Sakura Color Products Corporation is a Japanese company headquartered in Osaka, Japan, which produces a variety of stationery items. Although the firm commercializes a wide range of products, Sakura is more known by its marker pens, such as the Micron liners.
Sakura initially started as a crayon company in 1921. Disappointed that traditional crayon colors didn’t mix or overlay well, the innovative founders of Sakura began to experiment with different formulations to create an ideal stick drawing material. By 1924, Sakura invented the first-ever oil pastel that combined oil and pigment and named it Cray-Pas®, a combination of the two words crayon and pastel.
Our company heritage in art materials led to development of a specialized ink technology, Pigma® ink, which is used in our Micron®, Graphic and Brush pens. In the early 80’s, Sakura’s labs identified the need for an inexpensive drafting tool that used superior pigment instead of low-grade dye inks. The breakthrough came with the discovery of how to reduce the pigment particles to submicron size so that the inks flow evenly through even the narrowest of pen nibs. Today, Pigma ink continues to be the most reliable archival quality ink on the market and is loyally used by architects, calligraphers, scientists, artists, cartoonists, and scrapbookers, to name a few.
In 1984, Sakura surprised the pen industry with its technological breakthrough invention of the first gel-based ink. The research team had spent many years trying different ingredients, developing and testing prototypes, but nothing would meet the Sakura quality and performance standards. Despite many failures, the determined team finally hit a eureka moment, discovering a new ingredient in a chemical trade publication which was tested and turned out to be the answer to creating the perfect gel ink! In recognition of Sakura’s success in developing the world’s first gel ink pen, Japan’s patent office awarded Sakura the prestigious Inventors Award in 2000. Today, our Gelly Roll® line includes six types of ink in a wide variety of unique colors and special effects.