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Gift Ideas & Inspiration | Special Offer Pen Sets

Paper Mate’s Ink Innovations

Right from the start, for Paper Mate, the ink has been just as important as the pen – if not more so. In 1940, when he started the Frawley Pen Company, entrepreneur Patrick J Frawley set out to develop a better ballpoint ink at a time when ballpoint sales were struggling. He succeeded with the Paper Mate in 1949, a ballpoint which contained an instant-dry ink – revolutionary at the time.

In 1966, the Paper Mate Flair was launched – a fibre-tipped pen using another brand new, quick-drying, water-based ink that wouldn’t bleed through paper. It came in a range of smart colours and made writing or doodling in notebooks a joy. Then, in 1979, the company took their ink innovation further with the first erasable ballpoint pen, which wrote like a pen but erased like a pencil. But even this wasn’t going far enough in the attempt to make writing mistakes a thing of history. So, in 1980, Liquid Paper joined the Paper Mate stable, meaning every pen could now be erased with one of its correction products.

The 1990s saw the development of a refill which is still used in many of Paper Mate’s pens – Lubriglide. This clever system uses lubricated ink and prevents blobbing and skipping. Then, in 2011, the InkJoy pen brought yet another revolution in ink to the market with its ultra-smooth, ultra-low-viscosity ink in a spectrum of beautiful colours. The InkJoy gel joined it in 2016 – colourful gel ink that dries three times faster than average gel pens. What will Paper Mate come up with next?