The reputation of the Chartpak portfolio for quality and leadership has been a standard within the design, drafting, and engineering industries for over 60 years. While Chartpak products have been used in the fabric of American creativity from the likes of Norman Rockwell to NASA, our brands have humble roots. Nearly all of the brands Chartpak has incorporated into its family have started as passionate ideas of artists and innovators and have grown to become household names, such as Grumbacher®, Higgins® and Koh-I-Noor®. With this common thread, Chartpak continues to expand its family of legacy brands.
Chartpak has a commitment to encourage creativity in every area of our lives. We believe that creative ideas flow from the heart to the mind to the hand. Our brands foster this creative process in the enthusiast, student and professional; our products offer a means of transforming conception into creation. We believe that creativity is our legacy. Photo by Terri Cappucci, Chartpak Dam
Chartpak opened for business in 1949 as a graphics supply manufacturer when John S. Marran (Miller, Bryant & Pierce) and Earle Gill (General Foods), and Harold Frohbach (General Mills) came up with the idea to sell DIY visual aid materials directly to businesses. Chartpak produced innovations such as the tape method of charting, and colored, transparent, and printed tapes for art and drafting. This relatively new business-to-business sales concept created workflow efficiencies for companies because it provided the tools for entry-level employees to create DIY charts, graphs, and other organizational aids.
New Location, New Products
In 1957, Chartpak moved its facility from Stamford, Connecticut to Leeds, Massachusetts, its current home today. Its product line increased to include easels and printed tapes for newspapers and advertising.
By the early 1960s, the Chartpak brand expanded to include the original rub-on letters, films, vinyl graphics, and a wide variety of drafting instruments. This rapid expansion allowed the building of new additions, doubling production facilities.
For the next two decades, new products continued to enhance Chartpak’s reputation as a progressive innovator in many segments of the trade. In the 1970s, Chartpak introduced Velvet Touch transfer lettering, a graphic art knives center, a burnisher center, and expanded its product line to include vinyl signs, spray products, hand-cut masking film, and drafting applique film.
Throughout the 1980s, Chartpak brought in the Pickett®, RapiDesign®, and AD Marker® brands as a distinct part of the corporate brand portfolio. By 1990, Chartpak became one of the largest and most experienced graphic design companies in the USA.
In 1993, Chartpak diversified its branding, and for the next two decades, it increased its product offering to include fine art materials, fine writing materials, craft and hobby products, and office products. President Steven W. Roth positioned Chartpak to become a globally recognized, premier creative products enterprise. Today, Chartpak has an established portfolio that encompasses 19 brands with 53 distinct product lines that span 11,000 individual products of art materials, craft and hobby, fine writing, and office products, many of which are made in the USA and Europe.
A Thriving Community
In 2010, Chartpak’s community outreach expanded when President Steven Roth created the online artists' community thalo. Named after the trademarked Grumbacher® color line, thalo brings artists and materials together. Thalo is a platform that recognizes people who inspire others through their art, provides tutorials on fine arts, and is a space for artists to showcase their work, network, and collaborate with other artists and businesses.
Chartpak partners with local and national art outreach organizations, educational institutions, and artists societies to engage with people who have a passion for creation. Whether it’s providing a product donation, lecture series, workshop, or demonstration, Chartpak is committed to being active in the community.