Staedtler Mars Lumochrom Colored Pencil Set

Here is a beautiful colored pencil set from Staedtler, to see the new year off to a good start :)

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I love the cover illustration – it gives you a very good idea of what Lumochroms were supposed to do, in those days.

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Pulling on the strap makes the tray stand upright. This mechanism has its disadvantages though – the edges of the tin are very sharp, and the prongs jut out of the frame. Tetanus shots necessary!

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One color is missing from the set, namely the 2618 (red). It’s interesting how Staedtler numbers the colors; the order doesn’t follow the modern rainbow pattern that progresses from shades of red through yellow and green to blue.

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I found that there were more variations to the older Lumochrom printings than I thought. Three examples are given below.

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11 thoughts on “Staedtler Mars Lumochrom Colored Pencil Set

  1. What a beautiful set – thank you for showing! Could it be possible that this is the earliest Lumochrom tin design? – Re the colour numbering: I wouldn’t be surprised if they have started with a few standard colours back then and added more later, i. e. didn’t had a full 12- or even a 24-colour range in mind at the beginning.

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    1. Hi Gunther, I haven’t seen that many Lumochrom tins in my life but I am sure someone has an older version ;) And yes, what you say about the numbering makes sense. I once tried writing down the numbers for several colored pencil systems from Eberhard Faber and Eagle, and so far only the Verithin system makes any sense to me – and even with them there are colors added later on, I guess this is inevitable.

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      1. If there is really an older one it will most likely be found in the Staedtler archives ;-) Yes, it is inevitable, also because a colour may be removed from the range or replaced by a similar one.

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    1. There have been many ingenious packagings designs back then which made the pencils easy to carry, to take and to put back in (see e. g. the Stabilo 8770). The few boxes of today which facilitates the handling and which I know of are often very expensive ones.

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      1. I like that Stabilo too!

        Funnily enough, this sort of “standup” packaging is very common for markers – Stabilo’s Point 88 markers, and the Staedtler Triplus have it, as I recall, as do Copic’s art markers.

        My daughter has a set of fairly inexpensive Triplus pens that came in a case with a “kickstand” to allow them to be selected from easily while working at a desk.

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      2. Hi John and Gunther, it is indeed striking how often tins and plastic cases in the past had this standup feature – it seems to have been almost “standard” at the time. This Lumochrom tin was interesting because, whereas many tins make use of the structure of the box itself to prop itself up (as with Gunther’s Stabilos), this actually has an extra metal sheet (attached with hinges, no less) for that particular function.

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      3. John, the boxes Staedtler provide with several product sets are great, especially because they have choosen a plastic which doesn’t show stress whitening. One variant of the box has even a strip of plastic which can be used both as a ruler and as a filing strip, and if not in use it can be slid behind the box so it doesn’t protrude.

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      4. Ohh.. “stress whitening” is what it’s called! I was familiar with the phenomenon but never knew it had a name, nor the fact that certain plastics are less prone to this than others. Thank you for the details Gunther!

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    2. John, this tin is more finicky than it looks, no need to feel jealous ;) It’s a bit warped due to age, and the edges are really raw. I personally like the Derwent tins (the ones they sell empty)!

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