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.
Sakura’s most recent innovations are dimensional inks with Glaze® in 2003 and Soufflé™ in 2005. The inks write with a raised effect similar to embossing without the need for heat tools or powders. The 3-D inks can write on multiple surfaces such as paper, glass, ceramics, metals & plastics. This feature makes the Glaze and Souffle very popular for decorating cell phones & MP3 players.
Sakura of America is dedicated to the continued development and efficient delivery of technologically superior, innovative and safe products. Our products, promotions and advertising reflect our support of individual expression and artistic freedom. With our “Power to Express®” theme we believe that EVERYONE has the right to self-expression, so Sakura continues to develop writing and artistic tools that are affordable to consumers of all ages.