Industry-Favored Colored Pencils Return After Initially Being Discontinued

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Mitsubishi Pencil put Japanese artists into a tailspin when it announced it would no longer produce colored pencils favored by the animation industry. Cartoonists flocked to art supply stores to buy up the remaining orange, blue and yellow-green pencils used to draw cels.

Japan Animator Creators Association (JACA) secretary Daisuke Okeda issued a statement highlighting the importance of the tools, "The impact on animation studios is not small. Most artists use that pencil. We have not yet verified if there are any replacement products we can use."

While much of animation has moved from paper to computer screens, Okeda said that much of animation's small details are still captured the old-fashioned way.

"Old-fashioned" is much of the reasoning behind the discontinuation in the first place. Mitsubishi Pencil's production of colored pencils is not economically viable in a digital world in the midst of a birth decline. Less children means less art supplies. Regardless, the art supply stores felt the pressure and it made its way up to Mitsubishi Pencil. Within 24 hours, the company did an about-face.

The company announced it would discontinue all other colors except for orange, blue and yellow-green as long as the demand for them remained.

Source: Financial Times Japan

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