A Copic is a high-quality line of marker that supports plenty of designers and graphics around the world. It has never failed to impress people in the creative industry as an unbeatable tool for multiple art projects.
Budget-minded consumers will notice a cost imbalance between regular markers and Copics. New users question this difference a lot, as they have not imagined how well a Copic can do to deserve such a high price.
So what makes a Copic marker more exceptional compared to the rest?
The Advantages of Using Copics
Its alcohol-based ink is made from an acid-free formula with no toxicant. This means you can have a longer exposure time while using a Copic, eliminating most health concerns.
The vivid colors it produces are seriously hard to beat since no other marker types on the market have managed to deliver such boldness. Plus, the ink is streak-proof on a lot of surfaces, which leads to less post-applied odor.
I believe the best news is that the Copic ink is refillable. This turns out to be a money-saving feature not many art supplies can offer, so you might partially understand why this pen can cost you much.
In most cases, a Copic marker set will include a clear labeling system on the pen shell for you to identify each color quickly.
Looking like a regular marker does not mean its capability is at the same level. A Copic is suitable for a variety of art genres such as architecture, fashion design, comic sketching, illustration, and papercrafts, etc.
There are diverse nib options for a Copic including chisel (the most popular), brush, and bullet. These tips are double-sided on both marker ends and easily replaceable for quality renewal.
By using the versatile Copic nibs, they help create fine details and wide strokes at once. You can choose between up to 358 color variations for this marker type, and blending them results in unique hues.
The alcohol-based Copic ink is permanent to ensure long-lasting effects on the applied surface against most impacts. However, its performance depends largely on how often you use this marker.
I would advise you to refill regularly used pens to make sure they do not dry out and replace old, worn-out nibs. Take advantage of these rare features in a Copic that other products barely provide to prolong its effectiveness.
Which Type of Copic Suits Your Budget?
There are 3 popular Copic types currently available on the market including the Copic Ciao, Sketch, and Classic (sometimes referred to as Original).
Before discussing the main differences, I would like to point out their common features that contribute to the global fame of Copics. These 3 pens use the same premium, refillable ink with double-ended replaceable nibs.
You will see that these Copic lines are separated by their versatile barrel shapes and sizes, nib types, color ranges, and overall prices.
For first-time users as well as teenagers and small kids, my recommendation is to opt for the Copic Ciao. Its small construction allows more control in use.
The reason why this line costs the least is due to its more limited colors of 180 options and less ink storage. The round barrel is also not an optimal build since this structure tends to roll around on a flat surface.
A Ciao is exactly what your children need to complete their schoolwork and art projects at home. Both of its lids contain tiny venting holes to prevent choking.
The Copic Sketch costs a bit more and is also the most favorite model of many artists. It offers the highest color range of 358, which is challenging for other competitors to come close to.
Based on my experience, holding the oval barrel of a Sketch for long creative hours is more comfortable than the other 2. Loads of manufacturers have chosen this optimal shape for their marker shell.
Since it comes with a brush tip beside the popular chisel one, this useful tip will assist you as the perfect tool for everyday coloring with wide strokes.
Despite including fewer ink shade variations of 214 than the Sketch, a Copic Classic is the most high-priced line because of its superior advantages.
This marker enables you to have a fantastic nib customization with 7 different compatible tips, apart from the default chisel and bullet ones.
It is obvious that its largest square barrel size holds more ink and as a result, you will not need to refill this pen as often as other Copic lines. I see it as a cost-effective item due to these amazing benefits, rather than its retail price.
Optimal Copic Alternatives
It is understandable that you might still find Copics unnecessarily expensive. Here are a few replica suggestions to duplicate a near-perfect color pigment and blend like them, but of course, at a much more affordable price range.
Most users would agree that Prismacolor pencils mix with baby oil is an ideal combination for similar color effects to Copics. A watercolor also performs well for blending in a smooth manner on a variety of surfaces.
Nonetheless, you should always keep in mind that there is no other marker type that can defeat the overall optimal performance of Copics. To be honest, your expectations with these alternatives should not be too high.
Are Copics Cheaper in Japan?
What if the Copic price gets too high in your country? The best solution is to approach their manufacturing country for better deals.
I am aware of the casual shortage of Copics in the US, which leads to your difficulty in buying certain colors. Therefore, finding them in Japan is a brilliant idea because it is where these art supplies are made and widely used.
Thanks to the mass production in their hometown, the price gets insanely cheaper. An individual Copic Sketch pen costs around $5.24 in the US, while you only need to pay $3.80 for the same marker in Japan.
It all comes down to the final question: Are Copics worthy of your hard-earned money?
In my opinion, their refillable ink and replaceable nibs are literally at the highest level of convenience when using marker pens.
You can rely on these benefits to save much money in buying brand new markers every time the existing ones run out of ink or experience a tip defect. Therefore, it may seem expensive to purchase a Copic at first, but I promise that the later maintenance of this high-quality marker will spare you from a lot of unnecessary costs.
My tip is to get a few individual shades to try out before deciding to invest in a whole Copic set. That way, the overall price is much lower and you will have more color options to choose from. Have fun shopping for Copics, and thank you for reading.