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The Bauhaus School of Art & Design inspired the unification of art with craft while embracing new technologies for mass production. Arguably the most celebrated design school in history, Bauhaus thinkers felt the world needed to be fundamentally and critically re-thought, bringing “art into industry”. Good design became defined by minimalism and simplicity, this thinking and aesthetic approach to design has had a huge influence on rOtring design.
(Image copyright: Galerie Berinson, Berlin and Makoto Yamawaki, Courtesy of the Barbican Art Gallery)
The first nibless fountain pen is unveiled. The model was to become affectionately referred to as “Tiku” around the world. The design combines the ink-flow regulator with a tubular nib and a regulator wire. The result is a classic needle point pen known by rOtring loyalists as the “Tintenkuli”.
The Modernism movement in design continues to evolve with the adoption of new technologies into daily life across Western Europe. Modernists believed they could design a better society in which function dictated form. Modernism comes to be defined by Surrealism, late Cubism, the Bauhaus, Dada, and German Expressionism.
Le Corbusier Sketch - Inspired by Modernist theory
The first patent for a rOtring ink pen with tubular nib is granted. Pens no longer necessitate a huge space on one’s desk and a new era of flexibility commences.
The "Riepe Werke" export the Tiku to 34 countries around the world. The pens become the go-to writing instrument of the 1930s.
The first rotring Multipen is born, a glorious “4-colour-pen” with graphite leads and a nifty twist mechanism. The Multipen allows for variations of color with the elegant simplicity of one tool.
The 1939 World Fair presents a newer and clearer view of American industrial design in an effort to build the world of tomorrow. On display are the new materials and streamlined and efficient shapes dictating futuristic forms in design. Style became en par with function. In sync, one’s own signature style becomes increasingly expressed through prized possessions.
(The World Fair, NY, 1939: lmage copyright: Gottscho-Schleisner)
Export manager Karl H. Dietze turns the small company into a global creative tools player and expands rOtrings horizons. The company has its first commercial van painted with the rOtring Tinkenkuli (inkograph) and red ring logo.
The founder’s son Helmut Riepe enters the company bringing young blood to rOtring.
Helmuth Riepe creatively expands on the Tiku concept; taking it a step further by developing the rOtring rapidograph. The results become the prototypical technical pen. The new technology replaces the ruling pen of the day and greatly simplifies technical drawing (and continues to do so today), creating the technical pen category. The rotring Rollerpen and the “Tiku-Kuli” ballpen become key writing instrument innovations of the 1950’s.
The second generation of the rotring “Rollkuli"" with innovative designed tip is debuted to brand loyalists.
rOtring launches the second generation of technical pens: the Variant and the Varioscript; both immediate successes.
The German “roter Ring” the symbol for active precision, becomes the official name for all products bearing the red ring.
The first rOtring drawing set debuts. Compasses and stencils round off the series of drawing instruments and creative tools.
In 1968 rOtring expanded their technical pens range and launched the "micronorm" with line widths conforming to standards for the secure storage of the drawings on microfilm.
The acquisition of the metal writing instrument manufacturer Adolf Waldmann KG, Pforzheim, Germany strengthens the brand’s German roots.
rOtring establishes branches in Europe, including Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and Belgium.
The rOtring Isograph is added to the technical ink pen range. The patented grip contact ensures comfortable handling and heightened user experience.
rOtring acquires an interest in Walter Hebel KG in Kirchen and introduces its first drawing board produced by injection molding.
The first rOtring Tikky fine-lead mechanical pencil debuts! Its precision for pencil drawings is unmatched in the technical world. It is known worldwide and synonymous with its ergonomic waved grip area.
The 80s users in the development and sales of the first computer-controlled lettering machines; and the rOtring NC-scriber was born.
The new global trademark for rOtring and Koh-I-Noor's plotter pen systems is launched. Rapidoplot becomes the worldwide brand for rOtring plotter accessories.
The new rapidograph technical pen set new standards in technology and performance with the invention of the capillary cartridge. This new development makes Rapidograph technical ink pens even easier to use and further improved the line quality.
The rOtring ArtPen debuts. The calligraphy fountain pen expands to take up a massive portion of the market for writing instruments; and the art of penmanship; once again becomes celebrated.
rOtring builds up a network of subsidiaries in globally with the purchase of rOtring Portugal Ltda. and KOH-I-NOOR Hardtmuth S.p.A. in Italy and the establishment of rOtring France S.A., rOtring Hellas GmbH and rOtring Espana S.A.
Customized multi-functional writing instruments. These instruments were designed in cooperation with users to meet their specific needs. The result is comfortable rOtring Multipen technology enabling the choice of a pen or pencil point by selecting an icon.
The debut of the rOtring 600 marks the company’s entry into the upscale writing instrument market, setting a new standard in 80s accessories du jour. The 600 was designed with a hexagonal barrell to prevent it from rolling on the architects drawing table. It is machined out of one piece of brass on a lathe, providing it with ample weight to ensure that the architect need not apply extra pressure when creating.
The characteristics of the Tikky mechanical pencils are successfully transferred to fountain pens and ballpoints. The feather-light metal 400 series writing instruments - later known as the rOtring Esprit - give a fresh new sensation to writing.
The success of the ArtPen calls for an ArtPen Millennium range. From 1994 – 2000, a new ArtPen Millennium limited edition was brought out each year, as collector’s items, presented as both signs of the times and objects d’art.
The rOtring XONOX is introduced; a roller-point with needlepoint tip and free-flowing ink.
rOtring redefines its focuses on the core markets of fine writing, education and office. rOtring communicates its philosophy with an extravagant, highly emotional brand campaign in Europe, Asia and North America.
The company goes online for the first time with www.rOtring.com
Tikky II, the second generation of the world-famous rOtring fine-lead pencil Tikky, is launched with great success.
For its 70th anniversary rOtring launches the limited edition “1928”. 1,928 fountain pens with two nibs: a classical tubular tip and a luxury 18-carat-bi-color gold nib are introduced.
The Multifunction Pen Executive, a multipen which highlights the advanced technology of rOtring pens debuts. In 1998 rOtring becomes part of Sanford, a division of Newell Brands.
rOtring Initial arrives on the market exhibiting innovation in both design and technology. The Fountain Pen is equipped with a special Air Pressure Compensation System (APC) which enables the user to write smoothly on journeys by air.
rOtring core, debuts as the ultimate cult object.
rOtring presents new developments in compass design. Its compact series combines functionality with a pleasing form.
The new rOtring Newton debuts, exuding pure metallic sensation around a solid and user-friendly fine writing tool inviting loyalists to “shape your vision”.
The new rOtring Esprit Special Edition launches introducing a unique finish with an expressive pattern.
rOtring introduces new series Rapid Pro. featuring an innovative 2mm pencil with push mechanism and fine-lead pencils with cushion point mechanism & tubular sliding point. A perfect professional tool!
Introducing the rOtring 800+, the first mechanical pencil + stylus hybrid design, for use on paper and touchscreens. With the rise of digital technologies, creatives are now hybrids, fusing the creative methods of the past with the technology of today. The 800+ was created to enable designers to “Think on paper + Think on digital”.