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Design Icon: Fiskars Scissors

by Maxwell Tielman

Design*Sponge | Design Icon: Fiskars Scissors

Design: O-Series Fiskars Scissors

Designer: Olof Bäckström (1922-2001)

Date: 1967

Country of Origin: Finland

Manufacturer: Fiskars

Materials: Plastic and stainless steel

Background: Unbeknownst to many, Fiskars is one of the oldest companies in the Western world, established as an ironworks in 1649. In 1832, the Fiskars ironworks expanded beyond making knives, nails, and tools and began producing scissors—the product for which they are most widely known. It wasn’t until 1967, however, that the company introduced their now iconic orange-handled scissors, an event that occurred almost completely by chance. One of the world’s first ergonomic scissor designs, the product was originally intended to have black, red, and green handles. During the prototype stage, though, the machinist decided to use leftover orange plastic, a choice that would ultimately prove popular within the Fiskars company and, eventually, to the public.

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg.

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