a sensation in 1989: On the occasion of the 120th international "cartoon alon" a giant Noris pencil was built. The obelisk beneath the structure is normally used as a guide for locals and visitors.

Another international highlight: Noris pens will become superheroes in an advertising film from Malaysia in 2015. School assignments are set up in Malaysia as multiple choice assignments and completed with pencils. And who wouldn't want to take the next exam with a superhero by their side?


Noris product range

Noris pencil, HB, 120-2 Precision in graphite

With its striped, yellow-black design, Noris pencil is a true classic today. Its special lead formulation guarantees high fracture resistance and ensures clear lines. The right tools for texts, drawings and sketches are avalailable in different degrees of hardness. STAEDTLER pencils come in a variety of variations in the iconic yellow and black stripe pattern: in the classic hexagonal or ergonomic triangular shape, in different sizes and sometimes with star design.

Noris coloured pencils: Full colour

In 1834, Johann Sebastian Staedtler succeeded in making a decisive innovation through the further development of the red chalk : the coloured pencil as we know it today! Nowadays, the Noris colour pencils make colorful designs easy to handle. In 36 colours, they invite you to create radiant worlds. In addition to the classic hexagonal shape, Noris colour in ergonomic triangular format ensures a particularly relaxed painting experience. The Noris jumbo coloured pencil in 12 bright colours is particularly suitable for the first drawing and painting exercises.

Noris junior: For little artists

Even the littlest ones can try out the Noris range. The Noris junior pencil is CE-compliant and specially developed for small children - ideal for their first writing attempts. The Noris junior 3-in-1 children's drawing pencil is particularly suitable for colourful pictures: It combines the properties of coloured, wax crayons and watercolour pencils, paints on various surfaces such as paper, cardboard and glass and is extra break-proof thanks to its thick lead. Blunt? No problem, the Noris junior sharpener tub can be used to reshape the pens.

Felt-tip pens: Bright & opaque

Anyone who wants to highlight their pictures with colours with high opacity is well advised with Noris felt-tip pens. STAEDTLER offers these as felt-tip pens or double felt-tip pens with two tips in different line widths. The Noris Jumbo felt-tip pens, which is specially designed for children's hands, are particularly suitable for painting large areas. It comes in a case in twelve vibrant colours. All felt-tip pens stand out with their sturdy, impression-proof tip. If the colour gets on fabric, it can easily be washed out of most. By the way, the Noris felt-tip pen 326 can stay in place for days without drying thanks to DRY SAFE technology.

Chalks & wax twisters: Brilliant images

Noris wax crayons create special effects on light and dark paper and are available in up to 24 colours. They are available in various thicknesses, such as around 8 mm, as jumbo wax crayons with 11 mm or as super jumbo versions with 14 mm diameter. The Noris Wax Twister ensures finer lines and easy handling. It is easy to unscrew the lead piece by piece. Noris Wax Twister is available in a case with 12 colours.

Sharpener and eraser: Starting out

On creative adventures, one may happen to miss a line or the pencil is blunt. Little mishaps disappear quickly with the Noris eraser. Thanks to its low degree of crumbling and its sliding sleeve, it is clean and comfortable to use.

The Noris sharpener tub in classic yellow-black stripe design is the ideal tool to give pens new precision – especially for left-handed users.

Noris digital Discover digital worlds

What looks like a classic Noris pencil at first glance is actually a digital stylus for selected tablets, smartphones and notebooks. Thanks to the conventional hexagonal shape, Noris digital ensures a natural and controlled handle for manual entries on displays. Apply more or less pressure causes the line width to vary. The jumbo version of Noris digital is triangular and also suitable for children's hands. Noris digital jumbo also contains a soft, digital eraser at the end of the pen.

Watercolour paint, compass and scissors: Everything for everyday school life

Noris has been known as a school brand for many decades. The versatile range offers the ideal equipment for everyday school life. The Noris Paint Box with twelve interchangeable ink pots supports the artistic core, while the Noris School Compass prepares for math lessons in the folding lid case with a blunt angled safety needle. All school children are fully equipped with Noris craft scissors and the glue stick in the school bag.


Go to Noris product range

Birthday greetings from our Noris fans

Dr. Matthias Meckel

The 120th anniversary of the Noris brand is a special occasion for pencil fans around the world.
Helping people to create and to note down their thoughts for 120 years - that's quite an achievement. As a point of reference: The Noris brand was born in the same year as Marlene Dietrich. Back then the Noris pencil didn't have the yellow and black stripes that make him so easily recognisable ... the typical Noris stripes made their first appearance 65 years ago. At that point, in the 1950s, the Noris had already survived some bad times, but with a new and distinctive look the Noris was ready to face the future.

Unlike many other pens, the Noris has mastered the balancing act between tradition and state of the art really well. It is not only available as a traditional pencil that many school children grow up with and that also helps millions of people in everyday life, it is also available as a 'digital pen' as an input device for the latest generations of mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

Dr. Matthias Meckel
Massimo Fecchi

Happy birthday to Staedtler on the 120th anniversary of Noris!! Staedtler pencils and leads have always been on my drawing board and even now I create my Donald Duck & C. stories with them!

Massimo Fecchi
Brad Dowdy

Happy 120th Birthday Noris! Thank you for making wonderful products, and allowing us to leave marks that will last another 120 years.

Brad Dowdy
Shangching Cheng

Happy 120th birthday, Noris!

My first encounter with Staedtler pencils was for a penmanship competition, a Noris my mother bought for the occasion. Though a humble pencil, it finished a plethora of neatly printed assignments, penned piles of letters to loved ones, created loads of memories, and more importantly, started a lifetime of appreciation for writing instruments. Because of all these positive experiences, when it is time for me to choose first pencils for my own child, I choose Noris without reservation. In a way, the pencil is passing the torch from one generation to the next.

One little mighty pencil has done so much in 120 years. I cannot wait to see what comes next.

Shangching Cheng
Stephen Worotynec

Happy 120th Birthday, Noris! As a mainstay of writing culture, the Noris has developed a global user base who appreciate - for example – the Noris pencil for the consistent quality, the distinctive black and yellow stripes, and a colourful cap.

Stephen Worotynec

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