Have you ever wondered why the BIC Cristal pen is so popular and ubiquitous? Discover the secrets of this famous transparent ballpoint pen with a blue cap and why it is much more than a simple writing tool.
The success of a cult object
An economical and functional product: The BIC Cristal pen is one of the most popular and recognizable objects in the world. For 73 years, it has retained its original design with very few modifications. The secret of its success lies in its simplicity: it is both economical and functional.
An invention of Société BIC: This cult pen was created by Société BIC, a French company that also manufactures lighters and shavers. The BIC Cristal was designed to replace fountain pens in the 1950s and 60s, because ink refills were expensive and impractical. With the BIC, you have a pen whose ink lasts long enough to write the equivalent of 232 letters on A4 sheets of paper, or a line of over 2 km.
Conquering the American market and unique ergonomics
The striking slogan: In the 1960s, the company decided to conquer the American market with the catchy slogan: “Writes all the time, like never before.” This advertising phrase helped to increase the popularity of the object.
Inspired hexagonal shape: The hexagonal shape of the BIC Cristal pen, inspired by wooden pencils, makes it easy to hold and is a detail appreciated by connoisseurs. This unique ergonomics contributes to the pen's reputation and appeals to a wide audience.
The BIC Cristal, a pen with multiple uses
Rewind tapes and more: The BIC Cristal pen is not just for writing. In the 80's and 90's, it was common to use it to rewind audio tapes, thus extending the life of the batteries in the devices. In addition, it has been used as an accomplice in many cheating strategies in schools and universities, as a blowpipe to throw orange peels, and, according to press records, its tube has even been used to perform emergency tracheotomies.
Modifications to save lives: In 1991, BIC decided to modify the cap of the pen to save lives. A hole was added to the caps to reduce the risk of choking in children who accidentally swallow them. The hole allows air to pass through and the child to continue breathing if the cap gets stuck in the trachea.
Adaptation to new technologies and lasting popularity
The BIC Cristal Stylus: In 2014, BIC launched a new model, the BIC Cristal Stylus, adapted to technological changes with a rubber tip compatible with tablets and smartphones. However, the classic BIC Cristal pen remains the most famous and popular pen in the world.
Simple Design, Durability and Accessibility: Its sleek design, durability and accessibility have kept the BIC Cristal pen in the hearts of millions. And for those of you with long hair, this pen has an additional purpose: it can also be used to hold back an impromptu hairstyle.
In summary, the BIC Cristal pen has been able to cross the ages and become an essential object thanks to its timeless design, its ergonomics, its practicality and its multiple uses. A mythical object that has managed to reinvent itself while preserving its soul.