Parafernalia, A Celebration of Italian Design and Innovation

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A collection of writing tools that blend Italian style and cutting-edge design.

Founded in 1968 in Milan, Parafernalia is an Italian brand that pays homage to the city’s pioneering, avant-garde design scene. Inspired by Milan’s revolutionary design movements of the 1970s and beyond, the company created a collection of writing tools and desk accessories that are as innovative as they are stylish. In the beginning, the brand focused on Italian design objects like lighting, home accessories and ornamental items. Cutting-edge gadgets imported from London also made up a part of the brand’s collection in the late 1960s. Collaborations with designers soon followed, leading to a line of decorative products and lamps under the Parafernalia label. However, in the early 1970s, another Italian icon helped to open a new chapter for the brand.

At the time, architecture and design magazine Domus asked the company to create a writing tool for a special edition of the publication. Parafernalia turned to architect and designer Sergio Carpani, who created the AL 13 pen. And the rest is history. Over the years, the company collaborated with renowned designers to produce innovative pens, pencils, ballpoint pens, and accessories. Among them, two-time Compasso d’Oro winner Giulio Iacchetti. The designs combine creativity and refinement with modern aesthetics, playfulness, and functionality. Original and ingenious, the products explore new concepts while offering the ease of use and simplicity of traditional writing tools. The company also values the “Made in Italy” label. Each part is crafted and assembled in Italy, making the Parafernalia’s line a tribute to the country’s design genius and exceptional craftsmanship.

The Parafernalia collection.

The brand’s oldest series started with the AL 13 pen, which is still part of the permanent collection. Named Al 115, the ballpoint pen has a minimalist but sporty design. It features a body made from a single bar of aluminum with an anodized finish. Customers can choose between 12 colors that range from bright yellow and orange to gray and navy blue. The Diamante series features a Giulio Iacchetti design. Crafted from anodized aluminum, these lead pencils feature a textured pattern made with a diamond knurling tool. The pencils come in subtle hues: Quarzo, Sabbia, Piombo, and Carbone.

Sergio Carpani designed most of the brand’s products. They include the Linea pencil, which also appeared in Ridley Scott’s Alien. Specially created for architects and designers, the pencil features an anodized aluminum body with rubber accents and an ingenious drawing lead dispenser. Carpani also created the iconic Revolution ballpoint pen in 1978 as a celebratory design to mark the building of the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Made from 31 different parts, the anodized aluminum and ABS pen is assembled by hand and comes in 12 colors. Finally, the Divina fountain pen dates back to 1978 but the company re-introduced it to the collection in 2017. Made from a single aluminum bar, the fountain pen features an elegant and minimalist design.

Innovative technology meets playful design.

The Parafernalia collection also includes the button-less Shaker pen. A perfect example of the brand’s dedication to originality and playful design, the pen has no classic push release system. Instead, the user needs to shake the pen to release or retract the refill. Like other products, Shaker is crafted with durability in mind; it comes with an anodized aluminum body with chrome-plated brass details. The Falter 2D pencil is another ingenious design. Created by designer Albert Ebenbichler and developed by in collaboration with ATOdesign, this pencil gives a nod to the DIY movement. As it comes with an assembly kit, the product encourages the user to bring the pencil to life using an included tool. Falter 2D also includes a ruler and a stand, all of them made from steel.

Finally, the company offers lead refills and a range of Schmidt refills that work with every product it sells. Ink bottles for use with the fountain pens are also available, with colors ranging from classic black, blue, and red to caramel, emerald, magenta, orange, turquoise, and yellow. Photography© Parafernalia.

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