Lettering Marker Review: Crayola or Tombow?

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Tombow-or-Crayola-

Markers are so much fun when it comes to hand lettering. Using a few simple techniques, you can achieve a lot of different styles quickly and easily.

There are many options when it comes to which markers to use, but I’m determined to find the best one! So far, I’ve noticed that Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pens are a very popular choice. Crayola’s broad line markers have grown on me in particular.

So, Tombow or Crayola?

Tombow

Pros

  • The dual tips — one side is a brush, and the other side is a sturdy, fine point marker.
  • They BLEND! You can mix colors (see video below) for a gradient effect in your lettering. You can also blend similar colors (not as well as Copics, but it does work) if you are coloring an illustration.
  • Great, expansive color selection — you can buy a few colors individually or load up with a pack.

Cons

  • Pricy. It’s not horrible (compared to Copics), but one marker is about the same price as a full pack of Crayola! ($2)
  • Delicate tip — the brush pen tip can be easily damaged if not taken care of properly. It’s difficult to keep intact.

Crayola

Pros

  • Durable, easy to use tip. Crayola markers are traditionally designed for kids, so the broad line tip does not damage easily.
  • Cheap!
  • Looks just as good as lettering with Tombow pens.
  • Pipsqueak option: Crayola pipsqueaks are a mini version with the same tips as the regular markers.

Cons

  • Color selection is not as expansive as the Tombows, and you have to buy them in sets. The majority of sets include 10 markers, and the only way to get a large array of colors is to buy the 64 pack!
  • Ink quality is not quite as good. The colors are bright, but the markers bleed and ruin the paper if you go over one area too many times. This makes them fine for lettering, but bad for coloring.

You don’t need fancy supplies for great art. A simple pack of Crayola markers can get you great results if you know how to use them.

For inspiration of using these tools, check out @tombowusa and @crayola on Instagram.

On the blog soon: Lettering with Markers Tutorial

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