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Double ended colour pencils

Double ended colour pencils

While red and blue pencils are a sublime and beautiful example of the pencil maker’s art, other colour leads can be combined though the same process for an amazing result.

Double ended colour pencils

Colleen is a company we’ve mentioned many times. With leadership from a former manager of Japan’s now defunct Colleen Pencil Co., the revived company in Thailand seems to have separate lines – aimed at first, the Thai and international market, and second, the Japanese market. This particular set is for the Thai and international market. Twenty-four double ended pencils, with combinations such as “Warm Gray & Royal Purple” or “Cream Yellow & Russet Brown”.

Double ended colour pencils

The unsharpened pencils come in a modest yet pleasing carboard box. But I think it is a set of 24, not 48! Am I wrong?

They are a fantastic visual treat:

Double ended colour pencils

For the price, I think it is a very innovative product that would delight both children and adults.

Double ended colour pencils

There are others on the market. Here are double ended sets from Bruynzeel and Laurentien:

Double ended colour pencils

Bruynzeel is a Netherlands brand now owned by Sakura of Japan. Their ColorExpress 12 Twinpoints are hexagonal and factory sharpened.

Double ended colour pencils

Laurentien is a Canadian brand in the Sanford empire. Take a look at the brand website, which shows quite a bit of the brand history, including the product rename from the anglicized “Laurentian”. See also this article from the Canadian Design Resource website.

The round factory sharpened pencils have an interesting twist – a “regular” colour, and a metallic version at the other end.

They also have some specific sharpening recommendations:

Double ended colour pencils

Agreed, handheld sharpeners are not as useful as they should be! I am curious about the cosmetic sharpener recommendation – are those blades made to a higher standard? I suppose it’s possible, with cosmetic pencils costing magnitudes more than writing or drawing pencils.

Double ended colour pencils

Just as the pencils have more than one identity, so do the manufacturers. Colleen is an originally Japanese brand, now located and manufacturing in Thailand, and noting that “Japan Lead” is used. Laurentian is a Canadian brand, owned by a US company, with the product made in Indonesia. Bruynzeel is a Dutch brand with a Japanese owner, with the product made in China.

Double ended colour pencils

As befits products immensely appealing to children, all the pencils do have safety badges – the Colleen bears the CE EN71 logo, the Laurentien the ASTM logo, and Bruynzeel bears both.

Double ended colour pencils

My thanks for Gunther from Lexikaliker for kindly sending me the Bruynzeel pencils.

See also: The Lyra Super Ferby Duo (July, 2008)

20 comments to Double ended colour pencils

  • Nice informative post on kids art supplies! I would also refer to the Colleen set as a set of 24 double pencils rather than the somewhat misleading claim that the box contains a set of 48 pencils.

  • Alberto, I think that even if these products are aimed at children (more so with the Laurentien and Bruynzeel products), they stand on their own as innovations, and are equally interesting to adults. Or at least big kids. :)

  • Great post. I’d certianly agree, it’s “24 Pencils – 48 Colours”, but I will happily give them the benefit of the doubt considering that English is not their native language.

  • Wai

    I have a set of Colleen 24 colours from the late 80s/early 90s. They were round! Here’s a picture! I threw the box away so I can’t show you that. They were certainly the cool coloured pencils to have. Now that I’m older, I’d say the quality of them is a lot better than waxy Laurentian..

  • Thank you for that very informative post! Is the Colleen set still available? If yes, where can it be bought? Regarding “48 Colored Pencils”: This could also be the result of a less-that-ideal layout of the packaging’s print.

  • Wai, thank you for sharing that photo!

    Gunther, the Colleen pencils seem to be sold in various southeast Asian countries, and also in South Africa. But I took the easy route and got this set from an eBay seller in Thailand.

  • Stephen, thank you for the information – I have just purchased a set at eBay :-)

  • I used to have a set of double-ended colored pencils in elementary school in the 80s. They looked a lot like the pics posted, but they had small white stripes going around the pencil all the way down. I have no idea what brand they were; I must have been in 3rd or 4th grade when I used them. As an adult, the graphic designer in my office had a set, which triggered my memory of using them. Does anyone know what brand these were? Maybe a picture? I wonder if they’re still manufactured.

  • Gail Mackey

    Where can I order these double ended pencils and do I have to be a wholesaler? Thanks. GM

  • Hi Gail, the Laurentiens are widely available in Canada. As to the others – it might be best to ask the manufacturers.

  • chris

    many colleen double sets on ebay

  • Nido

    Well….i own a 24/48 Colleen Coloured Pencils that i brought around the early 2000, and recently i decided to buy their 30/60 coloured pencils. And both are the same but the packaging have changed and like all stuff in your modern times, that quality of the new pencils isnt as good as the old ones. And the older ones is much smoother then the newer ones.

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