Animation Floating Pen 2018

Animation Floating Pen is presented with our original design equipped on the globally-loved Eskesen’s Floating Action Pen.


We have three types of Animation Floating Pen:


Type A:

Type A features optical illusions called barrier grid animation.


A Cat in a Pen, Walking

A cat in the pen walk with optical illusions. Type A pens are visible of appealing six-frame animation when they are tilted.


A Man in a Pen, Walking

This is a revival version of the first Animation Floating Pen we produced in 2010. Since optical illusions didn’t work well with this tiny image, we ended up making six prototypes before we led to the final product. Incidentally, the image was created by animation based on the video which captured me (Satoshi Endo) actually walking.


Type B:

Type B features another optical illusions called footstep animation.


A Cat in a Pen, 8-bit version (black)

This product featuring a cat walking was created for a different type of optical illusions from the Type A items. I had struggles in producing animation in the process of creating floating pens because of the nature of human vision, the very nature of which had been known for optical illusions for a long time. We utilized the nature that human eyes are attracted to strong contrast in creation of two types of 8-bit Versions. The images in the pen being as very simple as graphics used to 8-bit personal computers, we named them after that.

タイプAのペンとは違った錯視を利用してネコが歩いているように見えるものです。アニメーションフローティングペンを作るときに、人間の視覚の性質のためにうまくいかないことがよくあります。実は、そうした製作の邪魔をしていたその性質も、昔から錯視として知られているものでした。それを利用したのが、8-bit versionの2つです。これらは、人間の目が強いコントラストに引きずられることを利用したもので、そのためとてもシンプルな絵になっています(ちょうど8ビット時代のパーソナルコンピュータのグラフィックスのようなのでこの名前を付けました)。

A Cat in a Pen, 8-bit version (white)

The image of the cat of this item is in white. We expect it looks like cat’s paws flip-flop on the fixed angle.

白ネコの8-bit versionを作りました。実際には固定された角度のネコの足がパタパタと歩いているように見えると思います。

Type C:

Type C also features a kind of barrier grid animation with a new specially developed method of animation for the item. In Type C pens, the character in the pen switches the direction of moving by shifting the pitch of the barrier grid. This doesn’t occur in conventional barrier grid animation since the images would be disturbed. Their items could be an innovative addition to the world of barrier grid animation that has more than 100-year-old history.



Waves swing in the pen. The direction of waves moves back to where they come from in the middle section of the pen.



Tanks appearing in the pen are transformed into ducks one by one. We wish this item will serve as our modest message of hope for a world without war. Pay attention to the moment when the tail of a duck pops up. When it is tilted oppositely, ducks are turning into tanks in backward motion.



Multiple triangles are transformed into a kaleidoscope of shapes.


We only create our idea into design for the pen, and order our products to Denmark’s Eskesen which has manufactured the globally-loved Floaty Pen for more than 60 years. Their products have been recognized as quality writing tools. They have produced original items as well as promotional ones for such major corporations as the New York Times and Museum of Modern Art in New York, and tourist spots worldwide.


How to See the Animation :

The character in the pen is set up to walk from the tip of the pen toward the head of the pen, because when the pen is placed in somewhere such as the pocket of the jacket, the character stands closer to the tip of the pen. Take out the pen from the pocket, put it in front of your eyes with 10–30 cm distance and view the animation. When tilted, the character starts moving.


Displacement of the printing position of an image might occur to some extent in the Floating Action Pen. We appreciate your understanding that this is an unavoidable situation due to the nature of manufacturing. Observe the pen from different angles to find the best viewing position. There have been some cases in Floating Action Pens that have a few tiny foams found in the liquid in the pen due to the nature of manufacturing. We appreciate your understanding that we can’t replace the items which might include a few foams.


A Project for Making a Floating Pen at Least Once in My Life

A Project for Making a Floating Pen at Least Once in My Life consists of a group of creators with Satoshi Endo and Taku Sato as leaders, and other collaborators who gathered to produce Animation Floating Pen. We made the first version of Animation floating pen in 2010. The number of the first version of the pen manufactured was very small, and the product was sold mainly in Japan. Still globally, design info websites such as designboom and floaty pen collectors’ website such as Float About featured it. Also it won “Asia Design Excellence” prize judged by the German Design Council in Paperworld, Frankfurt-based annual international trade fair for stationery, office supplies and writing instruments, in 2012.

A Project for making a floating pen at least once in my lifeは、遠藤諭とさとうたくの2人を中心としてその協力者からなるアニメーションフローティングペン製作を目的としたチームです。私たちは、2010年にアニメーションフローティングペンの最初のバージョンを作りました。その製作本数はとても少なく日本国内を中心に売っただけですが、designboomなどのデザイン情報サイトや米国のコクレクターサイトFloat aboutなどに取り上げられました。また、毎年フランクフルトで開催される文具見本市であるPaperworld 2012でドイツデザインコミッティより、“アジアデザインエクセレンス”を授与されました。

Satoshi Endo: Creator/editor/researcher. In ‘A Project for Making a Floating Pen at least Once in my Life’, he is responsible for the idea and concept, computer simulation and overall direction. He established subculture magazine “Tokyo Otona Club” in 1983. The word “otaku”, symbol of Japanese pop culture, originated from the magazine and settled ubiquitously since then.

遠藤諭:クリエイター/編集者/リサーチャー/株式会社角川アスキー総合研究所 主席研究員 A Project for Making a Floating Pen at least Once in my Lifeは、個人的なプロジェクトで、アイデアとコンセプト、データシミュレーションと全体のディレクションを担当。1983年にサブカル雑誌「東京おとなクラブ」を創刊。日本のポップカルチャーを象徴する「おたく」という言葉は、この雑誌がもとになっている。

Taku Sato: Freelance editorial designer and craft artist (metal, leather, pottery). In ‘A Project for Making a Floating Pen at least Once in my Life’, he is responsible for video capturing , art direction.

さとうたく:フリーランスのエディトリアルデザイナー/皮革・金属・陶芸のクラフトアーチスト。A Project for Making a Floating Pen at least Once in my Lifeでは、ビデオキャプチャとアートディレクションを担当。