Spectrum noir


They came from nowhere… 

Some facts:
  • Have two different options: Spectrum noir with a bullet (fine) nib and a chisel nib (that can be replaced with a brush nib) and Spectrum Noir Illustrator, with a brush nib and a super-fine nib (new for 2016). 
  • Sells in sets with no repeats (illustrator is available in open stock)
  • They are refillable and have replaceable nibs
  • 168 colors (including a blender) 
  • Manufactured by Crafter´s Companion (UK)
  • Designed specifically for crafters

To the left: the old one, to the right: the new (third generation) with the brush nib (which you have to buy separate). Notes the rubberized grip on the barrel.      
They release a new marker in 2013: a different shape, a bullet (fine) nib and a chisel nib that can be replaced with a brush nib (see picture above). 

This brand seems to have become extremely popular in no time. They are specialized in scrapbooking, stampers and crafting. It surprised me that a marker without the brush nib won the heart of so many, but the idea of selling them in sets and have an easy-to-understand color system is obviously a winning move.

To the left: the old case of 24 
and to the right the new one
Their color system has more color-families than other brands and the family is represented by two or three letters. Then they got a number telling you how light or dark the color is. It is interesting that they don´t have a name on their marker, since that is so common in other brands.  

The idea of only selling these pens in sets seems as a good idea, but I ended up with a lot of markers but few colors. You can choose between buying sets with six markers or twenty-four. Most of the sets of six is based on only one color family, for an example six yellows or six reds. It is a bit to much colors in my opinion. I don´t need six yellow (even though they most often choose a good variety of colors in this sets). If you want all basic colors, you need to buy almost all set of six. The set of 24 have the same problems. You can choose between lights, pastels, bright and darks. But if you choose twenty-four pastels you have no colors to blend all this colors with. So you need to buy some darker markers. I believe that you will pretty soon end up with almost all colors, even though you won´t need them all. I regret that I didn´t purchase only the 24 sets and avoided the six sets (except for the essential that include the blender), maybe that would have been the best way to cover what I need. 
Not the ring that is created around the colors,
its like the blue color react to the pink color in this lilac color. 
To me it is important to have the option of many light colors since you always can darken them but it is much harder to lighten the colors (it is possible to a certain degree with the blender). Spectrum noir offer many light colors and among these there are a lot of skin colors.
Spectrum Noir refill

Spectrum noir is not expensive to buy but the markers don´t hold much ink so you need to buy the refill rather quick. That’s when you realize how expensive the marker really can be. The ink is more expensive then Copics (at least from where I live!). Sure they got a bit more in the bottle (30 ml, while for comparison Copic got 25 ml and Letraset got 20 ml) but if you look at the prices (as they are to day, 2013) the Letraset ink is a third of the cost of Copic refill (and are only 5 ml less) but the Spectrum noir are almost double the Copic (for only 5 ml more).  In a way I like the idea that you can buy a marker cheap to try it out and then if you want to continue use it, you pay more. Of course all prices are from where I live and from experience I know prices can changes rapidly so maybe this won’t be true tomorrow.

Spectrum noir colors
Drawing made by Spectrum Noir marker









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