The BLACK Files

OK, so this is not about any one brand in particular but MPs and related designs that emphasize the use of BLACK in the naming, either as a single model or as a series. Let’s go!

First up, Pentel HI-BLACK ML5 and Hi-BLACK ‘B’ 0.5mm spare leads and eraser set. Note the 1978 date stamp on the reserve tube.

I believe there are the usual HB etc lead grades but ‘B’ for BLACK felt right. I have a ton of spares from a lot I got off Mercari.


I remember when I first got a Hi-Black pencil, I didn’t realize there were two different versions. I think it took me another 4 to 6 months to get the second one.

In my last Japanese purchase, I picked up a box of Hi-Black B lead.

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Oh yeah! I’m not sure I’ll be able to find the S55 grip version…

The BLACK Files, entry #2

Sakura branded several of their Slide Sharp with the BLACKY moniker to go with their similarly branded leads. I have no other literature to support any theories but I’m guessing it was the trend back then to improve polymer leads to be smoother, darker, etc. Same as Pentel’s Hi-Black…


Big fan of these—aggressive silkscreening is fun!

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Would love to see other designs if you have them! :slight_smile:

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The BLACK Files #3, courtesy of COLLEEN ‘BLAX’ leads… there are variations of packaging design but this yellow and black combo is the most striking to me. AFAIK, they did not produce any MPs with BLAX branding.

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And the leads are dated September 1978 (8I).


I keep missing on the minutiae! Thanks, Jimmy!