LAMY design – a philosophy


Design. Made in Germany. A distinctive slogan consisting of two statements sums up the philosophy embraced by the modern medium-sized family enterprise C. Josef Lamy GmbH, which owns the successful LAMY brand.

Around the world, Lamy is regarded as a pioneer among the manufacturers of branded writing instruments because, at its location in Heidelberg, the company constantly excels with innovative ideas, the highest quality and modern design. Writing instruments from Lamy stand for reduced and functional styling and possess an unmistakable, modern design language. The special attraction of the brand is also defined through the technical innovations which Lamy strives for in the development of each new product in order to continually improve writing comfort.

All products from Lamy are quality writing instruments with a clear design line. They are produced 100 per cent at the location in Germany. For its various target groups, the LAMY brand is a competent partner that is completely devoted to maintaining its high quality standards. With its design programme that points the way to the future and its love of detail, Lamy offers the matching writing instrument for every situation and every personal taste.

Tradition meets design in Heidelberg

Since the establishment of the company, C. Josef Lamy GmbH has remained loyal to Heidelberg as its location. The predecessor company to Lamy GmbH, Orthos Füllfederhalter-Fabrik, which was established 80 years ago in 1930 by Carl Josef Lamy, initially made fountain pens under the brands ORTHOS and ARTUS. In 1948 the company was converted into C. Josef Lamy GmbH, which has produced the LAMY brand since 1952. The first writing instrument model bearing the name of Lamy was the streamlined LAMY 27 fountain pen.
Through the cooperation between Dr Manfred Lamy and the then young Bauhaus designer Gerd A. Müller, the unmistakable expressive style of Lamy, the Lamy design, was born in 1966 with the LAMY 2000. From then on, Bauhaus design characterised the steady, further development of the brand.

The Bauhaus principle that each product must fulfil its practical function, be durable and also have visual appeal has top priority at Lamy. Design should serve the purpose of increasing the utility value of Lamy writing instruments and making them more intelligent in the way they fulfil their function. Ergonomics and handling always stand in the forefront. In the conception of a Lamy writing instrument, the design must always embrace the attributes of the product in terms of function, technology and material and implement them in an aesthetically attractive form which expresses high technical prowess and quality. The company that uses the word design in its brand slogan does not employ any designers itself. Instead, Lamy focuses on collaboration with acclaimed freelance designers whose product characteristics have written design history, such as Richard Sapper, Wolfgang Fabian, Andreas Haug, Franco Clivio, Hannes Wettstein, Naoto Fukasawa and the Danish designer Knud Holscher. From initial sketch through to production, these designers accept the challenge – often over years – of creating timelessly modern design for Lamy in accordance with the Bauhaus principles on products of no more than eight centimetres in length. Lamy has won more design awards than any other writing instrument brand in the world, but not just because of these collaborations.

The matching writing instrument for every customer and every occasion

The outstanding writing characteristics of a Lamy make it easier to develop an individual style of handwriting and increase the pleasure to be enjoyed from writing. Especially in an age of communication by PC and mobile phone, it is particularly important to encourage and preserve personal handwriting as an important character feature. Lamy therefore offers numerous products in order to match the individual style and character of each individual user. For every occasion and every life situation, the matching writing instrument is available. And there is something to suit every pocket, too: from the LAMY noto ballpoint pen (Naoto Fukasawa) at the low-price end to the LAMY dialog 3 twist-action fountain pen (Franco Clivio) in the premium segment, the range covers all requirements. Whether for use at work or during leisure time, the professional advice provided by specialist retailers helps customers to find the right writing instrument for every personal taste, for any occasion and at the right price. As varied as the LAMY product lines are, they all share the same clear and utility-oriented product design and the accessory function of underlining the personal style of their owner.

The LAMY pico (Franco Clivio), for instance, with its refined push mechanism is a veritable quick-change artist: it is small in a handbag or shirt pocket and at the touch of a button transforms into a fully-fledged ballpoint pen for use when out and about. With its distinctive clip creating the impression of a piece of modern sculpture, the LAMY studio (Hannes Wettstein) is available as a 14-carat gold nib fountain pen as well as a twist-action ballpoint, ink rollerball and multisystem pen. The LAMY studio is loved by individualists in day-to-day office life – whether as a set or as a single writing instrument – with different surfaces such as the recently introduced shiny platinum finish.

Different, timeless, sleek and perhaps for this very reason the cult writing instrument of entire generations, the LAMY 2000 (Gerd A. Müller) is a must for people who love to write by hand. At the same time, as a fountain pen with a hand-ground gold nib, ballpoint pen, propelling pencil, four-colour ballpoint and ink rollerball, it is also a great gift for all those who would like to renew their love affair with writing by hand. As a ‘3+1’ variant, the LAMY 4pen (Phoenix Product Design) is a groundbreaker in terms of design. At the touch of a button, with system identification, it can be changed through three different refill colours or to a mechanical pencil. The LAMY swift (Wolfgang Fabian), which seems to have reinvented the art of writing with ink, has stood out among many other writing instruments since 1990. It is as convenient to use as a ballpoint because at the touch of a button it opens up for use and closes again without any risk of leaking but also writes as fluidly and precisely as a fountain pen. Its retractable clip is a design element that does not get in the way when writing.

A special highlight of the Lamy product range is the LAMY dialog 3. For this model, Lamy became the only writing instrument brand worldwide to receive the Good Design Award for the eighth time in succession in 2009. This high-quality fountain pen was created by Swiss designer Franco Clivio, who designed the LAMY dialog 3, the world’s first twist-action fountain pen with retractable clip and nib. A precisely closing ball valve protects the partially platinised 14-carat gold nib from dirt and drying out. Thanks to this mechanism the exceptional writing instrument does not need a cap, and can therefore stand out with remarkable aesthetic appeal and high writing comfort.

Learning to write with Lamy

As individual handwriting is an important cultural asset and the expression of distinctive personality, the family firm attaches special importance to the design of school fountain pens. With its intelligent writing instruments, Lamy offers the starting aid to the acquisition of a handwriting that is full of character and thereby is a specialist in the development of school fountain pens. The LAMY abc system for learning to write, consisting of a beginner’s pencil and a beginner’s fountain pen, was specially developed in cooperation with teachers and educators for the first years at school. The robust LAMY nexx offers pupils who are experienced at writing or children who start writing with a fountain pen a little later the perfect further development for learning to write at school. For all children from the age of ten, there is a classic among the youngsters’ fountain pens, the LAMY safari. This cult object is available not only in a wide range of colours from blue, yellow, charcoal, and red to black and white, but also as a propelling pencil, ballpoint pen and ink rollerball

The company today

The company C. Josef Lamy GmbH annually produces more than six million functional top-quality writing instruments and is represented with its products in more than 65 countries around the world. The family enterprise, which is now run under the direction of Bernhard M. Rösner as executive shareholder, has a range of writing instruments comprising around 200 models. After seven years, Lamy once again passed the 50 million euro sales mark in 2010. The market environment for writing instruments is difficult and conditions for a company that has traditionally produced in Germany are not always favourable. The targets for last year were ambitious but were achieved, among other things by expanding the core range into the preschool sector. In 2011 Lamy aims to keep up the level of growth and to make further improvements in productivity, while continuing to provide its customers with the best quality made in Germany, backed by an excellent supply service.

Today Lamy is not only the market leader in its own country but is also among the German design brands whose products hold a special position worldwide. In 1988 Lamy was rewarded for its committed efforts in the field of design when the Commission of the European Communities presented the company with the European Design Prize, the first time it had been awarded. In 2008 Dr Manfred Lamy was presented with the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany for his life’s work. In the nationwide location initiative ‘Germany – Land of Ideas’ in 2006, C. Josef Lamy GmbH was selected as one of Germany’s 365 innovators.

The highlight for 2011: the LAMY econ

Effortless writing is the promise fulfilled by the LAMY econ, created by the EOOS design office, which has accomplished prizewinning work for Bulthaup and Alessi. The new ballpoint pen and the mechanical pencil are made of sandblasted, velvet-finished stainless steel and impress with their clear, discreet shape and the strikingly curved clip. The LAMY econ proves once again that functional design can be attractive as well as favourably priced.

Press contact: Agentur bauchgefühl – Britta Benzenhöfer – Spessartring 57 – 64287 Darmstadt, Germany – Tel.: +49 (0)6151 159 120 –

C. Josef Lamy GmbH
D-69111 Heidelberg

About Lamy
The LAMY brand stands for high-quality designer writing instruments defined by their timeless modern aesthetics and perfect functionality. Its success story began over 50 years ago with the LAMY 2000: in 1966, the model established the clear and unmistakeable design which still defines the style of all the brand’s products today – the Lamy design. As an independent family business, Lamy has been associated with Heidelberg since it was first founded in 1930 and therefore guarantees consistent high quality, “Made in Germany”. With an annual production of over 8 million writing instruments and turnover of more than 110 million euros in 2016, Lamy today is not only the market leader in Germany but has developed to become an internationally sought-after brand. The company continues to set trends, not just through its annual special editions and has inspired writing enthusiasts around the world with its innovative colours and surface finishes. In this way, Lamy continues to reinvent itself and proves that a writing instrument is more than just an everyday object: it is a genuine lifestyle accessory which expresses the pleasures of writing by hand and highlights the individuality of the owner.

Press contact: Myriam Bohr – Phone: +49 6221-843 102 –