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Unread 04-26-2007, 07:32 AM   #1
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Default The results are in: Prismacolor & Copic vs. black ink

There's been a lot of talk about the "right" kind of ink, and the "right" kind of paper to use with prismacolor and copic markers. I've been personally frustrated with ink smearing issues and finally decided that, dagnabit, I'm a scientist. I'm gonna do an experiment!

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Stampin' Up! hobby demo. I did not let that factor into the results, as I'm just trying to find the best products to work together.

I set this experiment up to test a number of factors:
1. Type of black ink. I have six. This is more than the number of pairs of black shoes that I own, but that's another thread.
2. Whether or not heat setting the black ink, versus air drying, made a difference.
3. Type of paper/cardstock used.

The players:
Inks:
  • SU! Classic, Basic Black
  • Color Box Pigment, Black
  • VersaMagic Chalk, Midnight
  • VersaFine Pigment, Onyx Black
  • Stazon, Jet Black
  • Palette Hybrid, Noir

Papers:
  • SU! Whisper White cardstock
  • SU! Shimmery White cardstock
  • Canon 140# cold-press water color paper
  • Grumbacher "Paper for Pens"
Markers:
  • Copic Y13 Lemon Yellow
  • Prismacolor PM-131 Deco Yellow

The Process:
  • I designed a test sheet and printed it on each of the papers using a color laser printer
  • I stamped each of the inks in their appropriate test box. I thoroughly cleaned the stamp between inks using my stampin scrub and stampin mist, in order to avoid cross-contamination of the inks, thereby skewing the results. I'm an Environmental Geologist, I know a bit about cross contamination of samples
  • I set the "air dry for 10 minutes" aside to do just that, while I heat set the remaining samples using an old school Milwaukee heat gun.
  • I colored the stamped images, intentionally coloring over the lines to check for smearing and bleeding. The Copic marker is in the upper left of each box, the Prismacolor marker is in the lower right. In instances where the black in smeared, I colored onto a clean piece of printer paper until there was no more black on the marker nib, to avoid carry-over to the next ink sample.
  • I evaluated each test sheet, and ranked the inks, first looking at the Copic coloring, and then at the Prismacolor coloring, judging them separately.
  • I ranked each ink on each paper, entered them in a spreadsheet, and averaged the results.
The results:
The Palette Hybrid ink was the clear winner, with Colorbox Pigment ink a close second. The SU! Classic and Stazon were pretty close to each other, and depending on the marker, I'd say tied. The VersaMagic and VersaFine have their own special uses, clearly, this is not one of them.

As for heat setting, I don't think there was a statistically significant difference, with the exception of the SU! Whisper White, where heat setting actually made it worse. Curious.

To evaluate the cardstock, I looked only at the Palette ink box, and found that the best results were on the SU! Shimmery White, followed by the watercolor paper, then the SU! Whisper White, with the Grumbacher paper pulling up the rear.

As an additional test, I flipped the test sheets over, and found that both the Copic and the Prismacolor markers bled through to the other side of all of the papers EXCEPT the SU! Whisper white. Interesting.

I will attach the scans of the test sheets below, so you can draw your own conclusions.

Hope you find this helpful!
Attached Thumbnails
susw-air.jpg   susw-heat.jpg  
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Unread 04-26-2007, 07:34 AM   #2
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Here's some more test sheets
Attached Thumbnails
suww-air.jpg   suww-heat.jpg  
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Unread 04-26-2007, 07:35 AM   #3
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and more...
Attached Thumbnails
c140-air.jpg   c140-heat.jpg  
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Unread 04-26-2007, 07:36 AM   #4
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aaand I'm spent... last one!
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gpp-air.jpg   gpp-heat.jpg  
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Unread 04-26-2007, 07:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for all your hard work! I'd like to add Brilliance Graphite Black as an option as well, I contacted the "official" Copic instructor and was given this tidbit which works super well on normal cardstock! I was also told to use Adirondack Black on coated papers. They both work great! TFS!!
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Unread 04-26-2007, 07:56 AM   #6
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Wow! Alot of work! Thank you for testing this and for doing it so scientifically!
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Unread 04-26-2007, 07:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kandmvds
Thanks for all your hard work! I'd like to add Brilliance Graphite Black as an option as well, I contacted the "official" Copic instructor and was given this tidbit which works super well on normal cardstock! I was also told to use Adirondack Black on coated papers. They both work great! TFS!!
eek! I feel a trip to Michael's coming on! Could I possibly need MORE black ink pads?! It appears that I do!
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Unread 04-26-2007, 08:08 AM   #8
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So...where do i get this Palette Noir that you speak of!!!! Quick before they are sold out everywhere i go, LOL Thanks for all this work, but the pictures speak for themselves and it is a clear cut winner, IMO
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Unread 04-26-2007, 08:16 AM   #9
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Unread 04-26-2007, 08:25 AM   #10
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A girl must always be in search of the perfect black ink and the perfect foundation!
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Unread 04-26-2007, 08:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendykins
So...where do i get this Palette Noir that you speak of!!!! Quick before they are sold out everywhere i go, LOL Thanks for all this work, but the pictures speak for themselves and it is a clear cut winner, IMO

I got mine from Ellen Hutson

http://www.ellenhutson.com/servlet/StoreFront
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Unread 04-26-2007, 08:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parrothead
Thanks!!!
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Unread 04-26-2007, 11:12 AM   #13
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Great job! I love these kind of tests.
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Unread 04-26-2007, 12:28 PM   #14
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ummmmmmm, so now I *need* the Pallette Hyrbrid pad. . . .sigh, I guess a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do
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Unread 04-26-2007, 12:46 PM   #15
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Wow, thanks for all your hard work!
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Unread 04-26-2007, 02:38 PM   #16
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Wow! You're freakin' brilliant!

I'm a believer! ... and now Palette Hybrid obsessed ...

Must have some.
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Unread 04-26-2007, 02:51 PM   #17
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Very informed test! I am always telling my fifth graders that people use the scientific method in real life too, not just the classroom! Thank you for: a) proving my point and b) giving me some needed information!
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Unread 04-26-2007, 02:58 PM   #18
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Papertrey lovers. Nichole's site now also offers the Palette Hybrid ink pads.
So if you want free shipping on one of her sets you could always add the ink pad. Cornish Heritage Farms also sells them.
http://www.cornishheritagefarms.com/...p/cPath/25_325
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Unread 04-26-2007, 03:41 PM   #19
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wow thanks for all your hard work
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Unread 04-26-2007, 03:45 PM   #20
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so does that mean I can get the pallete pad, and I won't need stazon anymore to use my gamsol color blending technique or watercoloring?? explain? I am all for one pad..but it has to look BLACK, not purple/grayish..how is the color??
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Unread 04-26-2007, 03:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeyrabbit
so does that mean I can get the pallete pad, and I won't need stazon anymore to use my gamsol color blending technique or watercoloring?? explain? I am all for one pad..but it has to look BLACK, not purple/grayish..how is the color??
Well, this test only covered the Copic and Prismacolor alcohol-based markers. I can't make any claims as to the staying power of the Palette versus Gamsol or watercoloring. I CAN say that it's very black. Definitely not gray or purplish.

BTW, I, under advisement, picked up a Brilliance Graphite Black pad today... so now I have seven. Methinks another test is in order...
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Unread 04-26-2007, 04:21 PM   #22
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subscribing
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Unread 04-26-2007, 05:46 PM   #23
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Amazing! You did a fabulous job and all of us a tremendous favor! Thanks for all your work.The results are so obvious! Bet they'd be similar with other brands as well....but that's just my opinion.
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Unread 04-26-2007, 05:55 PM   #24
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Is there a Nobel prize for Stamping Science? I have a nominee!
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Unread 04-26-2007, 06:34 PM   #25
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Not only did you do a great thing, but your write up cracked me up!! TFS
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Unread 04-26-2007, 09:12 PM   #26
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TFS! Am subscribing.
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Unread 04-27-2007, 02:37 AM   #27
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Wow Thanks for sharing this wonderful scientific experiment.
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Unread 04-27-2007, 06:51 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan B
Not only did you do a great thing, but your write up cracked me up!! TFS
LOL! As I was writing it, I thought to myself, "I'd better put a full disclosure paragraph in there in case Joan B reads this!"
(love your blog, by the way, read it all the time!)
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Unread 04-27-2007, 07:03 AM   #29
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Thanks Dana for sharing all your results. You probably saved some of us a lot of headache and money.
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Unread 04-27-2007, 09:03 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeyrabbit
so does that mean I can get the pallete pad, and I won't need stazon anymore
Palette noir shows a finer line and finer detail on your stamped images. Stazon makes the lines thicker.

Cornish Heritage Farms has the largest selection of different colors of Palette Hybrid, and refills too.
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Unread 04-27-2007, 02:39 PM   #31
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Danavee I love this study and your writeup is awesome. Seriously we should have a journal of stamping science.
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Unread 04-27-2007, 04:01 PM   #32
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Danavee - you have done an AWESOME job! I have been so incredibly busy that I have not been able to finish up what I had started and I am forever grateful to you for doing this. One thing I might add is that when using the Colorless blender it can make the Hybrid ink bleed. I plan on doing some additional testing by heating the ink before trying. I have had awesome results with the Brilliance ink, but I have to heat set it before using the markers because I'm an impatient girl No bleeding whatsoever occured with this ink though. The list of coordinating colors to the SU colors is almost complete - I promise I haven't forgotten and hope to post it soon. Can someone please just send me an assistant? LOL!

Standing "O" once again to you Dana!
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Unread 04-27-2007, 07:02 PM   #33
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What a helpful thread! I guess I will break down and buy yet another black ink. I'll also try the Brilliance because I already have that one.
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Unread 04-27-2007, 07:52 PM   #34
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Thanks Dana this is great info. I’ve been using Palette Noir for almost a year as my only black pad and love it.
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Unread 05-12-2007, 02:38 AM   #35
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Personally, I like the Copic markers better than the Prismacolor. I can't explain but I just prefer their feel and the colors seems to blend seamlessly. I like that they have the blender and you can also create your own color. I also use the Palette ink from Ellen! It's the best black I've found so far and I have plenty. I have not tried the Brilliance tho, and might have to make a little shopping trip.
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Unread 05-12-2007, 03:06 AM   #36
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Thanks so much for your hard work!!!
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Unread 05-12-2007, 03:35 AM   #37
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Very cool. You rock!

Cheers
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Unread 05-12-2007, 04:50 AM   #38
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A scientist after my own heart. I'm a former Food Chemist so I love your controlled experiment!
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Unread 05-12-2007, 05:02 AM   #39
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I like the Copics better than the Prismacolors too. They seem to lay down more evenly and blend better. I seem to get more bleeding with the Prismacolors too.
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Unread 05-12-2007, 10:21 AM   #40
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Thanks so much, Dana! Your evaluation was well done and useful. I am really liking the Copics now, but I'm still struggling with Pallete ink on slick surfaces. I tried stamping Mah Jong tiles with it since it's supposed to be multi-surface. But even after heat setting for a l-o-n-g time (as in finally the surface of the tile started to bubble!), the ink still smeared. What's with that?
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