Pencils are yellow because in the 19th century, the best graphite came from China. Because yellow was a royal colour in China, pencil companies began to colour their pencils yellow to show both high quality and an association with China.

The Bizarre Reason Pencils Are Yellow

If you’ve ever stared at your No. 2 pencil and wondered “why are pencils yellow?” you can take solace in the fact that around 210 people a month are typing that very question into an online search engine and contemplating this along with you.

But really, why are pencils yellow? Is the yellow meant to evoke the sunny cheer of back-to-school season? Is it so the pencils are easy to spot when you drop your writing utensils on the floor? Or is the yellow some sort of special anti-decay varnish? None of the above. As it turns out, there’s actually some fascinating history behind the signature yellow color of No. 2 pencils.

“During the 1800s, the best graphite in the world came from China. American pencil makers wanted a special way to te… Continue Reading