Pentel Co., Ltd. (ぺんてる株式会社, Penteru Kabushiki Gaisha) is a privately-held Japanese manufacturing company of stationery products. The name is a combination of the English words pen and tell (as in, telling a story). Pentel is also the inventor of non-permanent marker technology. Most Pentel products are manufactured in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Mexico, and France.
|Formerly||Japan Stationery Co., Ltd. (1946–71)|
|Founder||Yukio Horie (President 1946–2010)|
|Hiroyuki Ono (President and CEO)|
|Products||Writing implements, art materials, office products, electronic devices and production equipment|
Number of employees
|773 (March 2012)|
The company is regarded as the inventor of the fibre-tipped (felt-tip) pen in 1963. Nowadays, Pentel produces a wide range of products that include writing implements, art materials and office goods.
The company was founded in 1946 as "Japan Stationery Limited" in Tokyo by Yokio Horie, with the purpose of manufacturing crayons and pastels. The first products for sale were released in 1951, followed by pencils in 1960.
In 1963 Pentel launched the "Sign Pen", a fibre-type pen that was used by then President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, who bought a dozen of them to sign photographs, apart from being adopted as the official writing instrument of NASA and went into space with a Gemini mission in 1966. Demand for a Sign Pen was so extraordinary that the Tokyo factories could not supply all requests. The Sign Pen was one of Pentel's most successful products with more than two billion units sold.
In 1971 the company changed its name to "Pentel Co. Ltd." and one year later, the green rollerball pen with water-based ink, was launched. Horie remained as President of the company until his death in 2010.
In the 2010s, Pentel launched the "Pocket Brush", a fudepen that used replaceable waterproof ink cartridges like fountain pens, unlike conventional brush pens, which are more like marker pens.
Brush pens (designed and recommended for calligraphy) have also gained popularity among comic book artists, who choose them to ink their works instead of dip pens or traditional brushes. One of those artists using Pentel was Neal Adams.
Product lines include Sharp Kerry, Sharp P200 series, Graph 1000, Graphgear (500, 800 and 1000), Graphlet, Sharplet, Smash, Stein, Orenz, OrenzNero (mechanical pencils or "sharps"); Ain and Hi-Polymer (mechanical pencil leads); Energel (gel ink pens); Vicuna (hybrid ink ballpoint pen); Pentel Pen (permanent marker), and Sign Pen (fine tip marker).
Range of products manufactured by Pentel includes:
Pentel produces and sells electronic devices and production equipment in addition to stationery.
- Electronic equipment – Touch panel, digitizer (liquid crystal pen tablet), touch switch, electronic pen (airpen)
- Production equipment – for industrial robots, industrial automatic assembly machines, precision dies for injection molding, precision hand presses
- OEM supply (OEM Division) – Cosmetic parts, stationery, office supplies, medical equipment
- "Pentel Corporate Report", Pentel Corporation, January 2014.
- "Pentel celebrates 70 years of success". Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
- Pentel Japanese site corporate information Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine
- Pentel international locations[permanent dead link]
- 「ぺんてる」の社名の由来とは? Pentel Co., Ltd. history. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
- History of pen and writing instruments About Inventors site. Retrieved March 11, 2007.
- History of the Pentel Sign Pen on Pen Cult website
- "Pentel Pocket Brush features". Archived from the original on 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2011-05-24.
- Pentel brush on Cult Pens website
- Review: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen by Teoh Yi Chie, December 28, 2014
- Pentel Pocket Brush Pen: A Comprehensive Guide June 4, 2019 on Jet Pens
- Larry Hama interview in Comic Book Resources Archived 2009-06-07 at the Wayback Machine June 3, 2009
- Pentel catalog Archived 2010-09-26 at the Wayback Machine on Pentel of America, Ltd. (archived), Sep 21, 2010
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