inventors design a stationery breakthough

By: Swanneck Ltd  29/10/2011
Keywords: stationery, writing instruments, school supplies

THE SWAN NECK PEN GETTING TO GRIPS WITH THE LEFT-HANDED CHALLENGE. INVENTORS DESIGN LEFT-HANDED PEN THAT’S FIT FOR A PRINCE! What do HRH Prince William, Brad Pitt, Duncan Ballantyne and GMTV’s Fiona Phillips have in common? – Well, like 1 in 6 people in the world, they are all left-handed and consequently they will have had to overcome the many difficulties associated with left-handed writing. That is until now – as local Bristol inventors Mike Deacon and Tony Hemmings from M.A.D. Associates Ltd, in Yate, have invented the revolutionary Swan Neck Pen, which has been specifically designed to make writing simple and smooth for all left-handers. Like all the very best inventions, the Swan Neck Pen is an extremely simple design, which incorporates a patented S bend neck and ergonomic grip, which makes it easy for left-handers to pick up and write comfortably, straight away. Most of us will have seen, left-handed writers adopting one of a number of styles to enable them to see what they are writing (see below). These include ‘the hook’ where the hand is hooked at the wrist, ‘the underwriter’ where the page is positioned at different angles and ‘the fist’ where people who hold the pen gripped in a fist. These writing styles can very often lead to aches and pains or even repetitive strain, in the wrists and neck. The concept for the Swan Neck pen evolved following the difficulties faced by Tony’s left-handed daughter Amy, when she started school. Tony said, “Amy was very excited about going to school but she soon found that writing was difficult and she was slower than other children. Some of the pupils even made fun of the way she held the pen in her fist. Consequently, Amy started to become withdrawn and very unhappy.” So inventor Mike and Tony set about finding a solution to the problem and he spent several weeks in his workshop bending and melting ordinary pens, to try to find just the right angle for the nib and grip. When they finally hit upon a suitable prototype, a friend, Dillon Sansom, produced a sample which they gave to Amy to try and they were amazed at her response. Mike said, “We put the pen in front of Amy and she immediately picked it up and started writing easily and comfortably, as if she had never had a problem. It was a miracle for us and a very emotional time for everyone.” Amy now uses a Swan Neck Pen all the time at school and loves going to her lessons. Many of the other children in her class have asked for one of the ‘cool’ pens too, as they can be used as easily by right and left-handed writers. Following Amy’s success with the pen, Tony and his wife Heather were keen to make the pen available to others and they decided to invest their own money into its production. After many months, the Swan Neck Pen is now in full production and is available in either bright pink or yellow plastic, which is ideal for children, or as a more sophisticated Aluminium model. Although the pen has only just been launched there has already been considerable public interest. Tony said, “We have been absolutely amazed by the interest, we had no idea that so many left-handers were struggling. It is not just in the UK, as there are over one billion left-handed people around the world who would benefit from this pen. What is doubly exciting for us is that we have realised there is also a massive market for right-handers who write from right to left, as in Arabic or in some Asian languages. The pen is perfect for them too as it enables them to see what they are writing.”

Keywords: ball point pen, educational supplies, school supplies, stationery, writing instruments