My favourite brands #1: Bic biros

The Bic biro is a design classic. I love them so much that I buy them in industrial quantities – even though, at work, I could use pens provided by the university without having to buy them myself. But the Bic is more real than just any biro – the Platonic ideal form of a ballpoint – all others are just copies, versions and clones. I’m only talking about the clear Medium Cristal kind – I don’t have any feelings for the yellow Fine ones, and as for new-fangled gel pens and what not – no thanks. (The only Bic innovation I applaud is the new sawn-off version of the classic pen – exactly the same, only shorter – short enough to fit in the pocket of another design classic, the Levi trucker jacket.)

So why do I love them? There’s something comforting about their universal availability; wherever civilisation has spread there will be Bic pens along with sanitation and clean water. They’ve written love letters, ransom notes, novels; drawn fake tattoos, doodles, fabulous works of art. Added to that, their originality – when they came out, no-one had seen a transparent pen before – the stunned populace reacted with amazement – ‘Good lord! It’s a pen that looks like a thermometer! What will they think of next!’

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, there are some great Bic-related photos on Flickr (in the Bic-porn section: )

1 thought on “My favourite brands #1: Bic biros

  1. Pingback: Mister Roy’s musings » Bic revisited

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