Sunday, August 05, 2007

Prismacolor vs. Copic

If you're like me, you've probably heard the buzz about Copic and Prismacolor markers. They seem to be the talk of the town lately. Well, the online paper crafting town, that is! I must say I haven't heard much about them at my local grocery store or donut shop. LOL! Many of you have emailed me for my opinions regarding these markers, so I thought I'd take a few pictures and share a few things so it's all in one spot. I must preface this by saying, I am not an expert. I'm simply sharing my opinions and insights about the markers I own so you can make a more informed decision if you choose to purchase these markers for yourself!


Following are the similarities between Copic and Prismacolor markers:

1. They are both alcohol-based markers. Alcohol-based markers lay color on more smoothly with the elimination of stroke lines that you get with water-based markers. To avoid being redundant, check out Julie's post for more of the differences between alcohol-based and water- based markers.

2. They are both dual-ended markers.

3. They both come in a wide variety of colors, Prismacolor offers 156 colors while Copic offers 310 colors.

And now following are the differences between Copic and Prismacolor markers:

1. As you can see in the picture above, the different brands (and the different styles within the same brand) have different nib sizes and barrel styles. Pictured above from left to right is Copic Ciao, Prismacolor, and Copic Sketch:

Copic Ciao: chisel tip and brush tip with a rounded barrel.

Prismacolor: larger chisel tip and fine tip with a larger rounded barrel.

Copic Sketch: chisel tip and brush tip (exact same tips as Ciao) with an oval barrel.

2. If you're a price conscious shopper (really, who isn't!?), then you'll notice right away that the Copic markers have a higher price point than the Prismacolor markers. Why?...

Copics are refillable: you are able to purchase ink refills.

Copics have replaceable nibs: you are able to purchase and replace the nibs if/when the nib wears down.

Copics are airbrush compatible: you can hook up your Copic Original or Copic Sketch markers to the Copic Airbrush System to create backgrounds or fill large areas. This feature is not available with the Copic Ciao style marker.

My Personal Favorite: I own each brand and style of marker I've discussed here, and after evaluating all the options, my personal favorite is the Copic Sketch marker. Why?...

The Copic marker is a lifetime marker! I plan to get some good use out of these so the refillable ink and replaceable nibs are an important feature to me. The Copic Ciao style also offers ink refills and replaceable nibs at a more affordable price than the Copic Sketch. However, my ultimate choice is the Copic Sketch because it is also airbrush compatible and comes in a wider variety of colors.

If you're interested in purchasing some markers for yourself, Joy and Daisy at Eclectic Paperie can hook you up with all styles and colors of the Copic markers in sets and individual. Purchasing just a few individual markers is a great way to try them out before investing in a big set! My Favorite Things has the Copic Ciao markers available in sets of 36 as well! Below I've attached a color chart for the Copic markers. You'll have to click on it to enlarge the scan, but you'll see the colors are marked with a square or a circle. All colors are available in the Sketch style. The colors marked with a circle are also available in the Ciao style and the colors marked with a square are also available in the Original style.

I hope you've found this information a tiny bit helpful! It has probably sparked more questions than it has answered. If you post your questions below, I will do my best to find the answers and include them at the bottom of this post. I'm working on another post to tell you about all the different things you can do with alcohol-based markers. Hopefully I'll have that up later this week! Thanks for stopping by today!

24 comments:

Mandy Cheshire said...

I saw a cute card by you on Stamper's Showcase today! Congrats!

Dawn said...

Taylor, thanks so much for you input on Copics. I was wondering what the different types, within the brand, were all about! I'm glad I now know the ciao are not compatible with the airbrush system. It is also very helpful to have input from a fellow crafter. Now...all I have to do is win the lottery and buy a set...lol
Dawn:)

Peggy Maier said...

Hi Taylor, thanks for some new info on the Copics. I have found the Copic Sketch at our local Hobby Lobby for $5.95 apiece & bought a grey, flesh tone & green - just to try them out. I must say they are wonderful for shading, coloring, etc. I'll probably use some of my coupons to purchase more, but don't want an entire set - maybe in the future! The only problem is that now I'll have to switch to another black ink besides StaZ-On since it bleeds when using the markers (see Ellen Hutson's post yesterday. She has a chart showing how each type of ink pad held up with the Copics).

Bevie Pearl said...

Taylor, Thanks for your information. When the topic of Copics was going around ... I did go to my HL store...I had the coupon..but didn't buy.
These two reasons are why I didn't buy them at the time.
#1. I wasn't sure about the difference between Copic and Prismacolor. (Thanks for answering that question)
#2.some of the markers had caps that hadnt been put back on tightly and one had a cap missing.
So, I have decided to wait. Now that Joy and Daisy are selling..I am putting the markers on my bday list and will order from them. I guess I know that buying from them..the general public hasn't used them. (Is that weird of me or what?...not wanting to take a chance on the marker being used before me?)

Rhiannon said...

thanks for this great write-up Taylor. I greatly appreciate it!

stampingranny said...

Great information as I am on the stalk for for theses! My daughter has Prisma's she had them since college and they were expense. She dug them out (harddly ever used) and has been enjoying them for card making. I thank you for your input, I can't wait to sample the Copic Sketch ones. Deb

Karen said...

Hey Taylor, Thanks for taking the time to post this wealth of info!

Anonymous said...

TFS! Replacable nibs sounds terrific. My children have enjoyed my SU! markers just a little too much and I've had to replace the whole marker.
thanks for the info,
frannyb

C70 said...

Thanks for giving us your opinion on those markers, Taylor! I've been thinking about getting some markers myself, and you've definitely answered most of my questions :)

love.boxes said...

Wow! I didn't know anything about these.

diane mcvey said...

Great information! Thanks so much...you are so nice to do this for us! I have both kinds, and need to get to using them!!!

Rose Ann said...

It is the talk, as you say. LOL Thank you for sharing your view!

Bethany Paull said...

Thanks for all the info.

Anonymous said...

I wondered if you have a compiled list of Copic markers that cloesly match SU colors? Thanks for any info you can provide. I would like to start collecting the Copic markers, but don't have enough to buy a whole set. One or two at a time is how I will need to collect. Thanks again, Dorothy Freber

Sencie said...

Thank you for the pictures!!! I sooooo want some of these markers!!!

Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing your insights Taylor. Do you feel like the Copic Markers coordinate well with Stampin Up colors of card stock?

Taylor said...

Here's a link to one of Ellen's posts where she has Copic color matches for some of the Stampin' Up colors. I hope to be able to do this once I get the rest of the colors I've ordered. Then I'll have all the colors to choose from! :)

http://ellenhutson.typepad.com/ellen_hutson_simple_dream/2007/07/copic-coordinat.html

Nancy said...

Thanks Taylor...that helps!!

Barb Mann said...

Taylor - Thanks so much for the Copic color chart!! I've been wondering if one was available. Now I've saved the file and can check it whenever I want. I've started collecting!!

pat said...

Thanks for the great info. I've been eyeing these at a local store for ages but always pass them by because I simply didn't know anything about them. They do have a little sign saying they replace nibs and do refills and I always thought that was kind of interesting.

Girl, where do you get all that energy? Could you bottle and sell it, please??!!?? I don't know where you find the time to do everything...it wears me out just thinking of it!

shelley- aka hairchick said...

Omg! I have always wondered about those markers! Thanks for your insight_ Very helpful!

Primas Primas Everywhere!!! said...

The copic ciao also have a repacable nib? I would only favor this one because of the round barrel, but would only want them if I could replace the nips... Please let me know thanks... And do you by chance happen to know if there is a price difference between the ciao and sketch? Thanks again. Keri aka stampinupconsultan on SCS

Rachel said...

Hi Taylor...do you think that the Ciao is still comfortable to use, even with the circle barrel? I love the oval barrel but I don't know if that's worth the extra couple bucks per marker.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that grateful info. I've been thinking that I wanna have Copic skecth markers since I was really curious about the markers I wanna have em as my bday present hence they're a bit expensive but worth the money you we're paying for...