Let's Celebrate National Ballpoint Pen Day: Monday 10th June 2024

Let's Celebrate National Ballpoint Pen Day: Monday 10th June 2024

Oh yes, I’m pretty sure there’s a celebratory day for every type of stationery imaginable! But we don’t often shout about the humble ballpoint pen so this seems like the perfect opportunity…

National Ballpoint Pen Day is celebrated on June 10th to commemorate the anniversary of the date Hungarian brothers László and György Bíró were granted the patent for their ballpoint pen design in 1943. While the first patent for a ballpoint pen was actually awarded to John J Loud (a lawyer and leather tanner, that common combo) in 1888, Loud’s version was primarily for use on leather and wood and was much too rough for paper.

László was a newspaper editor and needed a quick-drying and smudge-proof pen for work. Thankfully, his brother György was a chemist and came to his rescue with the perfect combo of a thick viscous ink and tiny ball-bearing to manage the ink flow. The patent was then sold to Marcel Bich in 1945 and it swiftly became the Bic company’s main product. I love that we still commonly refer to them as biros 80+ years later!

While there’s a much wider variety of fun designs and colourful inks available these days, the basic design and function of the ballpoint is relatively unchanged from the 1943 version! Here’s a whistle-stop tour of the ballpoint pens currently available at Nikki’s Supply Store:

First up are our gold and silver Bic Classic Biros which most closely resemble the original ballpoint, albeit it with a fun metallic twist! The silver barrel has black ink and the gold barrel has blue ink. These are so much fun to sketch and letter with, as you can see from Nikki’s hand-lettering. Did you know you could achieve a gradient / ombre effect with a ballpoint pen?

If you’re a child of the 80s or 90s, is there anything more exciting than a multi-colour pen? This beauty has a retro transparent barrel and a whopping six ink colours in one: Red, orange, green, blue, purple and black. Perfect for teachers, medical staff, bullet journalers and anyone else who wants or needs to use different ink colours without carting loads of pens around!

They're also great for sketching, as demonstrated by Nikki's portrait of her her mum's gorgeous boy, Alfie:

These next two designs were some of our favourite new finds from the London Stationery Show in 2023:

These Pencil Ballpoints by Japanese stationers Ohto look like classic yellow pencils - more on that in this blog postThey have a super duper fine nib which is great for small lettering on dot grid paper or in a mini planner like the Archive Planner.

Mark’s Inc. Tous Les Jours Ballpoints come in a variety of fun colour combos and feature the days of the week in French on the barrel, because why not! They have a similarly fine nib to the Ohto Pencil Ballpoints ballpoint with a slightly longer barrel.

Finally, the Livework V2.0 Point Pen is another super fine tipped ballpoint with a satisfying clicky top and a choice of bold colour combos! I love that the colours are stamped on the barrel, especially as “Vermillion” is such a pleasing word.

Did you know…? A regular Bic ballpoint pen can draw a line that’s about 2 kilometres long. Which sounds super impressive until you re-read my National Pencil Day blog post as the average pencil can draw a line a whopping 35 MILES i.e. 56 kilomtres long! You win this round, pencils.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this celebration of National Ballpoint Pen Day! If you’ve been inspired by any of the items or facts in this blog post or you’ve bought any new ballpoint pens to try, we’d love to see! You can tag @nikkissupplystore and #NikkisSupplyStore on Instagram, where you can find heaps more journaling and stationery inspo. You can also follow me, @joy.margot, for more craft content, monthly reading round-ups and photos of my cat, Juniper.

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