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Caran d’Ache’s Famous Fans

Right from the start, Caran d'Ache held a special place in the cultural imagination. Named after a French political cartoonist, who himself had picked his moniker based on the Russian word for pencil, it adopted elements of his signature into its distinctive logo. And since its inception, the brand has lived up to its arty beginnings. In fact, Pablo Picasso himself was a fan, creating several drawings using Caran d’Ache Neocolour wax pastels. These drawings went on display in Bern in 2015 to celebrate 100 years of the brand. The museum pointed out how the superior materials had allowed Picasso to experiment with new ways of working: “He combined crayons, pencils and wax pastels on various substances by wetting everything to mix the colours and materials.”

In more recent times, Caran d’Ache products have found favour with other creatives – among them, Alexander Girard, much-loved mid-century designer and folk artist, and architect Peter Marino, who designed Warhol’s Factory in New York along with boutiques for the likes of Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani and Chanel. English fashion designer Paul Smith is also a fan, and has collaborated with Caran d’Ache on two limited-edition collections, splashing his signature bright colours over the 849 model. If you’re looking for pens or pencils for a fashion-forward, design-minded writer, you couldn’t go far wrong with a Caran d’Ache.