Thursday, April 1, 2010

Markers 101

I use a variety of markers in my classroom and at home, so here are some of my favorites:

1. Sharpie- One of the few companies I have total, unapologetic brand loyalty to. They come in many colors and three different sizes (Chisel, Fine, Extra Fine.) Use them to write on almost anything- metal, fabric, glass, plastic, you name it. I have used them for a 4th grade embossing project on foil and they look amazing on it- they are translucent so the shine is maintained when you draw on the aluminum. My favorite is the silver Sharpie which is opaque like a paint marker; it stands out beautifully on dark colored paper, and can add a futuristic look.
I used one to write my parents' house number on the mailbox, and it's still clear after two years. Dries quick as lighting, slightly stinky. There's also a Sharpie pen now, which has no smell and won't bleed through thinner paper the way the markers do.

2. Zig Posterman- A nice chisel tip paint marker with steady flow and opaque colors. They are great for my visual aids and can write on almost any surface. They do take a little while to dry, like paint, and must be shaken thoroughly before use.

3. Zig Calligraphy- The very best calligraphy marker I've found, and I have tried several. Permanent ink that dries quickly with beautiful color and high saturation. Perfectly steady as you write- no part of the tip lifts or leaves a ragged edge. I memorized a calligraphy alphabet called Uncial and use it often with these pens for Christmas cards, certificates, and fancy name tags.

4. Sakura Pigma Micron Pens- Amazing permanent ink felt tip pens that come in a detailed variety of widths. These are acid-free inks suitable for archival projects like scrapbooking. A colleague of mine who is a comic artist can't live without these! Great for anime fans, too. No smell, dries quickly.

5. Staedler Triplus Color Pens- These are felt tip pens and markers that are super comfy to hold- the barrel is triangular and very easy to grip. Nice color selection, won't bleed through paper readily.

6. Paper Mate Felt Tip Flare Pens- Nice all around felt tip, won't bleed through paper like Sharpies. I used them to take snazzy looking notes and doodle in the margins in college.

7. Prismacolor markers- I saved the best for last, but BOY, are these grown-up markers a splurge. They're a dream to work with, huge color availability and bold, intense saturation. They layer and blend on the page almost like paint, and are dual tipped. Breathtakingly expensive, but the pros love them because they rock! Nothing like kids' Crayolas. Prismacolor also makes excellent paint markers and colored pencils that blend beautifully and won't snap as you draw with them. Another brand loyalty company, folks.

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