Monday, May 9, 2011

Office Supply of the Month | Highlighters

If you're anything like me, you love color coding. Seriously, I think I may need an intervention. One of the best inventions in color coding ever: highlighters. I've got green, yellow, purple, blue, and orange at my desk, and it's not uncommon for me to use all those colors in one document (usually while reviewing and trying to understand--not an editing tool).

A highlighter is a felt-tip pen filled with transparent ink. Felt-tip pens were first invented in 1952 by Sidney Rosenthal, who attached a wool tip to a glass ink bottle. In 1962, Yukio Horie of Japan took the idea further by creating a fiber-tip pen (using bamboo fibers) that used dye instead of ink. In 1963, the Avery Dennison company introduced their "Hi-Liter," which was a fiber-tipped pen with translucent ink. While initially the Hi-Liter was available in pastel colors, the company introduced a flourescent yellow in 1978, still the most popular highlighter color today.

Marking up documents
Drawing and art
I used to color my nails with highlighters before my mom let me use fun colored nail polish. Anyone else?

Fun with highlighters

I'm a huge fan of How It's Made. And guess what? They've covered highlighters. Enjoy!

Are you a fan of highlighters? What is your favorite color?


  1. I love highlighters! I swear, I'm the only person to use them, so our office supply person only orders them once a year - when them come in I absolutely horde them!
    (My fave is classic yellow!)

  2. OH EM GEEEEE! I love the video. I have to confess that I am a highlighting whore. I used to color code, but I am too unorganized to do that now. However, I still love highlighting! My favorite ones are the Hello Kitty jumbo scented highlighters. I'll take them in yellow banana and pink strawberry please. (No to blue mint. eww)
    hearts, laura♥
    the blog of worldly delights

  3. Heh, my college & grad school books were COVERED in highlighting! Mostly purples & pinks. I kept many of my books, so I didn't worry about getting less cash for selling them back marked up.

    These days, I've gotten squicked about writing in books (maybe bec. I buy a lot of expensive costume & art books?), so I use the colored post-it tabs, like in the top-right image. I love those to pieces, & they're allllll over my editing reference books too.

  4. @ Vanessa - Only once a year?!? I'm surprised you don't get highlighter withdrawal. :)

    @ Laura - Isn't it fun? OoO I've never heard of the scented highlighters. Those sound dangerously addicting (like the Mr. Scent markers of old).

    @ Trystan - I was the same! They pay so little on buy back I just preferred to hang on to them. I usually write notes in pencil now, if at all. I definitely agree with not marking up your nice expensive books. :)

  5. ok i love highlighters. I am and have been for years mildly obsessed with these:

    I have used them almost exclusively for as long as I can remember.

  6. @ Pixie in Pumps - oo those are nice! I really like really liquidy ones, too (I think mine are a different brand). :)

  7. i'm a big fan of highlighters! i collect different kinds, but all colors are mostly pink!


  8. @ pinkmate - I'd expect nothing less than pink highlighters for you! :)


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