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Letraset ProMarkers

Reported by Anam Stubbington

I was delighted when I was asked to review Letraset products, as they are a company who have been in the graphic design world for over 50 years; I used their type rub-ons way back in university as part of my printing apprenticeship.
I was sent the Stamping ProMarker Set 2 to test with the Letraset Cartridge Paper Pad. I’ve used a variety of other markers including the Letraset AquaMarkers over the last few years, so thought I would be able to give a fair review about the Letraset Markers.
From their website, these are the Benefits of the Letraset ProMarkers:

ProMarkers produce vivid, bright colors right through to the subtlest pastel shades – the translucent inks can also be overlaid and blended, even further extending the range of shades and hues on offer. ProMarker’s quality nibs and inks provide flawless color lay down with consistent coverage and no unsightly streaking.

• Alcohol based, non-toxic, permanent ink
• Multi surface application: use on paper, card, vellum, acetate, glass, wood, metal and plastic
• Outstanding tone and vibrancy
• Colours are transparent and can be overlaid to create a variety of tone and shading effects
• Ideal for illustrators, students and hobbyists
• Twin tipped allowing for a variety of strokes within one marker
• 148 colours available

So I set out to see if I could agree with those words. I printed a selection of digital images out on both the Letraset Cartridge paper and some watercolour paper. I also stamped some of my favourite images in both a dye and stazon ink on the same papers.


What I did find is that the markers need the right papers to ensure the best end result. I found that the Cartridge paper worked well with the Letraset ProMarkers, while the watercolor paper worked best with the Letraset AquaMarkers. I found that Stazon ink worked best with all the pens, and I had no issues with any of my inkjet printed images with the pens.



I also colored Clear Sticky Jewels and White Organza Ribbon with the ProMarkers so they match the coloured image perfectly. I found that use so convenient as it stopped me searching for extra items constantly.


I also tested out the ProMarkers on peel-offs. They colored them beautifully making adding detail simple and again easy to coordinate colors.


Personally I loved the vividness of the ProMarker colors on the Cartridge paper and the delicateness of the AquaMarkers on the watercolour paper. I got great use out of the Markers with the blender pens and found myself quite enjoying coloring for once!

Here are the finished cards I made as part of my review.



Pros:

  • More ink in each pen (70% more than their competitors)
  • Cheaper than their competitors. Letraset ProMarkers sell for about $2 each and each pack comes with at least 1 blender pen.
  • Thicker pens are easier to hold for anyone with joint issues
  • The nibs are multifunctional with the round and the wedge and the color range and blending options make it feasible to have all the colors you want..

Cons:

  • No color stickers on the end of the markers which makes finding the right color a pain but as colors can depends on what you are coloring on. so i colored in some Letraset manga paper and stick them on the end as I want to use this storage system although this one also looks good for my studio.
  • Not refillable but the pens are cheaper to buy and contain more ink to start with
  • Current Availability – most fine art shops carry Letraset but Craft & hobby stores are slowing catching up.

Even with those cons, I would recommend them, as I ended up liking the ProMarkers so much that I bought more – specifically their skin tone range and their spring colours.


As you can see, I am now a huge fan of Letraset Products and as Letraset do a huge range of product for the creative world and are adding more each year, I trust their range and future development for products.

Do you use Letraset products? what do you like about Letraset products? What would you like Letraset to bring out next?

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Letraset ProMarkers Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the Letraset ProMarkers

Toucan Scraps said…
I have some Letraset Tria markers. I’ve started getting plain white embelishments and ribbons etc now and colour them to match my projects with the markers – much better than trying to store loads of different colours of stash and still not having the right colour. Marker-coloured embelishments is so the way to go for me.

If you are our winner, listed here, please email your name and address to info@craftcritique.com. Please put Letraset Winner in the subject of your email.
Thanks and Congrats!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight: Letraset ProMarker Blending Sets

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

The Letraset ProMarker Blending Sets come in Pastel, Muted, and Vivid color sets.  Each set comes with 12 Markers, a Blender Pen, and a Blending Chart.  You can also find a color chart available for free download on the Letraset website, which is helpful in planning your projects and keeping track of what marker colors you currently own.  ProMarkers are alcohol based inks which are popular with Manga artists.  They are permanent on paper, so plan accordingly.  The ProMarkers are non-toxic markers.  The side of each marker is labeled with the ink color and corresponding color number which makes it extra easy to refer to the color charts.

I am new to working with alcohol based markers, so I played with them a bit to see how versatile they really are.  I found that the ProMarkers are fairly fast drying.  This means you do have to prepare your supplies ahead and work quickly to achieve maximum results in using them to color your projects.

The ProMarkers are double ended and equipped with  dual nibs.  One is fine nib and the other is a chisel nib.
Thus, you can get achieve variety of color lines, depending on how you hold the nibs.  The fine nib was designed for detail work.  It is great for drawing Manga art, drawing fine lines, and filling in small areas. Also, if you hold the fine tip on its side, you can achieve a broader looking line that is good for filing in a larger area.

The chisel nib also offers some versatility.  You can achieve a wider line by holding the marker on its side.  The width will vary in accordance with how you hold the pen to the paper.  Also the chisel nib is great for color blending and filling in larger areas with color.  Then to achieve a thinner line with the chisel tip, you just need to hold it on its tip.  I was able to get a few different widths just by adjusting how I held the marker.

Each set comes with a dual nib blender pen that can be used to pick up unwanted color on certain surfaces, as well as be used to blend colors on various surfaces.
The ProMarker blender pens was very useful in creating a softer texture on the colored images.  Color in the image first, then go over it with the blender with dots, lines, circles, etc. to create texture or to soften the color.  The blender pens are easy to use.  For a quick demonstration, just view the video below to see how to use the blender pens to remove color from a paper flower.

For my first project, I decided to take a wood block, paint it, then accent it with assorted papers and die cuts to create a temporary book end. I then used the paper flower from the demo video as a center accent on the paper flower die cuts.  
Since it will remove excess ink from the image, the ProMarker blender pens are great to fix mistakes on your colored image. Depending on the surface, it can help smooth out lines on your colored image and lighten the color a bit.

Also, when planning your project, you may want to consider using bleed proof paper.  Below is an example of how the ink reacts with inexpensive regular printer paper. This is the back of the colored 
Ink Bleeds through Regular Copy Paper 
image and it did have some major bleeding.  You can see that it does not have the same crisp lines that you would get using bleed-proof paper.   You can avoid this problem by using your favorite brand of bleed-proof papers. I did notice that Letraset does offer their own line of papers on their website for Manga and other specific applications.

Personally, I had really good results with the Canson Watercolor 140lb cold press papers and some heavy cardstock (which I bought at a local stamp show).  I would recommend pre-testing a small piece of the paper you are planning to use and see how the ink reacts with your own papers.  On my second project, I used a black water-based ink pad to stamp a couple of butterfly images onto the heavy cardstock.

Once the images dried, I colored them in with ProMarkers from the muted collection and cut one of them out.


I found that if you coat the heavy card stock with the blender medium as a base, it will give you more time to achieve better color blending results.  I was trying for a slightly faded denim look at the top of the butterfly.  I found by laying the blender medium then the color, it was easier to blend the color and then remove color from some areas of the card.  This allowed me to achieve that slightly faded look in specific areas.

The Letraset ProMarkers also works really well with the Memento inks. This is because the Memento ink is dye-based and does not smear as easily as other inks might.  
For my third project, I decided to test the ProMarkers on a variety of surfaces to see how they would perform.  So I decided to use them on the embellishments that I was going to put in the mini album that I am working on for my daughter.  I started with the chipboard cover pieces and covered them with a variety of papers and embellishments.


Then I used one of the coordinating muted markers to line the outer edge of my page.


I used “Pale Pink” and “Pastel Blue” to outline the cloth flowers with a little touch of color. The mini frame was white, so I used the same two ink colors to make it coordinate with the paper and flowers. After the ink dried, I added some glitter, a charm, and rhinestones to the frame.


On the page below, I used the ProMarker to outline the lace so it would coordinate with the other elements on the page.


Then I used the ProMarkers to outline the vellum envelope and the green corners.

Tips:
Start with the lightest color and color image in.  Then apply the other colors in a similar order (light to dark)
Use the blender pen according to manufactures directions to get the best results.
Use the blender pen as a base coat then quickly apply the ProMarker colors you are trying to blend, before it dries to maximize use of the blending medium.

Try shade apply the color onto paper surfaces by layering the color on until you get the desired result.
The blender pen allows for versatility with the color applications and is a must have if you want to be able to do more shading in your color application
Pros:
  • The pens are good for multi-surface applications.  You can use them on paper, card stock, vellum, acetate, glass, wood, metal and some plastics.
  • The pens are very affordable and are available in about 145 different colors to suit a variety of projects. 
  • The pens are also sold in color coordinated sets which are more cost effective.  The sets are well labeled to the type of media or art they are best suited for.
  • The dual tips are very versatile and allow for a variety of lines for use for both crafting and manga drawing.
  • The blenders are great for using to blend colors, remove color, and for achieving different types of shading techniques (depending on the type of project you are using the ProMarkers for).
Cons:
  • These are alcohol inks so they will bleed through some papers and there is some distortion on the less expensive copy paper.
  • The colors are translucent, so they will not show up well on clear plastic or clear glass.  Opaque plastic or glass would work better.
  • These are alcohol inks and will dry quickly.  So you have to work quickly to achieve smooth strokes.
  • The markers are not permanent on every single surface.  I would test them the intended surface to make sure the ink will be permanent.  Different surfaces can have hidden chemicals and/or oils that keep inks from adhering to them.

Giveaway

The great folks over at Letraset are giving one lucky reader a set of markers. To enter this contest, simply answer any of the questions below or on the other Letraset review in the comments section of this article on our website.

Have you tried Letraset Pro Markers yet? What alcohol ink markers do you use? Have you found something fun to do that is outside of the box? Please share!

One entry per person please. Contest will close Monday, May 16th at 6pm CST.