Fiskars launched the world’s first plastic-handled scissors 50 years ago. They became a huge success that steered the entire company in a new direction
Online PR News – 21-July-2020 – Guayaquil – Fiskars was founded in 1649 and is the oldest company in Finland. In 1915, Fiskars listed to the Helsinki Stock Exchange. 1967 – Fiskars manufactures the world’s first scissors with plastic handles
The company launched the world’s first plastic-handled Fiskar scissors 50 years ago. They became a huge success that steered the entire company in a new direction
The design process can start with a very simple assignment. Fiskar’s orange-handled scissors are an example of a problem-oriented design.
Olof Bäckström started in 1960 to design scissors for home use with Fiskar’s new plastic technology. The design of hand-scissors involved various steps, trial, and error. As part of the design process, Bäckström worked on various character models by hand from wood to test the grip of the handle in his hand. Based on the model, the factory craftsmen made a mold to produce the handles from plastic. Fiskars scissors from Finland were the first to combine a plastic handle with a stainless steel blade section in the world.
The model was the old All-Metal tailor-made scissors when Fiskars designer Olof Bäckström designed the new model in the early 1960s.
Bäckström emphasized the ergonomics of the handles and chose plastic as the material, which only made its entry into households
The Fiskars scissors were to become black, red, or green. However, at the manufacturing stage, the machine operator decided to use up the orange color in the plastic machine. In fact, Fiskars already used the color for juicer manufacturing.
Indeed, the chance of color seemed surprisingly appealing, and the management held a vote between orange and black. The votes of the sixteen-member panel turned narrowly to 9–7 orange.
In a trial batch, the company made a thousand copies in 1967 and quickly sold it in Asko, Stockholm. The following year, Fiskars produced 30,000 pairs and a year after 300,000 pairs. The company had struck a successful product. The question was what are the best scissors in the world? The Fiskar scissors from Finland was in the world of mouth.
In the early 1970s, it occurred plagiarism and the company sought design protection abroad. In 1972, Fiskars completed a new metal workshop. They expected to increase the annual production of scissors to one million a year, of which 80-90% would be exported. The universal scissors designed by Bäckström achieved unprecedented popularity in a short time. Ten years later 1979, Fiskars scissors were already used by almost 50 million people.
All-time sales of orange scissors exceeded one billion in 2010
Fiskars does not provide exact sales figures for its oranges or other scissors at the moment. The company says that it is the market leader in scissors both globally and in the United States, for example.
Fisrkars has not reported the exact capacity of the Billnäs plant. However, the plant produces thousands of scissors a day and millions of scissors a year. The main market is abroad.
American schools recommend Fiskars
With its scissors, Fiskars has done a rare trick for Finnish companies: a successful breakthrough in the United States.
Fiskars gained a foothold in the market in the 1970s, and its own scissor factory began production in Wisconsin in 1978. Production no longer exists in the United States, but scissors conquered the school market in particular. Some places began to use the word Fiskars even as a synonym for scissors.
Three years ago, Fiskars even made it to the lists of American schools on the basis of which children buy their school supplies. For product placement, unsuspecting Americans now often buy Fiskars scissors, Crayola crayons, Elmer’s glue, and Ziploc lunch bags for their children.
In addition, Wal-Mart, the country’s largest retail chain, has added Fiskars products to its range.
Fiskars today is a completely different company. In recent years, it has become, in addition to Amer, the only “house of brands” in Finland. The Group owns well-known brands such as Waterford crystals, Wedgwood and Royal Copenhagen tableware, and Finnish Hackman and Iittala design.
Why did the scissors breakthrough?
Orange scissors was an exceptionally smart product. It was valid and affordable for both the manufacturer and the consumer.
The product was not a luxury but an everyday one. That is why Fiskars sold the ergonomic scissors by the millions since the early years.
Good usability made them popular, and they aroused great interest because of their special shape and color.
Economists see behind the global success the right decision to enter the early years in the US market. From there, the company gained experience and self-confidence.
”I have used Fiskars scissors since I was in school in the early ’70s. For all kids in Finland, it was something cool to have these designer scissors. We were proud of the Finnish world’s success. They fitted so great in the hand because of the ergonomic form. Since then Fiskars is always with me wherever I live in the world” says Mr. Lassi Pensikkala from AmerExperience.com
– Fiskars scissors from Finland –