Design Classic
BIC-Cristal
A Museum Worthy Pen.jpg
Notes/Spring 2019/Design Classic

The BIC® Cristal® has become such an everyday object that we tend to forget it’s a design classic. It’s even part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York! In the 1950s, this pen changed the writing implement market from one of centred around fountain pens to one centred around ballpoints. As it was perfectly suitable as a humble pen, the BIC® Cristal® became the golden standard for basic ballpoints. After 70 years, it’s still the world’s most popular pen.

It is cheap, reliable, and can write more than two kilometres of text. Its hexagonal shape also emulates the contours of a pencil. This gives the Cristal® writing stability, minimizes the amount of material, and prevents it from rolling off your desk. And for those who love chewing on pen caps: the hole at the top might be a lifesaving design feature!

Text and illustration Krista Lahaye
Photography Dennis Roverts