It was launched in Germany in 1971 in a small family business that was already known for its creativity in the world of writing yet unknown to the general public: the Schwan-Stabilo company based in Nuremberg, one of the centres of the pencil industry, launched the copying pencil in 1875, a world first, and then in 1925 a coloured pencil with a fine point, which was later renamed STABILO. And in 1966, it was Stabilo that launched Pen 68, the first colouring pen for school and leisure activities.
However, everything changed on an ordinary day in 1971!
A revolutionary ink and a unique shape
It was during a trip to the United States that Günter Schwanhäußer, company president and great-great-grandson of founder Gustave Schwanhäusser, discovered that students and managers were using a felt-tip pencil allowing them to "highlight" essential excerpts from a text. Although he liked the idea, the product did not seem up to the task as the text thus marked became completely illegible. Back in Nuremberg, he asked his researchers to come up with an ideal highlighting solution. They then proceeded to invent a transparent, fluorescent yellow ink: although he like the idea of the highlighting concept, but the same could not be said for the clay mock-up shaped like a cylindrical pencil. Furious, he slammed his fist into the model on display, flattening it in the process. The legendary rectangular shape of the STABILO BOSS was born, and has remained unchanged ever since!
In fact, it is the stabilo’s shape, and not the formula of the fluorescent dye, that was patented. That is why the pen is still unique to this day.
A rechargeable highlighter …
The stabile was an immediate success. Thanks to its fluorescent ink and its plastic qualities, it revolutionized the world of colouring. It made it possible, among other things, to legibly and neatly highlight the key words and phrases of a document to be studied, a report, a paper magazine or a printed book. Usable on almost all surfaces, a specially-developed anti-drying technology allows the pen to retain all its qualities for 4 hours without its cap. It is also refillable; just dip the tip in an eco-ink refill to re-soak the pad by capillary action.
… made from plastic and yet eco-friendly
The body of the STABILO BOSS ORIGINAL is made of polypropylene and the cap is currently mainly made of recycled plastic from Stabilo's production waste. Its rectangular shape, black cap and the bevelled tip make it easily recognisable. Gradually, the body of the highlighter is also being converted to recycled polypropylene. To date, STABILO has used 150 tonnes of recycled plastic to manufacture its products.
Le STABILO BOSS ORIGINAL is currently available in 19 colours, nine fluorescent and ten pastel colours, but fluorescent yellow is still the most widely used.
The flagship product of the company with the swan logo, it has sold more than 2 billion items worldwide since its launch. Initially a professional tool, it has become a must-have for all generations and all audiences.