Meet the Brand: Edding

Edding 300 marker in the workshopWhen you're looking for a marker that will do exactly what you want it to do, it's an edding that you'll need. It's a proper marker. It doesn't matter what you want to mark, or how (or even why), it'll perform just as you want it to. There are no fancy names to confuse you, just numbers, and there's a marker for every possible situation you can think of.

edding look upon their markers as tools. Take a tour around any workshop, hangar, shop floor or design studio, and you'll almost certainly see an edding marker or two, jostling cheek to cheek with a selection of spanners, perhaps, or lying at ease next to a vice or circular saw, or reclining peacefully on a pile of fabric. That's because they are tools: they're either the first step in any project (best to mark your place first before you drill or cut, after all!) or - certainly where artwork is concerned - they're used to create the project in the first place.

Edding No 1 Markers - New and OldSo when did it all start? When did edding markers start infiltrating the world's creative spaces? Well it was 1960. Most people at the time, probably, were more taken with the fact that The Beatles were setting the music world on fire (let's face It - they had more visual appeal than a pen and much as we like edding, they don't make you want to scream hysterically and faint). But while the Fab Four were strutting their stuff, edding founders Carl-Wilhelm Edding and Volker Detlef Ledermann were quietly beetling away themselves. Armed with a tiny start-up capital of just 500 DM (about £150) and a typewriter, they came up with the edding No 1, a permanent marker which is still going strong today. 'In those early years,' Ledermann remarks, 'everything was exciting.'

10 years later and The Beatles had split, but Edding and Ledermann were still very much in the game. By this time they had sold almost 100 million edding markers around the world. Today, they produce double that figure every year and they're looking forward to celebrating their 60th anniversary next year.

So what's so good about an edding marker? Well it's all in the ink! Most of them are lightfast. They dry quickly. They don't pong because they don't have any toluene or xylene in them, both of which are pretty nasty where your brain is concerned. The paint markers are waterproof and the 750, 751 and 780 markers are heat resistant up to 400°C, with some colours still visible at 1000°C (though you might not be able to get near enough to see them, not without gaining a rather startling suntan anyway!)

What's also good is that most of them are refillable, not just in terms of ink but tips as well, which gives them a longer lifespan than many similar products and makes them a bit kinder on the environment as well.

But probably the best thing about edding markers is that they'll write on anything. And I mean anything. Paper and cardboard? Well, yes. Wood, stone, terracotta, porcelain? Of course. Fabric, plastics and rubber? No problem. Rusty metal? Yup. Greasy surfaces? Oh yes. Skin? Naturally - German pole vaulter Anna (all good people are called Anna) Battke wrote a 'stop doping' message on her stomach at the 2008 IAAF World Championships using an edding, which stuck in the minds of the spectators just as much as it did on her skin. And edding were tasked by the German federal government to develop a skin-compatible baby marker (to solve the issue of newborns being swapped by mistake!) And bees? Yes, even bees. If the bee will let you, that is.

edding probably boast the best range of specialist markers. The 8404, for instance, is designed specifically for the aerospace industry because of its low-corrosion formulation and resistance to many solvents and paints. It also (surprisingly perhaps) makes it ideal as a garden marker! The 8030 NLS marker is low in chlorine and halogen and conforms to aviation standard LN9051, making it suitable for use in sensitive industries such as nuclear power. But quite a few of us are not involved in building aeroplanes or employed like Homer Simpson, so what else do edding produce that might be useful around the house?

Something to mark hard-to-reach places, for one. The 8850 has a very long proboscis-like nib, which is great for getting into narrow spaces. Or something to secretly identify your property with, for another, in case somebody nicks your stuff. The 8280's permanent ink shows up clearly under ultra violet light and writes on pretty much anything without damaging it. They even have a marker - the 8150 - that contains silicone oil, which is perfect for keeping rubber seals on car and fridge/freezer doors in tip-top condition for your Tip Top (if you're in New Zealand or Australia).

Edding brush pens and cards made with gradients using themNow, art and crafts. Haven't touched on that yet, have we? Well, edding have got into that too. As well as their paint and paper markers, which cross over easily from industry to the home, there are also calligraphy pens, porcelain pens and textile markers, so you can decorate your glass kitchen jars, personalise your plates and bowls and make clothes and canvas footwear a little less boring! And as long as you bake your plates and iron your fabrics first, they'll be dishwasher- and washing machine-safe. At the 2018 London Stationery Show, edding's recently-introduced Colour Happy Big Box won the best Arts and Crafts product by a judging panel that included our own Simon and Amanda (and no, I don't think there were any bribes involved). We now have its little brother, the Colour Happy Box, which contains 20 brush pens and a blender, which - as if by magic - will turn 20 colours into 190!

That's it. They're straightforward sorts of things: no-nonsense markers for everything you need and nothing you don't. That's edding in a nutshell (and there's a marker for drawing on that too - try the 404).

1 March 2019

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