Faber-Castell — A Colourful Movement

A SPIKE in colour pencil sales has seen healthy growth for traditional brands like Faber-Castell. And it’s thanks to the digital world.

KARLBOX Built From Friendship Between Brands.

As digital disruptors weigh in, many analogue incumbents ― photography film, compact discs, typewriters, landlines ― are often left by the wayside, like perplexed victims caught unawares. But there are exceptions to the rule.

The recent colouring craze has become a sudden cash cow for brands that have long been in the business of adding colour to our lives. The upswing in demand for colouring books saw a 12-fold spike in sales in the US from 2014 to 2015. The story of Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford OBE and her colouring books has already become the stuff of business legend, with her Secret Garden (2013) selling more than 250,000 copies in its first month. She’s since enjoyed successful endorsements and has kept up a steady flow of books.

Impact Of The Adult Colouring Phenomenon

Relaxation and time away from the screen are strong contributors to this colouring movement.

And it has resulted in unexpectedly strong performance for brands like Faber-Castell, who for eight generations has been focused on elevating its craft. Since 1761, Faber-Castell has been family held and producing coloured pencils, pens, brushes, erasers, sharpeners ― the works ― for children and professionals.

Colouring Around The World

Chic Celebration
This year, to celebrate 255 years of the company’s existence, Faber-Castell has teamed up with German fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld to deliver KARLBOX. This stylish limited-edition presentation box resembling a Chinese wedding cabinet houses 350 fine quality art tools for drawing and painting. This sleek box can now sit as a highlight designer piece in your living room, while showcasing you have fine taste in art materials, and hopefully the ability to match that in talent.

Faber-Castell is pleased the demand for the limited number of sets ― 2,500 ― is healthy, with each KARLBOX going for S$4,588.

Future Steps For Faber-Castell

Hobbyists and professionals have long been fans of Faber-Castell’s range of artists’ supplies. The recent adult colouring craze has fuelled demand for the German brand’s materials, to the point they’ve had to work on Saturdays in the factory.

“We have seen healthy double-digit numbers,” says Rolf Schifferens, Faber-Castell’s Managing Director of Europe.

“Last year, the demand for art materials grew 42%. This year, it will be around there, too,” he says.

Taking Advantage Of Digital Disruptions

He and Yandramin Halim, the Managing Director of Faber-Castell Singapore, are thankful for the digital craze that has allowed people to share their colouring efforts.

“Previously, they would colour and keep it aside. But now they can share it on social media,” Halim says. This has helped to spread the interest in colouring.

Shortage Of Coloured Pencils Because Of Adult Colouring

For Faber-Castell, this has been a wonderful and unexpected wave to ride. “Colouring is a companion for life,” says Halim. “It provides tools for babies to senior citizens.”


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