About the company
Faber-Castell is a German company, that was established in 1761. They have been exporting pencils to the US since 1843, and make children's products in the US.
Faber-Castell pencils have a reputation for excellent quality, and are considered by most colored pencil artists to be one of the very best brands. They have coated cores in their pencils that helps prevent breakage. Their color matching system is excellent, since their traditional colored pencils (Polychromos) matches the colors in their water-soluble colored pencils (Albrecht Durer). Their colors also match their pastel pencils and their pastel sticks.
The fact that both of their main artist color pencil lines match in colors means that you have a powerful tool to use in combination. For example, you can use the dry pencils for fine, dark details when you do not want to take a chance that the colors will run when water is added.
Faber-Castell traditional colored pencils lay down color really well, and blend beautifully.
The Faber-Castell water-soluble pencils dissolve completely in water, for true watercolor effects.
The Polychromos (dry) colored pencil line has round exteriors, while the Albrecht Durer (wet) colored pencils have a hexagonal shape. This is really nice, because when you use the two together in a painting, you can tell by touch if you have picked up the wet or the dry pencil from your table.
This chart is in color order, and makes a nice way to arrange your pencils. It is interesting to note that the water-soluble pencils (Albrecht Durer) are less lightfast than the traditional pencils (Polychromos).