Copic Markers vs Prismacolor: What Are the Basic Differences?

Whether you are a professional illustrator, an artist or simply a coloring enthusiast, Copic marker pens and Prismacolor pens – these names are definitely going to be well-known to you. Indeed, these are the two best brands when it comes to coloring markers or marker pens, and can be used in various kinds of arts.

Both in coloring the pages of your favorite coloring books to creating professional illustrations, everyone can use both Copic markers and Prismacolor markers for their artistic needs.

In fact, both these brands are quite popular because they are of excellent quality. Copic markers and prismacolor markers aren’t just extremely durable, but can also give you vibrant colors and shades.

However, at the same time, there are some differences between these two brands of markers, which we are going to discuss in this article.

Before going into the distinctions between them, let us first learn the different features and specialties of these two brands of markers.

Copic Markers

Copic markers are alcohol-based markers; they are quite expensive compared to the other kinds of markers available in the market, but also worth the price. These are professional artist-quality marker pens and can handle any kind of art effortlessly.

The colors that these markers deliver are of extraordinary quality, as well; they glide smoothly over every kind of paper or material, and the ink is long-lasting and easy to blend with each other. Several different colors can be mixed together to create a single look without any problem, and they also bleedproof.

Copic markers are usually dual-tipped, which means that you get two different types of tip in a single pen. They are available in different shapes, sizes and forms for different purposes, and available in more than 358 colors in total.

One thing that’s unique about Copic markers is that they can be refilled and used for a long time. Each Classic marker pen can be filled up to 9 times, and the Ciao markers can be refilled 12 to 15 times.

PrismaColor Markers

Prismacolor Markers are also alcohol-based, which makes the ink saturated yet vibrant in color. They are actually better for projects that require a lot of bright colors, as PrismaColor Markers are available in more than 150 different vibrant shades.

These markers are barrel-shaped in size, easy to hold and use for a long time with the minimum of effort.

PrismaColor Marker pens also give a smooth and uninterrupted glide when coloring; they dry fast and are perfect for creating shadows and shades. Different colors can be blended together effortlessly while coloring, making them absolutely perfect for coloring, illustration or drawing.

Both the marker pens and the ink are durable, long-lasting and bleed-proof. They can be used on the thinnest paper without leaking. Prismacolor markers are also dual tipped, with a thin tip on one end and a broader tip on the other end.

Difference Between Copic and PrismaColor Markers

Both Copic and PrismaColor Markers are two different brands, from two different manufacturers. Although they are typically used for the same purposes, there are some basic differences between them.

  • Price

Comparatively, Copic Marker Pens cost more than PrismaColor Markers; in fact, they are more expensive than any other similar marker pens in the market. This is mostly because Copic Marker pens are refillable. The same pens can be refilled 9 10 15 times, depending on the type of pens you are using.

On the other hand, PrismaColor Marker pens are actually more affordable. They can be easily purchased without putting a dent to anyone’s wallets.

  • Availability

PrismaColor Markers are more easily available to consumers, whereas Copic Markers can’t be found everywhere.

Copic pens have fewer distributors than any other kind of marker pens and they are not available all over the world. In fact, Copic Markers aren’t always available online for spot-purchase.

PrismaColor Marker Pens can actually be found almost everywhere, online and offline.

  • Color Option

With PrismaColor Marker pens, you get a wide selection pool. In fact, there are different shades of black, white and grey pens to choose from, perfect for both professionals and hobbyists who like to sketch and doodle.

At the same time, the PrismaColor Premier Illustration Series offers more than 200 colors and the PrismaColor FineArt Variation offers 196 different colors.

However, with Copic Marker Pens, you get a much higher color option. Although there aren’t a lot of options in grey or black, with the Copic Sketch Series, you get more than 358 colors; the Copic Ciao Series gives you 180 colors and the Copic Classic Series gives you 214 colors.

The different types of marker pens allow for different kinds of art projects and illustrations, and you get more options with Copic marker pens. Copic marker pens definitely win in terms of versatility and option, because they have the most number of options.

  • Lifespan

One of the most unique features of Copic Marker pens is that they are all refillable pens. Each pen from the Classic Series can be refilled as many as 7 times, and the marker pens from the Sketch and Ciao Series can be refilled any number of times from 12 to 15.

Even when the nibs become use-wary and dull, new replacements can be ordered. This way, the same set of Copic pens can be used for years regularly.

On the other hand, PrismaColor Marker pens aren’t refillable. Once they dry out, you need to buy another set to use, which can be a big problem as not all pens end at the same time.

  • Marker Types

PrismaColor Marker Pens are available in four different types or variations: the Premiere Gray Marker Sets which are perfect for sketching or drawing, the Premiere Illustration Markers which are dual tipped both for precise lines and broad lines, the Premiere Chisel FineArt Markers for drawing fine lines and the Premiere Brush Fine Art Markers for flexible strokes.

Copic Marker pens are also available in four different variations: the Copic Classic Markers with a standard fine tip and a standard broad tip, the Copic Sketch Markers with a flexible brush tip and a medium broad brush tip, the Copic Ciao Markers which are basic marker pens that work for both thick strokes and brush strokes, and the Copic Wide Markers which, as the name suggests, have wide tips for coloring a wide space with a few strokes.

Although both the Copic Markers and PrismaColor Markers come in four variations, it is undoubtedly the former that gives the most practical arrangement of types and options.

  • Barrel

The barrel of these marker pens is an important topic, although this isn’t a topic covered in most reviews. Barrel refers to the shape of the marker pens, i.e. whether they are circular or square shaped. The quantity of ink of the marker pens and the comfort level it requires to use the pens depends on the barrel.

Most PrismaColor marker pens come with a rounded, thicker barrel. Thicker pens are actually easier on the fingers to use, and they can be gripped with minimum effort.

In fact, it is preferable that marker pens have thick and rounded barrels, especially if you hold them in your hand for a long time. It is only the PrismaColor Premier Illustration Set that comes with thinner barrels, but they are still rounded in shape.

Copic Marker pens, on the other hand, are completely different when it comes to shapes. In fact, all Copic marker pens are square-shaped as well as thick barrelled; the Copic Sketch marker set happens to be oval shaped instead of square.

They are all thick-barrelled and comparatively harder on your fingers. However, these shapes also mean that your marker pens wouldn’t roll off the table to fall to the ground, which can be annoying at times. In fact, this is the reason that Copic marker pens are not made round-barrelled, so that they don’t roll off.

General Comparison

After a general comparison, it can be definitely said that Copic marker pens and PrismaColor marker pens are very different from each other in almost all the important ways.

While the Copic marker pens are definitely superior in quality, diversity and durability, they are also expensive compared to any other marker pens available in the market, including PrismaColor pens.

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