SCHWAN-STABILO at a glance
STABILO International GmbH is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of writing instruments, and is part of the Schwan-STABILO Group. With more than 1,500 employees, we manufacture our customers’ favourite pens and pencils for highlighting, writing and colouring. The structure of the Schwan-STABILO Group is as follows:
Schwan-STABILO is established in Nuremberg with the permission of King Maximilian II. As a result of industrialisation, demand for pencils grows rapidly.
While many Nuremberg-based pencil manufacturers are still producing pencils by hand, Großberger & Kurz invest in machinery. Once the steam engine was in operation and the impressive chimney had been built, they had this print made.
25-year-old clerk Gustav Adam Schwanhäußer purchased Großberger & Kurz, a pencil factory which had initially shown great promise but then fallen into heavy debt. After only a few years Gustav Adam Schwanhäußer succeeded in turning the business around. In 1875 he introduced and patented the copying pencil.
This diminutive form of the family name inspires the company’s symbol that is still in use today: the swan ("der Schwan" in German). The first ever indelible pencil comes off the production lines, a product for which a patent is filed.
Despite heavy competition, the business prospers, and as early as the 1880s, "Schwanhäußer Fabrik" is one of the top pencil manufacturers in Bavaria. The majority of products at the time are exported to foreign countries (Russia, Egypt, Greece, etc.).
A confident start to the new century In the 1904/1905 fiscal year the factory manufactured 195,000 gross of glued pencils (i.e. more than 28 million pencils!), followed by 219,000 and then 264,000 gross in the years that followed.
The business makes an appearance at an exhibition in Nuremburg with a gigantic and spectacular pencil, standing more than 30 metres tall, showcasing its success.
1910 - 1914
The “Swan” pencil factory was literally flying high, with production figures breaking all records. In the 1913/1914 fiscal year they produced 339,000 gross of pencils, whereas in previous years they had always managed only 250,000 to 300,000 gross. However, the euphoria came to a sudden end. The outbreak of the First World War put a stop to any further major investments.
STABILO launches the first thin-lead coloured pencil. The break-proof lead makes for greater precision in technical and artistic drawing. STABILO establishes itself as a brand alongside the swan.
The company’s slogan for its pencil leads was: “The pencil that never breaks.” This slogan drew protests from other pencil manufacturers. Following heated discussions in the pencil-manufacturers’ association, a minor amendment was agreed: “The pencil that doesn’t break.
A mishap occurred in the factory when pencils with a white undercoat passed through the coating tunnel. They were not completely coated, leaving the hexagonal pencils with distinctly white edges. But did the pencils not look much more unmistakable and original as a result? Thus the edge stripes were “invented” and a trade mark was born. In 1929 the Swan Pencil Factory applied for a patent on its “profiled colored stripes”.
After a large order of custom pencils for the Maggi Corporation, Schwan forms an advertising department and lets its customers customize products for promotional purposes.
1939 - 1945
World War II disrupts business operations, and all exporting stops. When peace is restored in 1945, the factory is left in ruins. Everything must be rebuilt.
Another site is established - this time in Weißenburg, Bavaria - initially to manufacture pencil slats; since the 1960s it has been the main production facility for ink-based pens
Intensity of colour and a touch of the avant-garde. CarbOthello, the pencil for artists and art drawing, was launched in the 50s.
The company expands by developing new products: from ballpoint pen pastes to the felt-tip and fibre-tip pens so popular today. Numerous subsidiaries are established abroad (incl. France and Malaysia).
The rebuilding was complete. In 1961 the company opened its modern buildings in the north of Nuremberg.
STABILO goes into production of felt-tip pens. The successful Pen 68, with its ten brilliantly colored and quick-drying inks, revolutionises coloring for school and hobby purposes.
Under the leadership of the fourth generation, the idea of the highlighter is born during a trip to the United States. A felt-tip pen with fluorescent ink can be used to highlight important information in a text. The revolutionary concept is finally launched in 1971 under the name STABILO BOSS.
Schwan-STABILO decides to offer a felt-tip pen with a fine point at an affordable price for use in offices and schools. Available in four colours, the product range steadily expands to 25 shades. The STABILO Point 88 stands out with its orange body and white stripes. With its fine tip, the pen can be used in any situation. The STABILO Point 88 quickly becomes a cult favourite.
The STABILO sensor is the world’s first pen with a cushioned tip. This patented technology has since found its way into many other STABILO models.
The STABILO LUMINATOR is the world’s first highlighter to work with liquid ink technology and has the biggest ink reservoir on the market. STABILO’s highlighter range thus boasts yet another attraction.
The launch of the STABILO’s move the elastic writer creates a stir. With its novel and unusual shape, it quickly develops into an industry trend. For the first time, pens are seen as lifestyle products with a fashion statement.
The STABILO bionic is launched as an ergonomically designed rollerball. Its special limited editions quickly make it a sought-after collector’s item.
The STABILO BOSS ORIGINAL gets a ‘little brother’ in the form of the STABILO BOSS MINI, which is by no means the lesser in terms of performance and standards. Thanks to its special limited editions it is guaranteed attention for years to come.
In recognition of its ground-breaking products that have changed the writing instrument market, STABILO receives the OPI Award as the Most Innovative Company of the Year.
This STABILO TRIO Scribbi fibre-tip pen, with cushioned tip and triangular shape, was specially developed to meet the needs of pre-school children. The pen and grip size, the weight and shape of the grip, its robustness and its appearance were judged to be “ergonomically recommendable”!
The STABILO bionic worker, a high-performance rollerball for daily use, increases effectiveness in the workplace. Its ergonomic design and compact grip zone bring a touch of colour to the rather grey environment of the office.
The STABILO pointVisco rollerball is equipped with a robust ball tip, a non-slip grip zone and a practical pocket clip. The pointVisco signals a new era for high-volume writers at school and university and in professional life!
Made from 100% FSC-certified wood: STABILO GREENgraph, STABILO GREENcolors, STABILO GREENlighter. STABILO Green – for those who value quality and environmental awareness highly. For a clear conscience and a greener world!
Making coloring and writing child’s play: STABILO EASYcolors and EASYgraph, the first ergonomic colored and graphite pencils especially for left and right-handers. An important aspect from an educational point of view. Why? Because a well-liked pen will also be well-used!
2011: STABILO Cappi – this felt tip caps it all!
Where on earth is it? Once its cap has disappeared – what can you do with a felt-tip? Without a cap you can’t take it anywhere, and it dries out as well – something that’s equally annoying for both children and their parents. Now you don’t have to worry about this any more, thanks to the ingeniously simple solution offered by the STABILO Cappi felt tip. The caps are threaded onto a ring – so it’s almost impossible to lose them. And that means the pens don’t dry out either.
2012: STABILO SMARTball - Two worlds in perfect harmony
STABILO has successfully established the connection between the analogue and digital world with its tablets and smartphones – thanks to the new SMARTball. With its touch screen and ballpoint function, the retractable ball-point pen is the ideal pen for the generation smartphone. The touch screen tip at one end of the pen makes unsightly finger marks a thing of the past. The er-gonomic grip zones at either end of the pen ensure relaxing writing comfort - available for both left and right-handers in four trendy colour combinations.
The new and trendy STABILO NEON impresses with its minimalistic and exceptional unique tube design. Attention-grabbing? You bet! But also stylish, sexy and intelligent – just like today’s fash-ion-conscious girls. And the new STABILO NEON Highlighter has them in mind. It’s the first highlighter to come in a cool tube design with super-soft surface material, four top-quality water-based fluorescent ink neon ink (yellow, orange, green and pink) – and at a fair price: Patented technology provides four hours of protection against drying out, for concentrated work in two different line widths (2mm and 5mm). Thanks to the distinctive net packaging, shoppers will see it at first glance.
2015: STABILO EASYbirdy
The ergonomically shaped fountain pen has been specially developed for school children aged 7 and over who want to improve their writing skills with ease. EASYbirdy is unique in many ways: the nib can be fitted at three different angles to provide the best individual hand posture for the child. No other fountain pen manufacturer has hitherto provided this level of useful technical refinement. The innovative STABILO fountain pen thus facilitates the creation and development of the child’s own handwriting.
We are all part of a team, and each one of us has a contribution to make. We have faith in one another and can depend on each other, this makes us strong and confident but at the same time gives us the assurance we need to keep asking questions. Our six core values – agreement on our goals, strength through mutual trust, teamwork, self-criticism, success and confidence – have developed from this basic principle. In our opinion values make no sense if we don’t live by them. This is a challenge which we are happy to face up to every day! Our company’s values hold equally true for all of us and have a major influence on both our daily routine and our company culture. That’s what makes us so special. Our employees can give you a direct insight into what it’s like to work for STABILO
Ability to be a team player