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STAEDTLER is celebrating the 120th birthday of Noris brand

STAEDTLER is celebrating the 120th birthday of Noris brand
10 min

An anniversary in yellow and black

Named after its city of birth, the products are lifelong companions and even the colours are iconic: In 2021, the Noris brand is celebrating its 120th birthday. The success story began with the trademark registration on 10 September 1901. Today Noris stands for a diverse product range of Nuremberg based stationery and creative goods manufacturer STAEDTLER. The Noris 120 yellow-and-black striped pencil in particular has become a true classic around the world.

Press Release for Download

Success story in yellow and black

The Noris brand was launched with the registration of the trademark at the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin on 10 September 1901. Today, many associate the name Noris with the yellow-and-black striped classic Noris 120 pencil, the colours which also characterise the anniversary year. The Noris 120 first received its iconic appearance back in 1955. There was already a Noris pencil with the striped pattern, but in yellow/orange and dark brown. Also, in 1955, the coloured cap with its typical crown at the end of the pencil became a symbol of the pencil’s hardness.  

A survey conducted by STAEDTLER in England in 2017 confirmed that the pencil design is now firmly anchored in people's memory: When passers-by were asked to draw a pencil, eight out of ten sketched a striped pattern. Half of the drawings showed pencils in yellow and black. Not only the Noris 120 pencil, but also many other STAEDTLER pencils such as the Noris colour pencil, the Noris eco pencil made of WOPEX and Noris junior children's pencils are now also painted in stripes, albeit in different colours.

Booming exports from Nuremberg

The Nuremberg brand has become a huge hit on desks and in school bags around the world. It also carries the name of its home city. The Franconian metropolis was called "Norimberga“ or "Norimberg" in the Middle Ages. It was nicknamed "Noris" by local physician Dr Johann Helwig, who personified the city as "The Nymph Noris", in his 17th-century novel. The brand's relationship with its namesake Nuremberg was also reflected in product packaging from STAEDTLER: From the 1930s to the 1980s, images of the city and its castle adorned numerous cases, boxes and advertising materials - always in the style of the time. 

120 years of diversity

The Noris range established itself early on as a school brand. "The brand story reads like a school`s story," says Britta Olsen, Head of Brand & Communications at STAEDTLER. "And it is characterised by the diversity in its range". The brand was already mentioned in 37 places in the 1919 "Illustrated price list A4". Back then, pencils, pastel chalks, pocket pens and copying pens dominated the range. In the 1950s and 1960s, other school products were added, such as fibre-tip pens, ballpoint pens and exercise books. But the range is also known beyond the pencil case. 

"Whether young or old - Noris is still a lifelong brand for everyone," says Britta Olsen. Starting with Noris junior: All pencils and products in this range are specially made for children, compact in size, easy to handle and equipped with a particularly thick and break resistant lead. In 2021, STAEDTLER for the first time is launching a CE-compliant pencil especially for small children: the Noris junior pencil. On the other side, launched in 2017, Noris digital looks very similar to its classic counterpart but, as a digital stylus for selected tablets, smartphones, etc. makes it possible to write and draw on displays - whether for pupils or professional artists. In 2020, a jumbo version was released with a soft, digital eraser at the end of the pencil, also particularly suitable for children's hands and their first writing and drawing attempts on digital end devices.

Birthday party in the colours of a classic

"We are making the Noris brand anniversary a celebration in 2021," emphasises Britta Olsen. "Under the birthday motto 'THE ONE Noris - 120 years of creativity ‘, old and new fans can look forward to promotions, special congratulations and surprising stories". A limited birthday assortment in yellow and black invites you to get to know and rediscover the well-known brand. The anniversary website, which brings together all the content and promotions to mark 120 years of Noris, invites you to browse, discover and get involved.

Factsheet for 120 Years Noris


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