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3 Fun Facts About Stabilo

1. Stabilo was originally the name of the product, not the company…

Stabilo didn’t used to be called Stabilo. Under its guide as the Schwan pencil factory in the mid-1920s, the company was developing a revolutionary new premium, anti-breakage, thin-lead pencil. It was called – you guessed it – the Stabilo, and proved immensely popular worldwide, boosting the brand’s global notoriety. To recognise this, Stabilo was incorporated into the Schwan-Stabilo name in the 1954, and this remains the official company name to this day.

2. Stabilo’s famous white lines came about by accident…

In 1928, in the Schwan pencil factory in Nuremburg, a batch of pencils came out of the coating machine looking somewhat different to normal. White lines gleamed down the corners of each plane of the hexagon. The company decided to make the most of it, and this accidental design feature was trademarked the same year. Stabilo pencils still feature the striking white lines on their pencil ranges. Now that’s how to look on the bright side of a manufacturing error!

3. The Stabilo BOSS highlighter got its unusual shape in an unusual manner…

When an industrial designer working for Schwan-Stabilo in 1971 was tasked with designing an innovative new pen design to house the brand’s revolutionary fluorescent highlighter ink, he decided to use modelling clay to help him realise his ideas. After trying out square, round, short, long, fat and thin shapes, he smashed his hand down onto the desk in frustration with his lack of inspiration. Landing on the conical cylinder of clay he’d just been modelling, it flattened it into the distinctive Stabilo BOSS shape we know and love today – and an icon was born.