A Quick Overview
When you stroll around the aisle of markers in an art store or wade through extensive collections of colorful markers online, finding the best set of markers for your artistic needs and preferences can be quite challenging. But to narrow down your options, perhaps one of the first things you do is consider the brand.
In the world of markers, Prismacolor, Copic, and Ohuhu are some of the popular and trustworthy brands that have established remarkable reputations due to their exceptional quality and performance. But the question is, which brand should you choose? What is the best brand of markers?
Identifying the best marker brand might already seem a tough call and recognizing their gaps, similarities, and top features even more so. In this comparative review of Prismacolor markers VS Copic VS Ohuhu markers, I’ll walk you through an in-depth guide and breakdown of features of these brands to help you find the perfect pick for your creative arts and crafts!
The Ultimate Breakdown
Ink Type and Quality
Prismacolor markers can either be water-based or alcohol-based, although the majority of them use alcohol-based ink. Whichever you choose, both types render respective features that are compatible with beginners or professional artists and illustrators.
The alcohol-based Prismacolor markers provide consistent ink flow and give off impeccably smooth colors. That is why they are ideal for illustrators, colorists, graphic artists, and professional artists. However, they tend to bleed when used on standard printer paper or thin paper.
The water-based markers, particularly the Scholar Brush Markers, offer premium quality ink that beginners and students can use. Rendering solid fills and vibrant colors is easy but can sometimes appear slightly streaky and not as saturated as alcohol-based markers.
Copic markers are alcohol-based and known for their premium ink quality that delivers consistent colors and smooth ink flow. Whether you are laying down colors for solid fill, intricate strokes, or color blends, the ink appears impeccably smooth and seamless with little to no streaks. Plus, the ink dries quickly.
Ohuhu has alcohol-based and water-based markers as well. The smooth appearance and saturation of colors are surprisingly stunning, considering the brand’s lower price point. The ink quality is pretty impressive in that it can somehow compete with the ink quality and performance of Copics.
The water-based markers, on the other hand, do not fail to impress with their rich colors. Amazingly, they do not appear as streaky as most water-based markers are but rather smooth, especially when using brush tips.
The largest color range available in up to 156 shades, specifically in their double-ended art marker sets, although the entirety of available shades should come around 200 tones. This includes the specialized color sets in the Cool Gray and Warm Gray assortment, which come in 12 shades respectively.
This brand has by far the widest color selection among professional quality markers available on the market. It offers a massive collection of 358 shades that users can intuitively choose and customize according to their desired colors.
Additionally, Copic assists artists to decide on their color options through their Copic Color System, which exhibits a systematic arrangement of shades and gradations. In this way, artists and users can visualize the combinations or layers of colors that they want to use.
The Ohuhu markers offer a vast array of 216 colors that provide a variety of blue, pink, yellow, and gray tones, including pastel tones. They also offer specialized color sets for Skin Tone colors and Pastel colors.
Lightfastness and Opacity
Prismacolor claims that its markers are lightfast or can resist fading, thus preserving the vibrant color quality for a long time. This is true at some point, especially if you preserve and store your art properly. However, I noticed that the marker inks are not archival; hence, they fade over time when exposed to light or air.
Copic markers provide a stunning color selection but they derive their colors from dyes. Therefore, they are not as highly pigmented as other media types like pastels or pencils. But like most permanent markers, you will see noticeable changes in color over the years. The colors still look surprisingly beautiful but they will fade, especially the darker tones.
Just like Copic, Ohuhu markers are not very lightfast since they are dye-based alcohol markers.
Nib Styles and Sizes
The markers are dual-ended featuring fine and chisel tips for various line widths and versatile applications. You can easily flip the marker pen for precise strokes and vast coverage. However, the nibs are not replaceable or interchangeable but they do not fray easily.
Depending on the type of Copic marker, these double-ended markers feature innovative nib designs that range from medium broad, fine nib, chisel, super brush, and bullet. Just like Prismacolor, there is no trouble switching between nibs. Plus, they are replaceable should they wear out or fray over time.
One of the highlights of Ohuhu markers is their reversible brush tips. When the brushes have already worn out, users can just flip the brush tip and reinsert it to the barrel for a fresh and new tip.
This is an important feature since the brush tips quickly fray when used frequently.
The marker pens feature large and rounded barrels while the Premier illustration markers are much thinner. Both types are comfortable to hold. They also have color-coded caps.
The barrel shapes vary according to the type of marker. Copic Classic or Copic Original have large square barrels. Copic Sketch markers, on the other hand, feature oval-shaped barrels while Copic Ciao markers showcase a much simpler design with round and slimmer barrels.
Although the barrel size differentiates comfort and convenience, it also defines the amount of ink the marker holds. Therefore, Copic Classic holds the largest amount of ink among the three. Copic Sketch comes next and Copic Ciao has the least. Moreover, the caps are color-coded for hassle-free identification.
The markers come in round barrels that provide a compact and comfortable design. Similar to the first two brands, the markers are organized by color, which is easy to determine because of their color and number codes.
The longevity of markers depends on how frequently you use them. They can last for years but if you use them very often, the marker inks might run out in just a couple of months. Unfortunately, these markers are not refillable. You have to dispose of them once they run out and buy new ones.
Probably the best thing about Copic markers is their exceptional lifespan. They can last for years or even decades due to their refillable inks. These markers might be costly but you can actually save more in the long run as you only have to buy refills should they ever run out.
Similar to Prismacolor, Ohuhu markers are not refillable. However, the manufacturer is making plans of putting up refillable markers soon! While waiting for these refillable designs, these markers can last for a year or two of continuous use although this may still vary depending on how often you use them.
Price and Availability
Among the three brands, Copic is the most expensive, with Prismacolor as the second. Ohuhu is the best budget-friendly option, especially if you are looking for markers for beginners and students.
You can purchase markers from these brands individually or by sets. Copic has a massive selection of colors but you can try a few colors first before investing in their extensive color sets.
Fortunately, the manufacturer offers a vast range of marker sets according to their tones. For example, they have markers for Skin Tones, Sea and Sky (Blue tones), Floral Favorites, Earth Essentials, and more.
Prismacolor and Ohuhu markers are typically available in sets that will not be intimidating to try since you can always start with the least count. Individual markers are also available but the color options are limited. Unfortunately, some colors in their sets are not available for individual purchase, and should they ever run out, you’ll be forced to buy another set just to get these colors.
Who are these marker brands for?
Prismacolor and Copic markers are typically recommended for professional artists, illustrators, and experienced artists. Ohuhu, however, renders excellent performance and quality but not as great as the other two. Therefore, if you are a beginner or a hobbyist looking for entry-level markers, you can go with Ohuhu markers. Plus, they come at a very affordable price range.
Although Copic markers usually target professional artists, designers, and illustrators, they have a special variant for beginners and students, which are the Copic Ciao markers. They feature a much simpler design but share similar premium ink quality and performance.
Which brand should you choose? It all depends on your needs and preferences. But it would help if you determine first your skills or level and other artistic needs in terms of color selection, nib sizes, ink type and quality, as well as longevity. The plethora of choices might seem challenging, but delving into this comparative review can help you weigh the pros and cons of each brand.