The History Of Inventing Gel Pens

A lot of people consider Gel pens as their favorite writing tool. They allow fast and smooth text composition for the users due to its fluid texture. But how many of them know about its invention story? Ballpoint pens have a glorious history of conception by the noted Hungarian-Argentinian Laszlo Biro. Compared to it, gel pen's story is somewhat less explored.

In this article today, we will be sharing insights on how this immensely popular pen was invented and also the reasons that make it a convenient writing instrument.

Who Invented The Gel Pen?

The credit for coming up with the world's first-ever gel pen is given to Sakura – a globally renowned Japanese pen manufacturer. The company pioneered in gel-ink technology after many years of intense research. The research was said to have one goal, and that is to create a water-based ink that is more versatile.

In the early 1980s, Sakura initiated its research based on thixotropic elements. Thixotropic elements are said to be solid when untouched but become liquid when moved. Many materials were tried in pursuit of the most suitable thickening agent for the ink, like Grated Yams, Seaweeds, Egg Whites, etc, but in vain.

Then, one of the core members of the research team accidentally came across a newspaper ad where he read about the additive – Xanthum Gum. Xanthum gum was a popularly preferred additive in commercially prepared soups, jellies, and jams.

Sakura brought in Xanthum and experimented with it successfully. Without further delay, they filed the patent for it in 1982, and in 1984 came the first gel pen by Sakura. Even today, in 2021, Sakura is hailed as the top seller of Gel Pens in Japan.

Why Are Gel Pens So Much Popular?

Today, when technology has encroached on almost all aspects of our lives, we still have a few facets where we love to get the 'rustic feel'. Pens can never be obliterated from our lives entirely, even when we are highly dependent on digital typing.

Writing with an excellent quality gel pen has its share of perks, many of which we will be highlighting in this point.

  • Gel pen's ink is opaque and viscous which makes it a preferred choice in filling forms. Even the minutest symbols can be perceived with higher legibility.
  • Today's gel pens come with free-flowing inks that have quick-drying properties. These qualities make gel pens an ideal tool for highlighting illustrations, pictures, and graphics.
  • Gel pens come in a plethora of varieties, shapes, colors, nibs types, and prices. There is one made for everyone!
  • Gel pens are unbelievably economical. Thanks to the wide variety, people from every sect of life – professionals, students, homemakers, and businessmen can afford a gel pen of their choice easily.
  • The compact gel pens can be carried in folders, pockets, purses, files, etc. without even the smallest fear of leaking and smudging.


In India, gel pens became immensely popular during the late 90s. Elkos, the country's one of the leading pen and stationery manufacturing brands has a wide range of gel pens that are versatile to be used for many purposes. Check out their amazing products like ball pens, markers, sketch pens, etc. today and place your order today.