Midweek Modness: BIC 4-Color Retractable Ball Pen

BIC 4-Color Retractable Ball Pen

I like Easter much better than Christmas. Partially because I had a fear of Santa, but also i liked the cheap and cheerful presents left in our baskets. Usually we’d get new socks, a hollow chocolate bunny and something fun like a yo-yo or, my favourite, a BIC 4-Color (or 4C) Retractable Ball Pen. When I was a youth, this was the best pen ever: As a doodler, I loved having not just blue, but black, red and green at my disposal. Plus there was the satisfying “click” sound the pen made as you switched from shade to shade. And finally I liked its fat torpedo design. I’m a fan of weighty writing implements and I wonder if it comes from my obsession with the 4C.

The BIC company was started in 1945 by Marcel Bich (1914-1994) and Edouard Buffard (1908-1996) in Clichy, France. The introduced the first “disposable” pen — the Cristal — in 1950 (although the Cristal is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, it is my least favourite stylo). The 4C debuted in France in 1970 and a year later in North America. Although it was designed to be disposable, one of the beautiful things about the internet is that refills can be found. I wish I could tell you more about the history of this beauty, but I could not find the name of a designer.

This year I bought myself this BIC in springtime colours for my Easter present.