Prismacolor Colored Pencils Review

9 Dec

Product Description

Prismacolor has a fairly complicated history.  It was originally started by the English company Berol in 1938, which was eventually bought by Sanford in 1995.  Sanford is an American pencil and pen manufacturer that was acquired by Newell Rubbermaid in 1992.  So Prismacolor is now under the umbrella of products owned by Newell Rubbermaid, who owns many other stationery brands like Sharpie, Papermate, and Uniball.

Prismacolor’s multiple lines of colored pencils are well reviewed and are available in many local art stores.   Their pencils come in a wide assortment of colors, hardness, and materials.   This ubiquity and versatility is one of the reasons why almost every designer and/or art student I have ever met has had a set of Prismacolor colored pencils at one point in time.

American Alternative Review

The Prismacolor brand is owned by Newell Rubbermaid, who has global headquarters in Atlanta, and it is manufactured by Rubbermaid’s Sanford subsidiary, headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois.  Before this review, we had heard that Prismacolor pencils were manufactured in the USA, so we were excited to kick-off the colored pencils product category with Prismacolor.  Unfortunately, after research and speaking with the helpful people at Sanford, we have learned Prismacolor is not 100% made in America.

Many of the Prismacolor pencils my local art store still had “USA” stamped on them, but some did not.  A call to the Sanford corporation helped clarify things.  Sanford has multiple vendors across the US and Mexico that make pencils for them, and depending on many factors (pricing being a major factor), they will switch vendors.  It is not uncommon for companies to adopt the practice of having multiple vendors, regardless of where they manufacture their products.  This policy helps prevent a company from becoming to dependent on a single vendor.

Of the Prismacolor products, the ‘Premier’  line of colored pencils are entirely made in Mexico.  This is also true of the ‘Turquoise’ line of drawing pencils.  Prismacolor has this useful guide on their website describing the colored pencil manufacturing process.  While the guide says that wood is harvested from California trees, the Sanford representative said that this may no longer be true.

Prismacolor produces high quality colored pencils.  But unfortunately only a limited amount of manufacturing is done in America, and with their popular Premier line of pencils all of the manufacturing is done in Mexico.

2/5 stars

You can purchase a set of Prismacolor Premier colored pencils, now manufactured in Mexico, here.  Or you can purchase a set of Verithin colored pencils here.  You can also see how Prismacolor pencils stacked up against all the other colored pencils we reviewed at our Colored Pencils Category Recap.


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