From a writing instrument to a designer object

This company has been able to transform everyday life into design.

Aurora

Aurora was founded a century ago in the centre of Turin. After bombing and complete destruction of the city by the Allies in 1943, the entire production site was moved to an abbey at the gates of the city, where it has remained to this day. In the sixties it was taken over by the engineer Franco Verona, father of the current owner. The real turning point occurred at the beginning of the 2000s, when Franco’s son Cesare Verona acquired 100% of the shares and completely revolutionised the way the company was run to make Aurora a champion of made in Italy. The entrepreneur turned the pen from a writing instrument into a designer object, opening the company up to markets where the culture of writing is ancient and deep-rooted, such as Iran and China. Cesare Verona also opened the doors of the factory to visitors, adopted the lean strategy, set up a multimedia and multisensory museum that explored the concept of leaving a mark, opened boutiques around the world, and focused on exports.
“Production and collection: the two souls of Aurora.” Cesare Verona, president and CEO of Aurora
“Time breaks up and disperses, but what remains becomes a legend, myth or icon.” From a simple writing instrument, Aurora has once again become an icon of Italian design. The two things of greatest importance are the product and the story it tells. The entire production process of the fountain pens is carried out in the former abbey of San Giacomo di Stura, where research, development and production are in close contact. Marketing accounts for a significant amount of the turnover (between 10 and 15%), with events, exhibitions, conferences, advertising and sponsorships. From instrument to icon: this is also demonstrated by the museum’s recent “Aurora ETERNA” exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the company; major achievements in the world of design are divided by decade in a large white room open to the public.
Aurora has a turnover of over 5 million euros and employs around sixty employees, including production workers. 80% of its staff are women. Exports account for around 70% of total sales, but the volume of these is expected to increase in the next few years. Aurora has opened boutiques in Turkey, Mexico and Iran, and one in via del Babuino in Rome. The strong emphasis on marketing, the opening of the museum-company to visitors and the continuous search for new production-related solutions are all pivotal to Cesare Verona’s business strategy. In 2019 Poste Italiane printed a commemorative stamp for the company’s 100th anniversary.

Sustainability

At Aurora, sustainability involves various steps and good habits: firstly, an attention to waste and the reuse of raw materials as much as possible. Secondly, investment in high performance flues and plants and in ethical and regulated waste disposal systems. And above all, it is the Aurora pen itself that is anything but disposable: for this reason, there is an assistance service that offers support to anyone who wants to have a product repaired, even if it is an old one, in the interest of preserving not only its functionality, but also all the emotions and stories associated with a designer fountain pen.

Digital innovation

An Aurora pen embodies the charm of an art that in some ways is similar to that of the goldsmith, and is produced in an environment that perfectly integrates craftsmanship and advanced technology. Humans and robots work in harmony; monocles and 4.0 machinery are both used for lean production in a factory where every daily operation becomes something to be enjoyed.