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Maxime De Ruyck via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Thanks to Adult Coloring Books, There’s a Global Pencil Shortage

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Maxime De Ruyck via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Whether you feel inspired to scribble in the characters of Chuck Palahniuk or Lisa Frank, there’s a coloring book out there for you. The widely popular adult coloring book trend seems like it’d be great news for pencil companies, but the Independent reports that some major manufacturers are struggling to satisfy the demand.

Workers at Faber-Castell’s factory in Germany have been forced to run extra shifts in order to keep up with production. The world’s largest wooden pencil producer is reportedly seeing double-digit growth in artists’ pencils sales and has boosted its supply significantly compared to the previous year.

Faber-Castell isn’t the only company that’s been impacted by the fad—the European manufacturer Staedtler and Stabilo has reported a colored pencil shortage, as have suppliers in Brazil. According to The Washington Post, overall colored pencil sales spiked by about 26 percent in 2015—a significant change from the past three years, during which growth never exceeded 7.2 percent. In response to the increasing amount of adult customers, some companies like Crayola are now selling adult coloring books and pencils as a package deal.

Demand for higher quality pencils and larger sets has also risen. Sandra Suppa from Faber-Castell told the Independent, “People are now not satisfied with ‘just’ 36 colors and we are noticing a trend in people preferring bigger sets of 72 or even 120 colors for coloring.”

If you've somehow avoided joining the coloring book bandwagon, it’s not too late to start—just make sure to stock up on pencils while they're still on the shelves.

[h/t Independent]

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Courtesy Chronicle Books
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Design
Inside This Pop-Up Book Are a Planetarium, a Speaker, a Decoder Ring, and More
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Courtesy Chronicle Books

Designer Kelli Anderson's new book is for more than just reading. This Book Is a Planetarium is really a collection of paper gadgets. With each thick, card stock page you turn, another surprise pops out.

"This book concisely explains—and actively demonstrates with six functional pop-up paper contraptions—the science at play in our everyday world," the book's back cover explains. It turns out, there's a whole lot you can do with a few pieces of paper and a little bit of imagination.

A book is open to reveal a spiralgraph inside.
Courtesy Chronicle Books

There's the eponymous planetarium, a paper dome that you can use with your cell phone's flashlight to project constellations onto the ceiling. There's a conical speaker, which you can use to amplify a smaller music player. There's a spiralgraph you can use to make geometric designs. There's a basic cipher you can use to encode and decode secret messages, and on its reverse side, a calendar. There's a stringed musical instrument you can play on. All are miniature, functional machines that can expand your perceptions of what a simple piece of paper can become.

The cover of This Book Is a Planetarium
Courtesy Chronicle Books
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Noriyuki Saitoh
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Art
Japanese Artist Crafts Intricate Insects Using Bamboo
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Noriyuki Saitoh

Not everyone finds insects beautiful. Some people think of them as scary, disturbing, or downright disgusting. But when Japanese artist Noriyuki Saitoh looks at a discarded cicada shell or a feeding praying mantis, he sees inspiration for his next creation.

Saitoh’s sculptures, spotted over at Colossal, are crafted by hand from bamboo. He uses the natural material to make some incredibly lifelike pieces. In one example, three wasps perch on a piece of honeycomb. In another, two mating dragonflies create a heart shape with their abdomens.

The figures he creates aren’t meant to be exact replicas of real insects. Rather, Saitoh starts his process with a list of dimensions and allows room for creativity when fine-tuning the appearances. The sense of movement and level of detail he puts into each sculpture is what makes them look so convincing.

You can browse the artist’s work on his website or follow him on social media for more stunning samples from his portfolio.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

[h/t Colossal]

All images courtesy of Noriyuki Saitoh.

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