Pelikan – The Brand
by Dr. Detmar Schäfer
Leuenhagen & Paris, 2013, 167 pages (ISBN 978-923976-91-1)
“Pelikan The Brand” is a book that was published in 2o13 in order to document and relate the development of Pelikan’s brand over the decades. It was released in time to commemorate their 175th anniversary. The Pelikan logo is very distinctive and captivating. Collectors have often puzzled over the differences in the number of chicks in the mother pelican’s nest and what the significance of one versus two versus four might mean. While this information has previously been scattered and difficult to find, “Pelikan The Brand” brings it all together in a 167 page hardbound book that is an easy and informative read.
Included in the book are letters from Pelikan’s archives that had previously been unreleased as well as an extensive collection of illustrations from many renowned artists according to Pelikan. These include Kurt Schwitters, El Lissitzky, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, and O.H.W. Hadank. The book instantly opens with a pictorial of how the Pelikan logo developed over time from the Wagner family coat of arms to the trademark that has been in current use since 2oo3. There are details of the company’s history as well as at least 150+ illustrations. The book is beautifully laid out and is a very easy read. It is written in the English language exclusively whereas other publications (i.e. Pelikan Schreibgerate) have been written in both English and German within the same publication.
I have been asked, “Is there a lot of information about Pelikan’s pens in the book?” The answer to that question is no there is not but I would not let that dissuade you from perusing a copy. While this book is devoted to Pelikan as a brand rather than any specific product line, there is a significant amount of information that helps one develop a better understanding for the company and their products. The illustrations are all very high quality reproductions that need to be seen to be fully appreciated.
Regarding the book’s author, Dr. Detmar Schäfer is part of the legal counsel for Pelikan and is involved in protecting the integrity of the brand. While doing research from Pelikan’s archives to help with claims against counterfeiters in China, information about the brand’s development over time came to light which ultimately became the basis for this work.
Whether you are a collector of Pelikan products or just a casual user interested in advertising and art, this book has something for everyone. It is available from Amazon.com as well as several other retailers. At the time of this writing, it can be had for under $50, making it an exceptional value.