Pelikan is a brand whose longevity now spans nearly two centuries. In that time, there have been significant revisions to the company’s branding as well as a prodigious amount of advertising materials created. In that cause, famous artists have been employed including the likes of O.H.W. Hadank, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, El Lissitzky, and Kurt Schwitters. A lot of the advertising created around the brand and its products are truly works of art. The archives are full of such posters, many of which you may have come across in the past. These have served as inspiration for product packaging and were the subject of 2013’s book The Brand by Detmar Schäfer. By way of recent example, the Iconic Blue M120 from 2018 featured a poster advertising Pelikan’s watercolors designed in 1899 by Käthchen Münzer which was originally submitted as part of a sponsored poster competition, something Pelikan did fairly frequently at the dawn of the twentieth century. It seems that the company would now like to highlight some of those pieces that reside in the archive but, before doing so, they have an idea they’d like to run up the flagpole. Read on for all of the details including how you might participate in bringing a future pen to market.
On their active social media accounts which are primarily Instagram and Facebook, Pelikan has posted mock-ups for three different pens, each inspired by a different poster from the early twentieth century, most of which were acquired as purchases from poster competitions. Each of the submissions highlight Pelikan’s inks which were a focus of the company in the early 1900s, long before they ever ventured into the world of fountain pens.
The first poster put forth was made by Rudi Rother (1863-1909), a German painter and illustrator, in 1903. The pen based off of his design features an interesting shade of green resin for the section, piston knob, and cap. The barrel takes its inspiration from the pattern in the woman’s dress.
The second option was designed by Glauco Cambon (1875-1930) in 1909. He was an Italian painter and graphic artist who became interested in advertising posters in the early 1900s. This concept sports a black resin section, piston knob, and cap. The barrel mimics the reflections in the water made by the colorful pelicans.
The final entry represents the work of Georg Tronnier (1873-1962), submitted in 1903. Mr. Tronnier was a German artist who specialized in portrait painting, Art Nouveau, and German Impressionism. His signature style was unique, and he left behind an extensive body of work following his passing. This design also has a black resin section, piston knob, and cap. The barrel displays a repeating floral print taken from the wreath of flowers adorning the woman’s head.
Pelikan is currently hosting a survey for everyone to weigh in on their favorite design(s). While just concepts at the moment, the nibs clearly indicate that these are not M1000s. While there isn’t enough resolution to say for sure, I’d wager that these are either M400 or M600 base models. Of course, just being concepts, the final product can still take on any form that the company so chooses. The survey is comprised of two simple questions followed by an invitation to rate each design. The questions ask whether or not you like such a concept and if you would be inclined to buy one of the pens. At the end of the survey, there is room for any additional comments that you may have. My personal suggestion was that Pelikan should not make just one of these pens but all three and maybe some more after that. I could envision this being the next great string of releases al la the M620 Cities series. Keep in mind, there is no guarantee that any of these models will come to market. The success of this idea seems to hinge upon the community’s feedback therefore I would encourage everyone with even a remote interest in seeing one of these models in real life to participate in the survey which I will link to below. Don’t wait too long to act as I have no idea how long voting will remain open. For what it’s worth, I like all three of these models, but the second concept based of Glauco Cambon’s work is by far my favorite.