If you're in need of some help, please check our frequently asked questions below. We update these regularly, and this will often be the quickest way to find the answer you need.
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Which Spectrum Noir markers are alcohol-based?
The original Colouring System marker, Illustrator and Graphic. The Colorista marker is also alcohol-based.
What kind of ink is inside an alcohol marker?
The ink is an alcohol-based dye. The alcohol makes the ink quick drying and usable on many different surfaces. Whilst the dye gives a fine, smooth coverage that can be layered to create depth and shade.
Are alcohol markers lightfast?
Unfortunately not. Most alcohol markers use dye-based colour, and whilst it has many benefits, a drawback is that it will fade when directly exposed to light for long periods.
Are alcohol markers acid-free?
Because of the way the dyes inside alcohol markers are made, no alcohol-based marker can really claim to be 100% acid-free. However, the acidity (if any) will be very low.
How should alcohol markers be stored?
Your markers can be stored upright or flat, it doesn’t matter. The dyes in the inks will always disperse evenly inside the pen, they cannot settle at one end.
Will my markers dry out over time when not used?
No, all Spectrum Noir markers are tested extensively to ensure air-tightness when capped. So they can’t dry out when not in use.
Can Spectrum Noir alcohol markers be re-filled?
Yes, by removing the nib using tweezers and then carefully refilling using a dropper. Re-fill bottles will be available soon.
Is it possible to replace the nibs?
Yes, replacement nibs are available for the original Spectrum Noir marker. And will be available soon for Graphic and Illustrator.
Can different types of Spectrum Noir alcohol marker be used together?
Yes, absolutely. The ink formulations are the same, and can be used side by side.
What’s the difference between the original Spectrum Noir marker and Graphic and Illustrator?
Graphic and Illustrator are intended for more frequent, serious use. They contain around 25% more ink than the original Spectrum Noir marker, and feature a special ergonomically shaped barrel for extra comfort. Graphic and Illustrator can also be purchased in single colours.
What does ‘artist’s quality’ mean?
The term ‘artist’s quality’ can have different meanings, and often is used by art supplies companies to grade their products for more serious use. It should really refer to the general quality of materials that went into the product when it was made, in particular (where it’s a marker or pencil) the ink or pigment inside.
What makes ColourBlend and AquaBlend pencils ‘artist’s quality’?
Both ColourBlend and AquaBlend pencils have an extremely pure, highly pigmented core. Meaning there’s no filler inside, just the wax or water-based binder and the actual pigment itself. This means they go further and will perform exceptionally.
What does ‘light-fastness’ mean?
A colour’s light-fastness simply refers to its fade resistance under direct UV light (i.e. sunlight). Pencil artist’s are often very concerned with this, because they want their work to stand the test of time and not fade away.
Are ColourBlend and AquaBlend pencils lightfast?
Yes, the high quality pigments found in both ColourBlend and AquaBlend offer outstanding levels of light-fastness. In recent independent tests by CPSA (The Colored Pencil Society of America) most of our colours received the highest three-star rating for light-fastness.
Are ColourBlend and AquaBlend pencils available singly?
Yes, you can buy all the original colours as singles.
How should I sharpen my pencil?
You probably think you know the answer to this one. But did you know it’s best to keep your pencil still and turn the sharpener. This gives you a precise point and avoids grinding the pencil into the blades, which can cause the lead to break.
How should I store my pencils?
Carefully! You pencils are best stored in their original tins. This keeps them safe and prevents against the leads breaking inside.
Is the original Spectrum Noir blendable pencil still available?
Yes, but new and improved! Our original coloured pencil became ColourBlend. Whilst the colours are exactly the same, we increased the core thickness to make ColourBlend longer-lasting and even easier to blend with. The numbers on each ColourBlend pencil correspond with the original, so switching over is easy.