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R.I.P Manfred Lamy – Remembering a German pioneer of designing writing instruments

We mourn the loss of a courageous entrepreneur who has written German corporate and design history with "LAMY 2000".

We are very sad to hear that the German design entrepreneur, visionary and former iF juror Manfred Lamy has recently passed away at the age of 84 years in the circle of his family.

Manfred will be remembered as a design pioneer among manufacturers of writing utensils. He has moved and decisively shaped the development of the family-owned company C. Josef Lamy GmbH, based in Heidelberg, to a modern and internationally successful design brand of writing instruments. With "LAMY 2000" he caused a sensation and revolutionized the reputation of fountain pens.

In 1966 – just four years after joining his father's company in the position of Head of Marketing and Advertising ­­– Manfred launched the legendary "LAMY 2000", a functional and aesthetic range of writing instruments that received the iF DESIGN AWARD in 1968. The set was created together with the famous industrial designer Gerd A. Müller. The new fountain pen, which already shows a future-oriented approach through its name, was based on the Bauhaus idea of "form follows function". Manfred thus defined the clear language of form that is still the basis for all LAMY writing instruments today.

LAMY 2000 - design history since 1966

LAMY 2000 - design history since 1966

LAMY 2000 is a classic of modern writing instruments designed by Gerd A. Müller. It was honored with the iF DESIGN AWARD in 1968 and follows the first principles of Bauhaus.

In 1973, Manfred became sole CEO and started to refresh the image of the company by cooperating with internationally renowned designers and design studios, including Richard Sapper, Franco Clivio, Naoto Fukasawa, sieger design and Jasper Morrison.

Manfred’s extraordinary commitment, impact and passion are reflected in the numerous national and international design prizes which he won, including the Design Award of the European Union in 1988 and the Design Prize of the Federal Republic of Germany for his life's work in 2008.

At the end of 2006, Manfred moved from the operating business to the Advisory Board. He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy. Today, C. Josef Lamy GmbH is – on the basis of an annual production of more than eight million writing instruments ­– market leader in Germany and an internationally popular brand. Their high level of quality and innovative design can be even read from the 71 iF awards that the company received since their first participation in 1968.

We bow our heads in respectful gratitude to Manfred’s unique life's work.


Related link:
Awarded designs by Franco Clivio


(published in February 2021)