Thursday, 18 March 2010

BIC. 4 Colours. Convenience, Therapy, Fashion.

And there it was the marvel of technology of my school years. Not just a stylo but a Four Colour Stylo. Blue, Red, Black AND Green. How advanced was that? What a satisfaction (we're talking 1970s) to change the colours at will just by pulling down the thin, rectangular contraptions at the top - each bearing the corresponding colour of choice. Choice! Convenience! What was later to be transformed to an art - an art of design and marketing in a myriad combinations and packaging - was there in a nutshell, being born in the shape of that primitive BIC.
Not only were we, lucky owners of the 4 Colours BIC, able to select our colour of choice but also recipients of sensory satisfaction as well. The rectangular contraption at the top clicked down in the most wholesome way - a click that said "I'm red and I'm ready", "I'm blue and I'm ready" and so on - if you've ever clicked it, you know the feeling. Tap the next coloured contraption lightly and the stylo's tip retracts, click the next colour down and you have a new coloured tip reappearing. A marvel, I'm telling you.

Bored? BIC 4 Colours has the answer! Hold BIC 4 Colours in your hand, feel its smooth roundness, run your finger over the embossed BIC and Made In France incriscription and most importantly Start Repeatedly Clicking the Colours Up and Down: Relish the curious therapeutic effect.

Now try to write. Hmmm, same old. Never have been a smooth operator.  But who knew better in the 1970s? Can't have everything. And who cared about smooth writing when you had
  1. Cool Design
  2. Convenience (four stylos in one!)
  3. Relief of Boredom
  4. Aid to Inspiration And
  5. Fashion Statement (Just thread a string through the hole at the top of your BIC 4 Colours, pass it round your neck et voila! you are the envy of the playground). Thank you Bic Man.


  1. Oh, these were cool at least up through the late 80s/early 90s, when I was in Jr. High... though maybe they just took a while to reach us in the Midwestern USA.

    Curiously, I don't remember the loop at the top of the pen.

  2. Leah, I found this in the London Graphic Centre and it took me back...! By the way, you know what else I've found there: Rhodias!