Is this it?

This is not a Noris and a Tradition.
This is not a Noris and not a Tradition.

I’ve started my search for good coloured pencils, i.e. coloured pencils that are suitable for writing, many years before I started this blog. Eventually, my dissatisfaction with coloured pencils led me to coloured leads for mechanical pencils – though marginally better than coloured pencils coloured leads aren’t great either and the only hard ones I found so far are so poor you can’t enjoy writing with them either.


…but then Lexikaliker gave me new hope with his article about the Paperworld 2015 and his confirmation that you can use the new Wopex coloured pencil, the Noris colour, for writing. An extruded lead might have very different properties – maybe….

…maybe this is it. Maybe this is the holy grail of colour pencils!

...camouflages right into the desk environment
…camouflages right into the desk environment

Two days ago, on Tuesday, I ordered a pack of six Noris colour from eBay and they have arrived this morning, two days later. It really has been a great stationery week for me. Earlier this week I got a package from California and this morning I got one from Canada as well as the Noris colour mentioned earlier. So many things to try out.

I hope my journey of many years to find a nice coloured pencil, suitable for writing has come to an end. I will report soon.


15 thoughts on “Is this it?”

  1. Nice – but have you ever considered the Mitsubishi colour pencils? There are som wonderful preussian blue/ vermillion for grading assignments or maybe (ahem*) the Palomino color pencils? In general I think most colour pencils are hard and doesn’t make much of a mark, when used for writing – so useable ones are hard to find.

  2. Most coloured pencils (if not all of them) seem to made for artists who build up layers of colour so they aren’t much good for writing where you only make one pass over the paper.
    If these are different I’d like to know.

  3. Thank you for your comments.

    Henrik, I was lucky enough to get some Mitsubishi coloured pencil from Lexikaliker – around the time they were reviewed on Pencil Talk. They are nice, but I definitely prefer coloured leads in a mechanical pencil for grading assignments.

    Sapphire, I always assumed you can’t make coloured pencils harder, i.e. hard enough so that they are suitable for writing, but your comment made me realise that there’s a possibility that it just might be possible, just that the target audience, artists, might not want that.

  4. To be honest, the colours are a bit too vivid, courtesy of my mobile phone’s camera. I’m looking forward to trying these pencils out.

  5. Matthias, I hope that my criteria for a colour pencil which is usable for writing are at least similar to yours 🙂 Sadly the Staedtler Mars Lumochrom is no longer available – I think you would have been happy with it. – Have you tried the Stabilo Original?

  6. 8^)
    Are you talking about the Staedtler Mars Lumochrom 2mm leads or were there also wood cased pencils with that name?

    I had to look the Stabilo Original up, I never heard of them. They don’t look familiar at all, I am quite sure that I haven’t seen them in the UK. Are they potentially suitable for writing?

  7. There have also been woodcased colour pencils with that name for many years; now and then some show up on eBay. They can be sharpened in the Carl DE-100 with the longest point setting and don’t break under moderate pressure. Their lead has been developed for technical use, i. e. for engineering drawing, and so far I haven’t found a comparable colour pencil. – By the way, they are beautifully designed, not only because of the wavy lacquer cap which has has been made famous by the Noris.

    Re the Stabilo Original: I would say that they are potentially suitable for writing but I will look closer at them soon.

  8. Rick van der Bouwijn

    Hi Matthias!
    Have you tried using the Faber-Castell “Document” series of indelible pencils? The number 9609 is red and number 9610 is blue.

    In the days of carbon paper and before ball-point pens, everyone used indelible pencils for shipping documents, bills-of-lading, customs forms, etc.

    In the United States these are sometimes called railroad pencils or copying pencils.

    I think Musgrave makes indelible pencils as well. I’ll have to check them out.

    I hope it’s warmer where you live than it is here where I go to college! The heat went off in the dorm last night and we’re all wandering wrapped in blankets.


  9. Gunther, I’ll have a look, I have some old oloured pencils from Staedtler, maybe one of them is a Lumochrom. Being able to sharpen them at the longest point setting does sound promising!
    Regarding Stabilo, I should have some of their “green”, i.e. eco, coloured pencils at home. I’ll keep my eyes open for your review and in case I see them in a shop.

    Rick, funnily enough the coloured pencils from the 9600 series are my most used coloured pencils. I use them several times a week. My favourite is the 9608 (blue and red in one). They are good for underlining things or maybe writing a single words, but in my case they are not suitable for writing.
    Sorry to hear about your experience in college. I hope heating has been restored by now!

    Gunther, they are nice. You were kind enough to have sent me some a few years ago. They are a bit soft for writing though, at least for my taste. Once I did have a strange experience with the Vermillion, though (link).

  10. The Lumochrom has been very popular so chances are that you have one or more. I am eager to hear what you think of them! – I don’t know the quality of Stabilo’s eco coloured pencil; I wouldn’t be suprised if the “Original” were better.

    In the comment you have linked to you mention the Arterase colour pencil but I meant different colour pencils – the 2451 and 2453 are considerably harder (and have an eraser tip).

  11. Vermillion and Prussian Blue made me think of the Arterase pencil, I didn’t check the number until just now. I don’t know the 2451 and 2453. I should try to get my hands on some. Thanks for letting me know about these.

  12. love mechanical keyboards. once you try one, you won’t go back. blue switches?

  13. Actually they are clear switches. I have blue on a Cherry keyboard (even though they didn’t call them blue yet when I bought the keyboard).
    I would have liked brown, but they were out of stock.

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