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Every Product Tells a Story

Pentel’s Sign this, please. This pen is easy to use. Well, it’s a Pentel Sign Pen.

“Sign Pen”
For nearly 55 years Pentel
has supplied the world with
the highest quality stationery
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products. It has been an
In 1946, Yukio Horie established Dai Nippon We’ve seen ballpoint pens and fountain
industry leader, being the Bungu Co. and began manufacturing crayons pens in the market, but I want to make
only company in the field of and coloring materials as teaching aids. writing materials that other companies
don’t make.
stationery manufacturing
that was awarded with the
Education is
Deming Award for recogni- essential for a
tion of the highest standard new Japan.

of quality.
The company completed 4

“Sign Pen” in 1963 after I’m a writing brush maker by For the tip of a writing brush, The tip of a writing
trade. I wish we could make a pen we can bind acryl fibers brush must not be
eight years of research. that is easy to carry like a ballpoint using resin by heating them too soft or too hard.
and then sharpen it into the
Today it is widely used not pen and that writes like a writing
shape of a writing brush.
only in Japan but also all
over the world. Here is a
history of Pentel’s “Sign
Illustrations by Ryuji Fujii
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If we make tiny faults inside the tip, For the ink reservoir, we can OK. The test piece is
the ink will flow out to the end by harden resin and heat it to done.
capillary action. form a tube.

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Hmm, I wonder, if the pen gets
Oh! Now the pen
warm, does the air inside the pen
shaft expand causing the ink to

Let’s make a rather fat pen to
For the ink, pigment make it easier to hold. The cap
easily gets hard. But if we clip, too. Let’s make it strong
make it too soft, the dye enough so that the pen can be
will flow out. firmly held in a shirt pocket.

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Let’s make a tiny hole here to allow the After eight years of research, the Pentel Sign Pen was Unfortunately, however, the
air pressure to escape inside the cap. completed in 1963. Sign Pen was practically

It’s finished! Huh?

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What would happen in a country like Chicago International You’re not allowed to sell your Well, it’s no use to take these
America where people sign their Trade Fair products at the fair! pens back to Japan. I’ll hand
names? It would be even better if we them out for free.
could make some money there.

Sorry! Here, it’s
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The White House Do you have a This pen’s easy to write with. When this conversation of President
pen? Who makes it? Johnson’s was published in a magazine,
the Pentel Sign Pen became immediately
known throughout the United States.

Here, What an
Mr. President. amazing pen!
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Before long, the Pentel Sign Pen was re- Orders were pouring in from home and abroad, When Gemini 6 and 7 rendezvoused
imported to Japan where it soon but the demand could not be met because the in 1966, it became big news that
became highly popular. pens were still being made by hand. Sign Pens were used on the

We need to introduce
machinery for mass These Sign
production while Pens are
maintaining quality. fantastic!
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To make a better Sign Pen, we have to handle all This system was expanded to handle the But you know, the basic design
operations ourselves. Otherwise, we can’t technological developments of future Pentel of the Pentel Sign Pen has still
guarantee the quality. Also, we will aim at perfect products and for education of human resources. barely changed from the first
automation that won’t allow for faulty products. It became the start for turning out many day it went on sale.
outstanding people and products.

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