POSCA and Copic are both famous brands in the realm of artistic markers. Each comes with its unique features, strengths, and considerations. As such, I can understand why some artists would have a difficult time deciding between the two.
To help those sitting on the fence, I’ve written this guide for an in-depth comparison of differences between POSCA vs COPIC.
|Ink Type & Quality||Water-based acrylic||Alcohol-based|
|Nib Type||Single tipped
|Blendability||Not as great||Superior|
|Surface Compatibility||Very versatile||Not as versatile|
|Price||More affordable||More expensive|
Table of Contents
POSCA is a Japanese brand under Mitsubishi Pencil Co., which was launched in 1983. Its markers have garnered a dedicated following among artists and crafters.
Copic, a brand by Too Corporation, has established itself as a benchmark for quality and blending capabilities in the marker industry. Originating from Japan in the late 1980s, Copic markers have become synonymous with exceptional color blending.
1. Ink Type & Quality
- POSCA Markers
Uni POSCA markers utilize water-based acrylic ink, which delivers vibrant and opaque colors. This is because acrylic ink is pigment-based, meaning the color particles are suspended in the solvent rather than being completely dissolved.
This ink type also boasts a quick-drying nature, allowing you to work swiftly and layer colors without the risk of smudging. For a completed artwork to completely dry, you’ll only have to wait 2–20 minutes.
The opacity of the ink makes POSCA markers particularly effective on dark surfaces, offering reliable coverage and visibility.
- COPIC Markers
The alcohol-based ink used in Copic markers sets the stage for seamless blending and smooth gradients. It enables you to effortlessly transition between hues, achieving seamless color transitions.
In addition, the streak-free application of alcohol-based ink ensures that your colors go down evenly, while its lightfastness ensures the longevity of your artwork. As their ink is dye-based, the color particles in Copic markers must be soluble in the solvent, which is partly why they’re best for porous surfaces.
Compared to water-based ink, alcohol-based formula dries faster. As such, working swiftly is essential when using Copic markers for coloring and drawing ideas.
2. Color Selection
- POSCA Markers
POSCA markers have a more limited color range, offering around 66 distinct options. Aside from the conventional hues, the brand also provides 8 glitter, 8 metallic, and 6 fluorescent pigments. These assortments lend themselves well to designs that demand attention.
To visualize the options available, you can check out the brand’s official color chart.
- COPIC Markers:
Copic markers, in contrast, have built a reputation for their extensive color selection, boasting up to 358 shades to choose from. This wide variety of colors empowers artists to explore subtle variations in gradients and realistic color transitions.
However, as their ink uses dyes as pigments, the brand doesn’t have glitter or metallic markers. That said, you can rely on certain colors to achieve a metallic effect, such as substituting Y28 (Lionet Gold) for gold.
3. Nib Type
Both Copic and POSCA markers share the advantage of replaceable nibs. This means you can easily switch between different nib types or find replacements when the old ones become too damaged.
POSCA markers come with a single nib style. However, you have the option to purchase 9 distinct nib alternatives individually for varying line thicknesses. You can check out the list below for more information.
- PC – 1MR: 0.7 mm extra-fine tip
- PC – 1MC: 0.7 – 1.0 mm extra-fine tip
- PC – 3M: 0.9 – 1.3 mm fine tip
- PCF – 350: 1 – 10 mm brush tip
- PC – 5M: 1.9 – 2.5 mm medium tip
- PC – 7M: 4.5 – 5.5 mm broad tip
- PC – 8K: 8 mm broad tip
- PC-17K: 15 mm extra-broad tip
- PCM – 22: 3 – 19 mm XXL round tip
- Copic Markers:
In contrast, Copic markers are equipped with dual-ended nibs, providing a choice between fine, brush, chisel, and bullet nibs. These interchangeable nibs come in 8 sizes as follows:
- Standard fine
- Standard board
- Sketch fine
- Medium round
- Medium board
- Extra broad
- Super brush
- POSCA Markers:
POSCA markers do offer a degree of blendability, allowing artists to achieve some level of color mixing and shading. However, compared to Copic and some POSCA alternatives (such as Arteza acrylic markers), their blendability is more limited.
Simply put, POSCA markers’ transition between hues is not as smooth and seamless as alcohol-based markers.
- COPIC Markers:
Copic markers have established themselves as a front-runner in the realm of blendability. Users praise Copics for their remarkable ability to blend colors, creating gradients and transitions that appear as if they were painted with traditional media.
With a little practice and skill, you can achieve remarkably smooth and subtle shifts in color intensity.
5. Surface Compatibility & Versatility
- POSCA Markers:
POSCA markers can be used on a wide range of surfaces, including paper, canvas, wood, glass, and more. So, you can confidently bring your creative visions to life without being restricted by the limitations of surface types.
- COPIC Markers:
Copic markers, while versatile, perform best on porous surfaces. If used on paper, the medium should be thick enough to prevent bleeding—a common issue with alcohol-based ink. Usually, cardstock and 80 lbs paper would be the best options.
6. Pros & Cons – Are Copic & POSCA Markers Good?
POSCA markers are generally cheaper than Copic markers, which can be quite expensive due to their high-quality ink and replaceable nibs.
For instance, a POSCA pens set of 60 would set you back $248. While COPIC marker sets don’t come in 60-piece options, a 36-piece set alone would cost $287.64. Such a wide disparity should give you an idea of how expensive Copic can be.
Which is Better?
Are Posca markers good? Or should you invest in Copic markers instead? The choice ultimately depends on your artistic preferences and needs.
- If you value vibrant colors, surface versatility, and affordability, POSCA might be a better fit.
- On the other hand, should you prioritize professional quality, extensive color selection, and exceptional blendability, COPIC markers could be my go-to recommendation.
In the POSCA vs. COPIC debate, there is no definitive winner. Both brands offer really good markers with unique strengths and weaknesses.
POSCA markers are excellent for unique styles and diverse surfaces, while COPIC markers are favored by artists seeking professional-quality results and advanced blending capabilities.
Consider your artistic goals, style, and budget when deciding between these two reputable marker brands.
What do people say about these two brands? See below:
Hi, I am Eveline Kessler, a content creator. My love for colors and arts draws me here to join the Intermediarts team with Leilani. I am responsible for testing new products and techniques with her and providing honest reviews and tips based on our experience. I have gained a lot of knowledge from this, and I believe you will find her suggestions to be invaluable as well.