Copic versus Spectrum Noir-A Product Comparison


by Debbie Ebat, Artistic Guide

Flower Digi 2  (Scrapbook Stamp Society, artist Karen Sheltrown)
Spectrum Noir (Crafters Companion)
LV2, PL2, LV1
Copic (.too)
V01, V04,V17
Y08,RV04, RV02
YG63, YG67, TG61

Today's watering hole post is a little different.  I was upset by the latest Copic price increase... I think it was the third one in a year.  So I decided to take a look at some of the other alcohol markers.  I was in JoAnn's and saw they had Spectrum Noir.  So I picked up a package of purples to give them a try.IMG_1066

  • The first major difference between the two brands is that the Spectrum Noir come in a set of 6 pens.  So you get a color range to work with right from the start.
  • The second major difference is the price.  When I bought these at Jo Ann's they were $14.99  for six.  I had a coupon, of course, so I got them for 50% off.  Copics almost never go on sale and the latest retail price from Copic is $7.99 per pen,  However, you can find them on line for a little as $5.24.
  • They both can be refilled.
  • I used these on a digital  image printed on white paper.  My printer is an Epson  and I did not have any problems with bleeding from either pen.  I did not try them with ink, but Tsukineko's Memento inks are a good ink to use with alcohol markers.
  • Another big difference is the shape of the pens.  I use the sketch version of the Copic markers.  For me, I found when using the Spectrum markers, my hands were hurting by the time I had colored the flower petals.  I can color all day with Copic markers and not have this problem.  So I prefer the shape of the Copics.IMG_1070
  • In my example, I tried to match the colors of the Spectrum Noir markers to the colors of the Copic markers to give a fair comparison.IMG_1077IMG_1075
  • This is the digi image I used.IMG_1065
  • The only parts I colored with the Spectrum Noir is the large petals.  I discovered that it was harder to place the color where I wanted it to be with their bullet point nib as opposed to the brush nib of the Copics, but that might change with practice. IMG_1069
  • This is how the flower looked after I colored all the petals. IMG_1074
  • I normally would not mix these colors of copics, but did so, trying to keep to the comparison between the two brands of markers as close as possible.IMG_1078
  •  Here is the finished petals.IMG_1080
  •  Then, because all the uncolored area was bothering me, I colored the rest of the flowers.  Here is a side by side shot for you to see the difference. IMG_1085
  • As you can see, there's not a lot of difference between the two colored flowers.  But I felt limited by the color range I had available in the Spectrum package.  Copic markers have 358 colors to choose from, where as Spectrum Noir markers only come in 168 colors.
  • It's no surprise to me, but I think I will stick with my Copic markers.  I'd put it this way, going from Copic Markers to Spectrum Noir markers is like going from a BMW to a Kia.  Yes the price is a lot better, but you're really limited in your options.
  • Thanks for stopping by and please remember, this is only my opinion.



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4 Responses »

  1. Thanks so much for this comparison. I don't currently use markers because of the cost but had been looking at the Noir's. After reading this I don't think I'll invest in them. Geesh, I wish the Copics weren't so expensive!

  2. This is an awsome review. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Sorry to hear this I just bought three different Colors ! :(

  4. I couldn't live without my Copic markers. I teach card making classes and they are my primary coloring choice for my samples, ect, along with my personal cards. With that said, I wanted to introduce my sister-in-law to alcohol markers as a Christmas gift. Yes, Copics are a little pricey, especially when you're looking at purchasing a quanity all at once. So, I opted for the Spectrum Noir.
    After giving them to her we just had to "play". Turns out we had a major problem finding a suitable paper (major bleeding) and the markers had been stored on there end, so they were very dry on one end. Copics can be stroed upright, so I assumed these also could. Nope.
    Anyway, my opinion is that I will continue to invest in and promote Copics. The Spectrum are fine, but you really do get what you pay for.

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