Fiskars scissors get an update

Those of you who know me well, or have read the blog for a little while now will know how much of a fondness I have for practical, utilitarian products, in fact I have briefly mentioned these scissors in a prior post about a certain iitalla vase. I have always loved the famous orange-handled scissors by Fiskars who, in my opinion, make the best scissors in the world bar none.

Having been invited to an event by Fiskars, you can imagine my delight (and excitement of the prospect of getting a pair in a goody bag) to be talked through the 362-year history of this global company.

fiskars-history-factory-001

To quote from their website… ‘the orange-handled scissors are one of Fiskars’ best known products. But how was decided to make the handles of the scissors orange?

In 1967 when the first basic models were about to be manufactured the designer wanted the scissors to be black, red or green. As the prototype went into production, the machinist decided to finish off the orange color he had in his machine. This meant prototypes were made in four different colors, of which the orange and black were most popular. A choice had to be made. An internal vote was taken at Fiskars, and the result gave birth to Fiskars orange-handled scissors.

fiskars-scissors-since-1970

The color, Fiskars Orange®, was officially registered as a trademark in Finland in 2003 and in the US 2007. ‘

I love that story… it is how all decisions should be made – by happy accident and validated by feedback!

moomin-fiskars-scissors

Now, let’s jump forward 362 years to discover what this iconic brand has been doing to keep the object fresh and relevant… realising that Scandinavia is steeped in history (Fiskars originating from Finland) that has always been exported to the rest of the world, Fiskars have taken another icon from Sweden… the Moomins and applied this to the handles of the scissors. These scissors are designed to outlive their owner and so this has had to be considered with the production of print on to the handles, with the colours running through the handle so that any wear will not remove the print, which should stay fresh as the day it was purchased.

I am not a huge fan of fashionable responses to market changes, but this idea makes me applaud Fiskars for considering the life of the product and going further to ensure it is not a throwaway item. The Moomins have been applied to scissors for children and sewing scissors for big kids alike.

flower-fiskars-scissors

Another print has been applied to the scissors using the same method, but with a more elegant, mature pattern that is, with no doubt, less gaudy than it’s brightly-coloured parent. Although, I never said that if it asks me 😉

Daniel

Having worked in design for the past decade, Daniel started ateliertally.com as a discussion of timeless, modernist product design. Trained as a graphic designer, he also has an avid interest in typography. You can follow him on Twitter @ateliertally.

5 Comments

  • NEW blog post: Fiskars scissors get an update http://bit.ly/mnAan3 #dbcollective

  • Harriet says:

    Having never paid a whole lot of attention to scissors before so this is really interesting. I have a pair of these and had pretty much no opinion about them, except for wishing certain small people would return them after borrowing them. It shows how some objects are so familiar and functional that we take entirely them for granted. I had to write a blogpost recently about Duralex glasses in which I raised this same point.

  • Daniel says:

    Glad that I could make you see the scissors in a different light Harriet, they are such a classic design and I love that they exist in households all over the world and nobody thinks of them as anything more than useful objects.

    As for the Duralex Picardie glasses, I am with you there. I wrote about them once: http://ateliertally.com/duralex-picardie-the-glass-for-everyday/. so pleased that they are back in production.

  • Harriet says:

    We sell them at The Linen Works if you’re ever looking for a supply, all kinds and sizes. I like the Gigogne best.

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