Stabilo Boss Original Highlighter
? 1971: Dr. Hans-Hoachim Hofmann
The introduction of the Stabilo Boss highlighter in 1972 represented the invention of an entirely new product category. The Boss was the first overwriting highlighter, created to exploit the properties of what were, at the time, newly developed fluorescent inks. Stabilo claims that the distinctive oblong shape, which will not roll off a desk, was the result of an anonymous industrial designer having squashed a conical clay prototype in frustration. Well, perhaps. What is undoubtedly true is that Schwan-Stabilo recently had their German trademark on the product’s unique shape upheld in a case against the Beifa Group, a Chinese look-alike manufacturer. As with Kenji Ekuan’s iconic Soya-sauce bottle for Kikkoman, the form of the Boss is synonymous with the brand.
Stabilo Boss Highlighter, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red or Pink: $1.99
And now a more Swipe-o-centric note about highlighters:
Swipe alumni and Canadian art ortus astrum Derek Sullivan has, for several years, collected used copies of one specific college English Lit. text: Gulliver’s Travels. In the process, Sullivan has compiled an informal typology of idiosyncratic highlighting and marginalia, with the patterns of congruity and variation, both academic and personal, standing in for the anonymous reader. How (or if) this material will ever become art remains to be seen. Derek’s work is also the subject of a newly published catalogue, We May Be Standing on the Shoulders of Giants but Some of Us Are Looking at the Stars, which documents a solo exhibition at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge last spring. Beautifully designed by the ubiquitous The Office of Gilbert Li, the catalogue does surprising justice to Derek’s unassuming oeuvre. (2009: Southern Alberta Art Gallery; ISBN 9781894699426)
We May Be Standing on the Shoulders of Giants but Some of Us Are
Looking at the Stars
2009: Derek Sullivan & Pamela Meredith
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