Prisma Color Vs. Copic Markers: A Battle Of Quality And Value

Prisma color vs. Copic markers

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Prismacolor Markers

A stack of Prismacolor markers
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Pros Cons
  • Different nibs available
  • Alcohol-based ink
  • Cheaper
  • Not refillable
  • Bleeds a lot

    Copic Markers

     A set of Copic Stretch markers
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    Pros Cons
    • Refillable
    • Permanent ink
    • Non-toxic
    • Expensive markers
    • Inconsistent quality

      At A Glance

      Prismacolors Markers Copic Markers
      Ink Used Alcohol inks Alcohol inks
      Nibs Different nib types and sizes; not replaceable Different nib types and sizes; replaceable
      Color Range Largest set contains 156 colors Largest set has 358 colors
      Organization Sturdy organizers/case; not stackable Stackable organizers; not sturdy
      Variations More variants - illustrator, dual-tipped, water-based Mostly dual-tipped
      Price Affordable Very expensive set
      Blending Needs blending markers Blends well even without blender markers
      Application May be used for various applications May be used for various applications
      Barrel Shape Different barrel shapes Rounded barrels
      Priming No need to prime before use No need to prime before use
      Lifespan Not refillable  Refillable


      Inks - It's a Tie

      Both Prismacolor and Copic markers use alcohol inks for rich colors and smooth ink flow. Other alcohol-based markers do not have superior quality pigments, so they fade with time, and you can't expect a good ink flow.

      Nibs - Winner: Copic Markers

      Various kinds of Copic marker nibs

      Copic and Prismacolor markers have varying nibs - bullet nib, chisel tip, and super brush tip are the most common. However, Prismacolor markers do not have replaceable nibs, while you can replace worn nibs on Copic markers.

      Only Copic Classic markers have nine replacement nibs, so you can customize your markers according to your needs, including a super brush nib for flexible strokes and a medium broad chisel nib. Other nib types are standard fine tip, superfine, standard fine, 3mm, and 5mm calligraphy nibs, soft broad, and standard broad tip for broad lines.

      Color Range - Winner: Copic Markers

      Copic markers has hundreds of colors

      The largest Prismacolor Premier marker set has 156 markers of different shades and tints. Sets are also available in 6s, 12s, 24s, 32s, and 72s. You can also choose the right color family for your needs.

      On the other hand, the Copic markers have 358 bright colors (Copic Sketch), 180 colors (Copic Ciao), and 214 colors (Copic Classic). Sets of 3s, 6s, 12s, 24s, 32s, and 72s are available in various color selections.

      Organization - Winner: Copic Markers

      Copic markers in a sturdy, plastic case for easy organizing

      Copic markers get our winner vote since the clear plastic case is an excellent tool for organizing your markers. The case has individual sections for the marker so that they don't clump together, as you can observe in canvas organizers. Even smaller sets have the same plastic casing. The downside of these cases is they're not stackable.

      If you get the Prismacolor Premier, you can enjoy the stackable organizers. Even if you get the smaller boxed sets, you can build your marker set without worrying about stacking compatibility.

      Variations - Winner: Prismacolor Markers

      Prismacolor Premier Illustration Brush-tip markers

      Between Prismacolor and Copic Markers, we give the winning vote to the Prismacolor markers because they have more variants - illustrator, dual-tipped, and water-based ink markers. As a brand, Prismacolor also carries other art supply types, but they are more versatile as markers.

      Prismacolor Markers

      Prisma Color markers have four different types of markers that you can use, depending on your skill level. Prismacolor Premier markers use dye and alcohol-based ink best for professional artists.

      Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers use non-toxic and water-resistant inks. These markers are best for illustrators and artists looking for precise lines and detailing on their work.

      The acid-free ink makes sure you have excellent archival quality in your work. The markers are also available in extra-fine and fine tips for fine lines, brush tips, specialty multi-tip illustration set, and all-black multi-tip set.

      A set specially designed for hand lettering (includes pencils, dual-ended markers in various nibs, and illustration markers with various tips) is also available.

      Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Markers come in different sets. Like other Prismacolor markers, these are water-resistant and use highly-pigmented alcohol-based inks for rich saturation and excellent blending ability. You can choose from fine-tip and brush-tip markers and fine-tip and chisel-tip.

      Prismacolor Scholar Art Markers are water-based markers best for younger art students. They come in single nib markers, but you can get brush tip and bullet tip markers in separate sets. They are also cheaper than other Prismacolor variants.

      Prismacolor Colorless Blender Markers are a league on their own. These clear markers are best for blending wax-based colored pencils and alcohol markers.

      Copic Markers

      Copic markers have four different variants compatible with your individual needs.

      Copic Classic markers are the original markers from the Copic line and have the most number of nibs - nine in total. These markers didn't perform as well as the Copic Ciao markers and Copic Sketch markers in the market. In terms of price, these markers are intermediate between the two variants.

      Manufacturers designed the Copic Ciao markers with newbies and younger artists in mind. They use the same alcohol-based inks in a smaller and rounded barrel, perfect for a child's hand. These markers are the least expensive of the Copic markers.

      On the other hand, Copic Sketch markers are best for professional artists. The oval-shaped barrel is compatible with the Copic Airbrush system and uses the more expensive ethanol-based inks.

      Copic Wide markers are shorter bodies than the other Copic markers. However, they have the widest nibs in the set. They use low-odor, alcohol-based inks that blend well. These markers are best for coloring large areas and adding thick strokes.

      Price - Winner: Prismacolor Markers

      Prismacolor markers cost less than Copic markers. However, it might be because they can offer more value than Prismacolor markers and other alcohol-based markers. Similar to Ohuhu markers, you can refill them and change the nibs as needed. 

      Blending - Winner: Copic Markers

      Artwork done with Copic markers showing blending

      Copic markers blend better than Prismacolor markers. You need the blender markers for blending Prismacolors, while you can blend Copic markers directly, so you don't see overlapping lines on your work.

      Application - Winner: Prismacolor Markers

      Copic markers are best for fashion and product designers, artists, landscape engineers, architects, and other art enthusiasts. On the other hand, you may use Prisma Color markers as they’re best for coloring, underpainting for acrylic paintings, and mixed media art projects.

      Barrel Shape - Winner: Prismacolor Markers

      Various shapes of Copic marker barrel

      Copic markers have varying barrel shapes, so you have to adjust to them if you have several types. Copic Classic has an oval barrel, Copic Sketch has a square barrel, and Copic Ciao has a round barrel.

      On the other hand, Prismacolor markers have slightly large and rounded barrels for easier grip.

      Priming - It's a Tie

      Unlike your oil-based markers, you can use your brand-new markers without priming them. You can directly use these markers as the nibs come saturated with ink.

      Lifespan - Winner: Copic Markers

      Copic Marker ink refill

      Copic markers last longer than Prismacolor markers because they are refillable. Inks are available in the market, so you can refill your markers when they dry out.


      Different artists have different preferences, so here are a few reasons why you should buy Prismacolor or a Copic marker set:

      Buy Prismacolor markers if:

      • You need multiple-tip illustration markers.
      • You prefer cheaper alternative markers.
      • You want to use your markers for other art applications.

      Buy Copic markers if:

      • You're looking for artist-quality markers. 
      • You want to build a Copic collection with more colors.
      • You prefer refillable markers.

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