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Rotring (stylized rOtring) is a German technical writing and drawing instruments brand licensed by the Japanese art supplies company Holbein Works.

Founded1928; 91 years ago (1928) as "Tintenkuli Handels GmbH"
Area served
ProductsTechnical drawing tools
OwnerNewell Brands
ParentSanford L.P.



Rotring mechanical pencils

The company was established in 1928 as "Tintenkuli Handels GmbH". The company's first product was the Tintenkuli, a stylographic pen—a fountain pen with a narrow steel tube instead of a conventional nib. While stylographic pens were already common in America and in fact pre-dated conventional fountain pens, they had not been previously marketed in Europe, and Rotring would eventually become the name associated with such pens throughout the world.

"Rot ring" directly translates to red ring - which is still placed around the barrel of their pens today. The company's name was changed to Rotring in the early 70s to match the trademark.

Although stylographs never overtook fountain pens for use in writing, by 1953 the Rotring "Rapidograph" became the prototypical technical pen of its age. Its technology virtually replaced the ruling pen and greatly simplified technical drawing. Rapidographs are still made today, both by Rotring and by Koh-i-Noor, its US subsidiary.

The advent in the 1990s of computer-aided design (CAD) saw the partial demise of the technical drawing pen. To combat this, Rotring diversified its range of graphic pens, pencils and markers.

In 1998 Rotring was taken over by Sanford, an American company specialising in graphic products and part of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. since 1992 [1] Since then the brand's headquarters in Hamburg has been shut down. All production is handled by Holbein Works or other foreign manufacturers.


Rotring "Rapidograph" (above) and "Isograph" (below), 0.35mm technical pens models
Brand Range of Products
Rapidograph, Isograph Technical pens, refill inks
Art Pen Calligraphy fountain pens, refill inks
Rapid Pro Mechanical pencils, leads
300, 500, 600, 800, 800+ Drafting mechanical pencils
600, 800 Ballpoint Pens
Tikky Ballpoint pens, markers, mechanical pencils, leads, refills, erasers
Precision Compasses, geometry squares, lettering and circle stencils, protractors, rulers

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Newell Rubbermaid history" (PDF). Newell Rubbermaid. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2010.

External linksEdit