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The First Brand Name Pencil

Whether for small notes or great art, classical literature or amateur artists: pencils are just as important in the digital age as they were in the past. That people worldwide have this access is all down to one man: Lothar von Faber, the pioneering pencil producer who was born over 200 years ago.

Lothar von Faber (4th Generation) improved the properties of pencil leads. Since then, ground graphite has been mixed with clay, shaped into leads and fired. That enabled pencils to be made in different hardness grades for the very first time, which allowed creating everything from a broad blur to an ultra-thin precision line. The Franconian visionary also modernized his factory’s production lines and discovered and secured the worldwide best raw material resources at the time.

By combining graphite from Siberia and cedar wood from Florida, he was able to perfect the legendary “Polygrades” indelible pencils, and shortly thereafter presented his hexagonal writing instruments, whose then - revolutionary new shape provided the prototype for the pencils that embellish nearly all our desks today – and thus created the very first branded writing instrument, adorned with the golden imprint “A.W. Faber”.

Lothar set up a distribution network with offices in New York, London, Paris, Vienna and St. Petersburg. Eventually, it even stretched as far as the Middle East and China. He was just as thorough in expanding his product portfolio, supplementing his pencils with writing utensils, artist’s and “office” supplies of all kinds.

More than 150 years after the company’s first appearance in the United States, Lothar von Faber’s legacy is nicely summed up in his own statement, “From the start I was determined to raise myself to the highest rank by making the best that can be made in the world."

Faber-Castell USA is committed to staying true to this vision of quality, tradition, and innovation now and in the future.