Industrial Design and The Development of Fountain Pen
Right now, you might have a ballpoint pen in your hand. Think about its ancestor, dip pen, a thin tube with a sharpened front end which draws up the ink with capillary action. Then, there came the fountain pen with inks in the cartridge, which relies on gravity to make the ink flow down to the tip of the pen. This progress freed people from ink wells that you can write wherever you go, and the written will not be erased easily.
Fountain pens thrived at this stage. The nibs, the feeds, the caps, the barrels, the grips were developed. Complex mechanisms, diverse materials and decorative designs were innovating. Ink filling systems, converters, reservoirs, trims, clips, etc. make a simple writing tool exquisite and luxurious.
And then? And then, it hit the end. The advent of ballpoint pen changed the position of fountain pen. Possessing most advantages of fountain pens, and more convenient, more economical and more durable, the ball pen won in this competition of modern stationery. Although fountain pens have not been completely eliminated, ball pens have replaced fountain pens as the most common writing utensil.
Along the way, industrial design developed all kinds of pens, integrating technologies of all fields. And eventually, the performance and function of the pen faced their limitation. This is the fate of fountain pen, and of many other products. The advance of science and technology and the rapid evolution of human society have made the transition more compact, in terms of both hardware and software. Industrial design must combine new technologies and constantly create new styles, new features, and new interfaces to accumulate energies for the next development.