FAQs – Illustrator markers

Are Illustrator markers just for artists?
An Illustrator marker gives you artist’s quality, in both usability and performance, but at a price that is affordable for everyone. So you’ll get the best of both worlds!

How is an Illustrator marker different to the original Spectrum Noir marker?
Illustrator markers offer a premium Japanese brush and super-fine nib, for a wide variety of techniques that cannot be achieved with a standard broad-chisel and bullet-tipped marker. Including flick blending, extra fine detail and the ability to easily vary line weight and shape in one stroke.

How many colours are available in the full range?
There are 216 blendable colours in total, available singly and in various themed sets. Perfect for all kinds of sketching, colouring and illustration.

What kind of ink do Illustrator markers use?
The ink is an alcohol-based dye. The alcohol is fast-drying which means colours are permanent on a range of surfaces and will layer cleanly on paper and card. Whilst the dye gives a translucent effect for shading, with incredible smooth coverage and seamless blending.

Are the colours lightfast?
Unfortunately dye colour is not lightfast. All alcohol markers use dyes, and will have the same drawback, exposed colour will fade with long-term exposure to light. It’s best to protect your work.

Are Illustrator markers acid free?
Alcohol-based ink is unlikely to be acid-free even when dry. So we do not make this claim about our alcohol markers.

Should Illustrator markers be stored flat?
Because alcohol ink uses dye not pigment, it is unlikely to clog or settle inside the pen. You can store your Spectrum Noir alcohol markers either horizontally or vertically.

Are replacement nibs available for Illustrator markers?
Yes, you can replace both the brush and the ultra-fine nibs. Replacement nibs will be available to buy soon.

Can you fit the new Illustrator brush nib to the original Illustrator marker?
Please keep in mind the new brush nib has not been designed to fit the original Illustrator pen. It will fit into the nib housing and may be used with care, but we cannot recommend it.

Can Illustrator markers be used with other products in the Spectrum Noir range?
Yes absolutely. All our new alcohol markers use the same ink type, and offer the same 216 colours. Or why not try experimenting with other marker and pen types in our range, or even using our blendable coloured pencils to enhance and define your alcohol marker designs. See our tutorials for tips and ideas.

I’ve noticed some small colour differences between the original and new Illustrators. Why is this?
We recently changed to a new and even better quality of ink for all our alcohol markers and refills. As part of this change, our colours had to be re-formulated and we took this opportunity to make some small adjustments. The original Colouring System groups are all exactly as before, with some small refinements that will give you an even smoother blend.

Are Illustrator markers environmentally friendly?
All our external marker packaging is made from recyclable material and we are in the process of removing all single-use plastics from our inner packaging. Our markers are made from recyclable parts and can be disposed of safely when empty