The skinny on the new Mini

Does size matter? We talked with Laura Bazzali, Product Manager Writing Instruments, and Alessandro Sgotto, Head of R&D for the writing instruments division, to get the skinny on the new DS6 S Mini.

Open: The new DS6 S Mini is up to 24.4 mm shorter than comparable models. What’s the inspiration behind this smaller pen?
Laura Bazzali: The Mini is compact, economical, short, and fits easily in a handbag. In that we were inspired by the 1960s, when the miniskirt was a symbol of emancipation and sensuality, and even by the Mini car, which is small, can be easily parked, and is fun. We’ve combined two ideas from that time: the bright new spirit of revolution and the idea of achieving more with less.

Open: How much less, Alessandro?
Alessandro Sgotto: Well, in terms of emission, the ABS used in the DS6 S Mini generates 40% less CO2 than standard ABS plastic.

Open: That’s just because it’s a shorter pen, right? Less material means less emissions.
Alessandro: That’s also true, and there’s less material in the packaging as well, but that 40% less CO2 I mentioned is thanks to the material itself. The Mini is made with an innovative recyclate that saves on CO2 no matter how long or short the pen is.

Open: What’s different about this material?
Alessandro: The recyclate is essentially ABS that has been recycled from the ground up. This means that the primary ingredients of ABS, styrene and acrylonitrile, have been reconstituted from existing plastic sources. The beauty of this is that you can pull these constituting materials from different sources of plastic waste. So rather than just recycling pens into more pens – which we also do – a broader range of plastic waste can be taken apart to recreate the same raw ABS for these pens. And that process generates 40% less CO2 than creating “virgin” ABS from scratch.

Laura, because it’s a shorter pen, does that mean it runs out of ink faster?
Laura: Absolutely not! Our Floating Ball® Lead free refill is the same as on our other models, which means it lasts just as long as any of our other pens. That’s why we can confidently say that the DS6 S Mini requires less plastic, less CO2, but gives you top performance.

What about the printing area for our brand customers? Is that, you know, smaller too?
Laura: There are two printing areas, just like on a number of our other writing instrument models, including a generous area on the clip for a brand logo. On the cap we’ve discretely added the international recycling symbol and the “less CO2” symbol. That way the end user, whether it’s a brand’s teams, their partners or their customers, will have no doubt about the pen’s sustainable qualities.

And how does it feel to write with the Mini?
Laura: It’s very comfortable! It’s shorter, so it’s perfect for people with smaller hands, but it’s really a pen for everybody. Our perception of our tools is very personal, and there are a lot of things that might influence our use of a pen in addition to length. It might be physiological factors, like how long your handspan is from thumb to pinky, or even how you grip the pen. Or the pen’s characteristics, like its weight, centre of gravity, how smoothly it writes – and of course length. Personally, I love it!

The colours are great! What are my choices?
Laura: It’s really a “pop” colour palette. There are 8 standard colours: White, Bright Yellow, Red, Ultraviolet, Dark Blue, Blue Air, Green Clover and Black. And you can also choose the DS6S Mini in our Designer’s Choice colour Lime Zest starting from 500 pieces. As always, special Pantone colours are available from 10,000 pieces.

Alessandro, first there were pens from bioplastic, then Stone pens, then True Biotic pens made of PHA, then pens made from seashells, and now innovate recyclate. It’s really a material revolution!
Alessandro: At Prodir we’re constantly innovating the design, aesthetics and sustainability of the pens we offer, every year. We’re obsessed with discovering, testing, and putting into production the most innovative materials out there. It helps brands – our final customers – really offer something unique and memorable in their communication, and gives them an edge when it comes to credibly expressing their brand values.

Open: Alessandro, Laura, thanks so much!