Knockle on whiteboard?

Did you know that Pentel is a Japanese company? I didn’t until I stumbled across a Pentel comic explaining how its products came to be invented.

The first comic strip is about the company’s whiteboard markers. Drawn in a distinctly Japanese style, it explains that Pentel’s first marker was produced in 1986, to coincide with whiteboards replacing blackboards. However there were faults with the pen – writing blurred easily in high humidity (not good for Japan), the ink didn’t flow properly and characters looked thin.

Pentel’s solution?  The Knockle.  Released in 1994, it was a whiteboard marker you could ‘knock’ to refresh its ink supply.  While it solved the problems of the previous markers, it wasn’t a success. Amazingly the name wasn’t the problem; instead customers thought it was too expensive and even Pentel’s salespeople didn’t understand the marker’s strong points.

But, as with all great cliff hangers, if you want to find out how things ended you’ll have to see for yourself…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *