Back from France

Vintage Marker Baignol Farjon Onyx Marker edding 600

Hi folks, I just came back from a short trip to France. In addition to the great time I´ve spent overthere, I made some really outstanding (vintage) marker finds. I was in Marseille, and the city is a great place to be (I recommend to visit this place before the beginning gentrification will make the inner city a clean and boring hipster place..). The whole city center is covered with tags, graffiti, street art-stuff, and there are a lot of smaller stationery shops (“papeterie”) with interesting and creative stuff – not only markers. Apart from the fact, that private owned stationery shops in German cities became more and more rare, these papeteries have much more diversity in their assortment.

Two marker brands are highly visible: BIC (formerly “Conté” and “Baignol & Farjon”), and Uni Posca. I knew Conté/BIC for years, but I´d never made any research on these company or their products. However, what I found there was amazing: The so called “Onyx Marker”, a BIC/Conté/Baignol & Farjon-product, from different decades!

I also found some vintage edding 600 Grafik Art Markers, the ones with the beige colored barrel. I´ve spotted those before on the onlyMarkers blog, but never stumbled over them myself before. Additional information about the Onyx Markers and the edding 600 Grafik Markers follows.
Forgot to mention: I got also a vintage Reynolds Marker – same shape as the Marks-A-Lot-markers, and a small chalk marker… – However: the vintage Baignol & Farjon Onyx Markers are the best things I found. I´ve never expected to get some of these…

There´s also a story behind the way I got the (used) Baignol & Farjon Markers, but that´s maybe subject for another post.

Reviving/rejuvenating of dried-out vintage Layout Markers

I get a lot of traffic through search requests like “how to make dried out makers new again”, “saving dried magic markers” and other related search terms. As I wrote in my last post, I received a lot of vintage markers, among them Magic Markers, Pantone Markers and edding 600 Grafik Art Markers. The majority of these markers are semi-dried out to completely dry, and I took the chance to try lighter fuel (as mentioned in some 1980s books about marker drawing) as a solvent for reviving markers.

If you have dried-out layout markers, you may try the following steps – I was successful not with all, but with the most markers I revived.

You may be also interested in this post about how to revive permanent markers.

What you need is lighter fuel, sandpaper, maybe gloves, tweezers – depends whether it´s possible to unscrew the marker you want to rejuvenate or not.

Make dried-out markers work again

Sandpaper, lighter fuel and dried-out Magic Markers

Make dried-out markers work again

Streaky marks of Magic Markers and a semi-dry edding 600 Grafik Art Marker

The Magic Markers can be easily unscrewed what makes it easy to drop the solvent into the glass bottle. The same with the edding 600 Grafik Art Marker.

Unscrewed top of a vintage Magic Marker

Unscrewed top of a vintage Magic Marker

Now, simply add a few drops of lighter fuel onto the felt wadding in the glass bottle. Take care not to overfill. I usually drip five to ten drops first, and then wait a moment; and if the felt wadding looks like it could absorb a bit more solvent, add some additional drops.

Simply add some drops of lighter fuel...

Simply add some drops of lighter fuel…

Now allow the solvent to mix with the remaining pigments. This may take half an hour or even longer. Store the marker with the cap up (with replaced cap of course) first, than upside down – but be careful that no solvent leaks out. That may be the case, if you put too much solvent inside the marker. Test the marker from time to time.

As you see in the picture below, the first result isn´t what I want to have. The solvent made its way to the felt tip and softened it a bit, but the mark is still streaky and uneven. The result is different with the edding 600 Grafik Marker: The mark s are fresher, but the color isn´t balanced yet.

Only minutes after adding the solvent, the dry felt tip gets soaked with solvent from inside the marker...

Better first result when testing the edding 600 Grafik Art Marker...

Better first result when testing the edding 600 Grafik Art Marker…

To handle this problem with the still dry felt tip, take a piece of sandpaper and move the felt tip several times over the surface of the sandpaper. See the result in the following pictures.

Take care not to damage the felt tip to much...

Take care not to damage the felt tip to much…

The marks are still not perfect...

The marks are still not perfect…

You may take a tissue to improve the capillary conductivity of the ink and clean the felt tip from lint that may stick on the tip after scratching over the sandpaper.

...

I repeated the last steps two times and added some more lighter fuel. After letting the markers/the ink inside settle for several hours, I got these results. Notice the different color tone of the edding 600 Grafik Marker (it´s a warm grey, however, it looks like brown/beige…) on the left side: The two strokes leftmost are somewhat lighter than the three strokes in the middle. The left strokes are the result after one day, the darker ones in the middle only hours after rejuvenating… You see that some markers may take more time to get a steady color tone after refreshing. The orange Magic Marker in the first two pictures was to dry. Rejuvenating with this one didn´t work…

The results are fresh and consistent strokes - compare with the condition before adding the lighter fuel...

The results are fresh and consistent strokes – compare with the condition before adding the lighter fuel…

Revived Pantone Marker – to drip the solvent inside, I removed the felt tip by using tweezers.

Removed felt tip of a 1980s Pantone Marker

Removed felt tip of a 1980s Pantone Marker

Result after a half hour - in the meanwhile, the color gets a bit more brighter

Result after a half hour – in the meanwhile, the color gets a bit more brighter

I have also tried to revive AD Markers with lighter fuel, however, the result was not as good as with the previous markers… For AD Markers, I recommend common solvent.

Please let me and others know, if these steps worked with your markers – feel free to share your experiences and leave a comment!

Marker Update Part 2

Here´s the second marker update with markers I received during the last month…

Penol Markers

I´ve spotted Penol Markers already 10 years or so ago, but until now I had never the chance to get some of these. A friend of mine made a trip to Denmark, so I asked her to get one or two from the wide Penol Markers for me. While I thought that it must be easy to find these markers in Denmark since it´s a heritage company, like edding in Germany, she told me the contrary… Finally, she was successful…

Penol Permanent Markers

Penol Permanent Markers

Dixon Markers – Dixon Markette and Dixon RediMark

I´ve never heard about Dixon Markers until I discovered Black is Beautiful. Two of my Dixon Markers came a time ago via marker trade – the black RediMark marker and the black Marquette Marker; the yellow RediMark marker I received from a friend somewhat later.

All three markers (the labeling of the black and the yellow RediMark markers varies a little bit) seems to be older versions, since the contemporary versions look different now.

Dixon RediMark Permanent Markers

Dixon RediMark Permanent Markers

Layout Markers – Magic Marker Studio Colours / Yoken Art Marker

I have some Magic Markers since the early 1990s, several plastic versions and one older glass bottle marker. However, in the last month I received additional vintage Magic Markers from different sources. One visitor of my blog sends me over a two vintage Magic Markers – one glass bottle marker and one slimgrip Magic Marker – and a Yoken Art Marker. Big thanks to Mark again!

Magic Marker Studio Colours...

Magic Marker Studio Colours…

Shortly after that I received over 40 vintage Magic Markers from another source – some of them still work. The dry ones are subject for revival via lighter fluid – I´ll make an update on “How to refresh/revive markers” soon.

Whiteboard Markers

Non-permanent, but some years old with nice design and labeling…

Whiteboard Markers

Whiteboard Markers

JAX Filzschreiber

These markers are outstanding. Netfind, I think, they must be some earlier models of permanent markers – glass bottle markers with liquid solvent-based ink and valve…

Filzschreiber...

Filzschreiber…

Marker Update Part 1

Well, I made two posts about new marker finds in April and June, and well, I didn´t came back to these posts until now. Some of the markers I showed in the first post in April has still an own page with more detailed pictures – the Zebra Twin-Tip Markers, the contemporary Colli Marker, the Schneider 280 Permanent Marker and the Pentel wet erase Marker. And of course this Sakura Bootleg Marker… BTW, I never used that marker; however, it´s tip is now more like a soft brush than a felt tip. Together with its wimpy small felt wadding inside the barrel, it´s definitely the worst quality I ever saw!

Uni Paint PX-30 Paint Marker

I also got a contemporary version of a black Uni Paint PX-30 marker. This one was made in Vietnam, not in Japan and still contains xylene and toluene. I got it together with the Zebra Markers from an online store, one of the options to get new markers I sometimes use. The bad thing with this marker: Also in an unused condition it seems to be only half filled with paint; it´s conspicuous light in weight.

Contemporary Uni Paint PX-30 Marker

Contemporary Uni Paint PX-30 Marker

Edding 760 Silver Paint Marker

One highlight is the vintage edding 760 silver paint marker. I guess it´s a early 1980s version. The marker is labeled in German and English, and today, it´s called edding 750 instead of 760. Another edding is the early 1990s (or late 1980s) version of the edding 400. It´s the first marker of the edding 400 series made of plastic, but it´s still containing solvent-based ink. Unlike the older and the contemporary versions, the body is black with white labeling. I always wonder about all the design chances of the various edding markers.

edding 760 Silver

edding 760 Silver

The 8mm Marker

I got a black dollar store marker too, can´t remember where I got this one from. The brand is unknown; it just says “8mm Marker. Oil ink. Super wide. Well, I don´t know if 8mm can be labeled super wide, but it´s a fresh marker making kind of deep purple-black lines. As usual with cheep markers/bootlegs, the ink seems to contain a large amount of solvent and less pigments. However, “it is more developed and smells soft.” Okay…

8m/m Marker

8m/m Marker

Marsh 99 Refillable Industrial Marker

The Marsh 99 Refillable Industrial Marker is another great found. I bought it for just one Euro, and that´s a crazy nice price for this durable piece of metal. And I received it unused, completely new. The marker comes with a huge bullet point, but I made some research and discovered, that there are two other nip sizes available: a chisel tip and a 25mm T-style tip.

Marsh 99

Marsh 99 Industrial Marker

MARKALL, Otto Office, Stanger and Nestler Marker

In addition to the already mentioned markers I got some others: a MARKALL Super Marker permanent Wide/Extrabreit, an Otto Office Marker, a Stanger M 300 Marker and a Nestler Marker. The ink of all these markers is alcohol-based. The Stanger M 300 Marker seems to be a private label marker due to the fact, that the shape and ink is alike to other cheep private label markers. The MARKALL Marker has the same shape of an older version of the Colli Marker. Can´t find any information on this one, must be a private label marker too. Anyway, the MARKALL looks a bit vintage, if it would have an individual upper part (not like the Colli Marker), it would be more special…
The Nestler Marker is also one of these markers I can´t find any information about. I remember that I spotted larger Nestler markers back in the early 1990s, but I can´t remember where – and I didn´t got one. This one I found in a stationery shop together with a silver Pentel Paint Marker. The Otto Office Permanent Marker is a private label marker for the Otto mail order company. The marker body has the same shape like the contemporary edding 3000 Permanent Marker, but the cap is different.

MARKALL Super Marker

MARKALL Super Marker

Nestler Marker, Stanger Permanent Marker and Otto Ofice Permanent Marker...

Nestler Marker, Stanger Permanent Marker and Otto Ofice Permanent Marker…

The second batch I received somewhat latter is also worth to be described in detail.

Cado Flo-Master Fountbrush Pen

The highlight here is the vintage Cado Flo-Master Fountbrush Pen. This one seems to be some decades old, don´t know how old exactly. Maybe 1940s or 1950s. If anyone out there have more information please let me know. The marker was manufactured by Cushman & Denison MFG. CO., New York. Maybe I need to make some further research about the company…
I received the marker in its original box, nearly unused. Only one of the felt tips was soaked with ink, but the marker itself wasn´t filled up and the two other tips, one in a wider T-shape, are unused too. The box contained the instructions sheet and a small ½ FL. OZ. bottle of black ink, unfortunately it´s completely dried out, so no chance to use the marker with its original ink. But even I´m corious to know how this Flo-Master Pen works, I wouldn´t use it to prevent any damage on it. All in all, it´s a great example of an early valve action permanent marker and a dope addition to my collection.

Vintage Cado Flo-Master Fountnbrush Marker

Vintage Cado Flo-Master Fountnbrush Marker

Bonton Marker No.880/kwb Permanent Marker

These two markers are awesome in that way, that they look vintage, but aren´t. The shape is similar to the Pentel Pens, with the upper part of the marker pushed inside the aluminum barrel, so the marker can´t be opened and refilled. But different to the Pentel Pen, the base is pushed in and the cap has a unique shape. Cool markers, cool to have some of them.

Bonton Marker No.880

Bonton Marker No.880

Carter´s Marks-A-Lot Permanent Markers

Another highlight are the two vintage Carter´s Marks-A-Lot Markers. Ebay found in the U.S., and I was really happy to get these two for a fair price. The Marks-A-Lot markers have a strange shape, as the base of this full metal jacket marker has the shape of a screw nut. I have two larger contemporary versions made of plastic from a marker trade, haven´t posted much about the latter too until now. For more information, check the Marks-A-Lot-page on my blog.

Carter´s Marks-a-lot markers

Carter´s MARKS-A-LOT Markers, 1961

ZIG Posterman BIGGIE 30

This is the largest one of my new markers. I´m happy to find one with its authentic labeling. It was kind of hard because these markers are marketed under several private labels in the graffiti scene now. That´s okay, but I just prefer the original company´s labeling. That´s the reason I don´t have much contemporary so called “Tag Markers” – with the exception of this 25mm “One Inch Marker” I bought long time ago. I haven´t used the posterman marker yet, maybe I´ll keep it unused. Compared to the contemporary Uni Paint PX-30, this thing seems to be filled up with paint to the top. Good quality.

ZIG Posterman BIGGIE 30

ZIG Posterman BIGGIE 30

Bluhm Systeme Action Marker

Private label marker of U.S. origin. The Action Marker is a valve-action marker with xylene/toluene-based ink. Like the Bonton/kwb markers, it´s a marker intended for industrial usage. Some weeks later, I got another one with the U.S. label on it.

Action Markers

Action Markers

Well, so far with details from these two marker batches. I received in the last time markers for another three pages, but I think I´ll post more information in single posts. So coming soon: Penol Markers from Denmark, several Whiteboard Markers, Dixon RediMark from Canada, vintage Magic Markers and more…

Marker Rendering again

Today I want to share three videos of marker rendering I recently found on Youtube. The first one gives a very good look on how to create the texture of a tree using solvent-based Chartpak AD Markers together with water color and regular pencils. Good lesson how to use layout markers.

The second video is amazing in the way the artist colored the drawing. Just have a look.

The last one is in Spanish, so I don´t understand a single word. It´s from 1995, but according to the music and the vintage EF Eberhard Faber Design Art Markers they use, it could also be from the 1980s. Nice example, how marker rendering was done back then.

U-Mark markers

Two month or so ago I came in contact with Mr. Z., the account executive of the U-Mark marker company (click here to visit their website and to learn more about U-Mark products). I had already heard about this company and their products before, but I have never had the chance to purchase one of their products here in Germany. We traded some mails and I asked for a product sample, which arrived some weeks later. What a surprise when I opened the package – a bunch of stylish markers! Well, I have to mention, that I had to open it in front of the custom authority staff, so they were surprised too…

The package contained 13 markers, some in different colors, from a small to an extra-large size. All of these different markers feature different labeling design, what is nice, compared to the uniform labeling of other manufacturers.

U-Mark paint markers

Some fresh markers…

U-Mark produces high performance quality industrial markers. That means that the markers and inks are optimized for use in an industrial environment like car plants, factories and so on. One feature of the U-Markers is that most of their markers work with a valve action, even markers with non-opaque regular dye type ink. Unlike most regular permanent markers, the ink is in liquid condition inside the markers barrel, not absorbed by a tissue or something inside the barrel. However, the largest marker, the U-Mark M15 Permanent Marker is a regular capillary marker.

Aside the valve action, some of the markers have another nice feature. All of the medium tip valve action markers have reversible tips which make it possible to use either a 5mm broad line, or a 3mm line for marking or drawing. I never saw this feature before, and it allows using the marker for calligraphy style writing and regular marking with a bullet tip.

Reversible marker tip U-Mark paint markers

Reversible marker tip

Most of the U-Mark products , the greenlabel product line, come without the addition of the harmful solvent xylene (for more information about the greenlabel product line, click here). The greenlabel paint markers come as an oil-based (the U-Mark A10, A20 and A30 Paint Markers for instance) and a water-based version. When testing the latter, the water-based U-Mark W20 Paint Marker, I was really impressed. “Don´t confuse ´water-based´ with ´wimpy´”, as the company declares in the product specification sheet, and right – the ink can´t be rubbed off easily unlike most of the water-based paint markers I know. It seems to be a better formula than the regular Tempera or Gouache opaque ink in other water-based paint markers.

U-Mark is also the first marker manufacturing company I know that told it´s costumers, how much paint or ink is inside a marker. And for sure, the U-Mark Paint Markers are somewhat heavier in weight than other paint markers.

U-Mark how much ink a marker holds

Good to know…

All together, these markers are a great addition to my collection! Thanks!

Another bunch of new markers

To get over the Sakura bootleg thing, here´s a picture of another marker load I got recently. Among these markers are really nice ones. I like the Cado Flomaster pen. Along with the Marsh Marker I received before, it´s an outstanding example of a fountain pen-like permanent marker. The vintage 1960s Carters Marks-A-Lot Markers are also a dope find!
Hope it will not take too long time to post more detailed information.

JSM Permanent Markers Vintage Markers batch 2

The Jumbo Sakura bootleg

Most of the markers sold in Euroshops/dollar stores are extremely cheap respective their processing. But in general, they feature an individual shape. This one is different, also it´s not completely unknown to me since I´ve spotted one of these bootleg markers on Allisters site.
The markers shape, even the cap, comes in the shape of the Sakura SG7 extrabroad marker. Well, I already expected a tiny felt nib. And indeed, when taking of the markers cap, there´s a small writing nib that looks funny in some way in comparison of the markers huge body.  Well, I bought this one sealed, but the marker is already semi tried out. The body is made of cheap plastic with a metallic looking sticker in the base that suggests it´s an aluminum body. This feature is for sure dispensable. They should have put the money in a larger felt nib…
A look at the marker´s inside is also interesting. Only a small part of the body is filled with an ink reservoir, tiny as in other common smaller dollar store markers. What a fake. This bootleg marker isn´t worth the Euro I spent for it.

"Jumbo Permanentmarker"

“Jumbo Permanentmarker”

Looks "Jumbo"...

Looks “Jumbo”…

... no, not really!

… no, not really!

...

nice try

nice try

sakura marker sg 7

Which one would you prefer?

 

That it´s semi dry is a bit disappointing. Most of these cheap dollar store markers make fresh lines, only the ink seems to be a bit brighter according to the fact that the company safe pigments for this types of markers. I´m glad to have one of the original Sakura markers…

Back after a long break – with more markers

For some month I didn´t write anything on my blog. I had (and still have) lot of other stuff to do. However, I continue my search for new markers so during the past month I got a lot of nice up to date and vintage markers. I´ll describe each of them in the next time, if I´ll find an extra minute.

All the markers came from different sources, some via marker trading, others from an artist’s store I made a step into, and some from online stores (also it´s not my favorite way to get new markers, cause it´s not possible to find a mistake on the marker or some other argument to lower the price like I do it usually in a store…).

So here´s a picture of the markers to be described in detail further:

permanent markers

I also received comments or mails with questions, usually I activated the comments even if I didn´t answer your questions promptly. Sorry for that, I´ll try to catch up on your questions…

Vintage edding 400 markers

Found these vintage edding 400 markers at a flea market among some other stuff… None of the markers still works, but there is still a little bit of the nice old days odor left… Unlike the modern version of the edding 400, the markers have an aluminum tube. Like the other edding labeling from the 1970s and the early 1980s, the text was put into a box with a red outline.

edding 400 permanent markers

These ones are different stages of the edding 400. The first one (above): contemporary plastic construction. It can be unscrewed for refilling purposes. The green one is a mid-1980s example I got from an Iranian copy shop in Hamburg ten years ago. It still works. And the last one is one of the vintage edding 400 markers I got from the flea market. Note the edding wordmark on the caps of the green and blue one.

edding 400 permanent markers

The Pentel Pen

Today I received two boxes with vintage Pentel N 50 Markers or Pentel Pens, as the Pentel company named these markers. I got my oldest Pentel N 50 markers in 1990 in some stationery in Italy, so I guess these ones may be from an earlier stage. Early or mid-1980´s, maybe 1970´s. the first feature is the flat base, unlike the other Pentel Pens I know. Both the 1990s version and the contemporary Pentel Pen have a taper at the marker´s base to put the marker´s cap there during use. These ones don´t. Also the cap looks different, the caps looks all alike, in a warm gray or beige, can´t tell you exactly… The font used for the label is also different from the common “Pentel” font design of the 1980s and 1990s Pentel markers I know.

pentel pen n 50 permanent markers

Stylish vintage box with a writing hand on it…

The Pentel markers came in two cardboard boxes which could be used to display the markers in a shop and – sorry, my English knowledge ends here (I´m even not sure how to describe that in German in a few words… check the photos…).On the boxes it reads “Available in Black-Red-Blue”. However, I received brown, purple and a yellow one as well…

pentel pen n 50 permanent markers box

… side view.

Only a few of these markers still works, the other ones are dried out or semi-dried out, although they were well capped and seems to be unused. But that´s not important and all together, it´s a nice find!

edding No.1 – The original one

Two weeks ago found a real rarity from the 1960´s: The 60´s version of an edding No.1 marker and a bottle refill ink, also from the 1960´s. These two items are for sure the oldest marker stuff I ever got. Unlike the later edding refill ink bottles, this one is made of glass and has a pipette to drop the ink inside the marker. The package bears the term “Schnellschreiber” in a handwriting style; this was the early notation the edding company used for their permanent markers in the 1960´and 1970´s. It´s labeled in German only and the instructions of use are printed on the back of the package.

edding no.1 vintage marker and refill ink

edding refill ink 1960´s vintage

edding refill ink 1960´s

edding refill ink 1960´s how to use

edding refill ink

edding refill ink

This early version of the edding No.1 permanent marker has a unique and pretty stylish product design, it reminds a little bit on a rocket or something with its aero dynamic looking cap. The label sticker is the same like the label of the semi old edding No.1 marker that was produced until 1990, but the blue color of the cap is more light than that of the later vintage version. It´s definitely one of the best catches I´ve made in the last month.

edding No.1 permanent marker vintage 1960´s
edding No.1 permanent markers

Marker Trade

Already over a month ago I traded some markers with another marker collector, who runs a great blog about black markers and design (the B.I.Blog). So two bunches of markers did their way around the globe and each of one finally reached its destination. I think each of us got markers we wouldn’t have found around the corner. The guy send me great and hard to get pieces in return, among them vintage Sanfords, Redimark markers and some others. Thanks!

Sanford Permanent Markers
Artline Poster Markers Jiffy Markers
Marks-A-Lot Permanent Markers

I got some more than these ones; but from these I already took pics and I´m kind of busy at the moment…

Painting with Posca Markers

There are a lot of opportunities of what to do with markers beside tagging up or illustration. Especially water-based pigment ink markers like the Artline Poster Markers and the Uni Posca Markers are tools of choice of some great artists.
I found two nice videos featuring the British artist Jon Burgerman in action with Posca Markers. Great work!

Graffiti History and Vintage Markers

A friend called my attention on this nice Poster of Roger Gastman´s documentary “Wall Writers. Graffiti in its Innocence” with a row of vintage markers… I haven´t seen some of them before, I´ll add them on my wish list. The documentary, for sure a must seen movie for those interested in graffiti history – is about tagging and getting up in the late 1960´s/early 1970´s in NYC. I can´t wait to watch it.

If you are more interested in the movie itself than in the vintage markers on the poster, you may watch the trailer below and check this worth reading interview with Roger Gastman about his documentary.

WALL WRITERS Promo Video from R. Rock Enterprises on Vimeo.

The “Marker Loan”

A good friend gave me recently three of his markers for that project we already did the photo shooting for… Two of them were unknown for me before: the Pelikan Plaka Pen and the Micro Marker. The third is a Meto Poster Pen. The Pelikan Plaka Pen seems to be from the 1980´s since it was produced in West-Germany (before the reunification of the former two German states). However, it´s free from xylene and toluene.

The Micro Marker, made in Korea, is somewhat extremly used and covered with ink stains, I can´t read much of the label.

The Meto Poster Pen is a typical water-based pigment ink marker. I don´t know were to get this markers from (I mean a single marker, not a whole pack of 10 or 12…), and this one I´ll give back with the other ones after the photo project.

Pelikan Plaka Marker Meto Poster Pen

Pilot Super Color Paint Marker

I found another marker in a stationery: a Pilot Super Color Paint Marker. It has the older Pilot label on it and contains xylene or toluene as solvent. Maybe it´s a 1980´s marker, don´t know. According to the shopkeeper it has remained for years and he added that they discontinued the distribution of Pilot markers long ago. He gave it away for only one Euro – thanks!

Pilot Paint Marker Super Color

Marker Rendering in Old Times

I like the hand-made style of old time marker renderings. Okay, although today the first sketches often are done with markers, not with the old, nice smelling ones… But I know designers who use mainly computer programs for sketching. Here are some good examples of marker rendering back in the days… Two automotive renderings and an interior design for a gentlemen´s smoking room. The scans are from the book “Advanced Marker Techniques” by Dick Powell and Patricia Monahan (1987); pp. 54-57, 116-119 and page 135.

Automotive Rendering I: The Red Car




Automotive Rendering II: Off the Road




Interior Design – A Gentleman´s Smoking Room

The Snowman

I had some free time yesterday and I enjoyed the beautiful sunshine somewhere in Berlin. On my way back home I stopped into a store specialized on decoration and costume stuff. They had a lot of fancy dressing stuff and a small Snowman´s permanent markers box on the counter with Snowman Permanent Markers in all sizes. They were astonishingly very cheap and I got two.

Snowman Permanent Markers

Faber-Castell Penol Marker 150

Outside the deco-store I had to wait for the bus, so I stepped into a tobacco shop for a minute and found another vintage looking marker. It´s dried out and the guy in the store gives it away for free. The German market for permanent markers is dominated by the edding brand, so it´s always surprising to find different brands from abroad or from the past…

Faber-Castell

I don´t have much information about the Snowman yet; also the Faber-Castell Broadline Permanent Marker 150 isn´t mentioned on the company´s homepage. But anyway, both of the Snowmans and the Faber-Castell Marker 150 are vintage looking in some way, solid aluminum barrel construction; the Faber-Castell is also toluene/xylene-based… love the smell!

Photo shooting I

One week ago a good friend, professional photographer and former graffiti artist Timo Stammberger and I did a Photo session with a bunch of stylish markers. It´s for a project we are thinking about and respectively working on. After one or two beer and inhaling vintage markers vapors, we got some great pictures…

I´ll post some of the photos, this is part I: The Faber-Castell Marker22 Filzschreiber, the Artline Poster Marker 20mm, the Artline Popmate 30mm Marker, the Uni Paint PX-30 Marker and the Marvy Marker 9000 Jumbo-Size.

artline popmate marker marvy marker 9000 jumbo uni paint marker
artline poster marker 20mm faber-castell filzschreiber marker22

The Giant Markers Set

Recently I got this nice marking tool. It´s not a permanent marker in the narrow sense, but rather a giant marker set. It consists of a plastic pot with three round wadding layers, a cover and four felt holders. To use the marker set, the inside wadding must be soaked with marking ink. The felt nip holders were put headfirst through openings in the cover onto the wadding to absorb the ink. It works like an ordinary permanent marker with cellulose wadding inside the markers barrel, just vice versa.

However, the whole thing isn´t airtight. Would be interesting what kind of ink one should use for it. There is no brand name on the box, but I think it´s the “METO Jet 4000 Schreibgerät”. According to the company´s homepage they use solvent-based dye type ink.

These kind of markers are used mainly in supermarkets or other kinds of stores to write large posters and price tags. It seems to be more common outside Germany to use hand written posters. I remember that the price tags in a Spanish supermarket I had once been were all written by hand, in four or five different colors. Looks more warm and closer to the people, unlike these printed stuff that only seems to be hand written.

The four markers are 53x29mm, 37x17mm, 23x15mm and 11x9mm wide.

I don´t have any use for it, but it´s just nice to have one of these things…

Meto Jet 4000 Marker Set_1Meto Jet 4000 marker set Meto Jet 4000 marker set

How to refresh old or dried out markers

Refreshing semi-dried out markers (or reviving completely dry markers) isn´t just a good way to save money; it´s also useful if you use older, better performing markers that aren´t available anymore. Take layout markers for instance. In most cases, they are very expensive and even the refill ink, if there is any to get, is often damn expensive. So if you have a bunch of dried out markers or you´ve left a marker uncapped for a while, the following tips may help you to make the marker work again. But also regular dried up permanent marker pens can be make work again in just a view steps.

For an instruction in pictures click here.

I started reviving my old layout and permanent markers when I discovered that the original refill ink, or more correct the refill ink in its former solvent-based formula, wasn´t available any more. Since the early 1990s, harmful solvents based on toluene/xylene weren´t used any more for marker inks (with exceptions, see below). The formula switched to alcohol-based ink. Well, that’s nice, but I made the experience, that the “new” alcohol based ink doesn´t fit in most cases with the “old” solvent-based ink. Sometimes it´s helpful to ask in a stationery or art supply store: Some brands offer a thinner for their marker inks and even today it´s possible to find a special solvent-based ink thinner somewhere left over.

Important note: Solvents like toluene, xylene, and lighter fuel are harmful substances. If using those substances, ensure adequate ventilation, use gloves, don´t eat, drink or smoke during use. If you´re using alcohol, be also careful – and never use Methanol! Methanol is a toxic substance that even cause serious health damage when inhaling fumes or getting in contact with skin. See below what kind of alcohol I prefer for reviving markers.

And, maybe also important, I do not guarantee that you´ll be successful. There are too much different brands, ink formulas and so on. I just share my own experiences and of course my mistakes (but in most cases it worked perfect).

Some other important things you need to know when reviving markers: First, you won´t get the same color tone like before in most cases, and not every try to refresh your marker will be successful. Color: In a used marker a large amount of the pigment are already depleted. That means, by adding a solvent you fill up the marker with a colorless fluid that absorbs the remaining pigments. The result of a successfully revived marker is a lighter tone in color. If you got more than one marker of the same color, you can easily create nuances of the same color.

That´s different when refreshing a new, but dried up marker (left uncapped for a while for instance. You won´t believe how many people throw those markers away…). In this case chances are good you´ll match the original color afterwards.

Choose the right solvent

First, make sure to get the adequate solvent fluid for the type of marker you want to refresh. Both layout markers and permanent markers are either based on a solvent like toluene and xylene (especially the old ones, like the old Letraset Pantone Markers, but also some contemporary markers like the Chartpak AD Markers, some Yoken Markers, Pentel Markers and so on) or alcohol (and water in some cases). If you´re not sure, which kind of solvent was used for the ink – you´ll sniff it (well, better don´t do that…)! Solvent-based markers have a much stronger odor than alcohol-based or water-based markers.

edding refill ink

edding refill ink from the 1980s: contains xylene, toluene…

Lighter fuel, paint thinner and pure toluene from a pharmacy

Lighter fuel, paint thinner and pure toluene from a pharmacy

For markers with solvent-based ink you´ll need a solvent like toluene or xylene. I found a data sheet for permanent marker ink and was surprised, that marker ink contains much more xylene than toluene – some 70% toluene in a red color ink – so better use xylene… For alcohol-based ink you´ll need pure alcohol.

Update: You may use lighter fuel for solvent-based markers (shown in the picture above). As I wrote in one comment, that never worked well with solvent-based edding markers; however, with vintage layout markers such as Pantone and Magic Markers it works… surprise for me. And, even lighter fuel is also harmful when inhaled during work, it has a somewhat softer smell than xylene and toluene…

1.) Solvent-based markers

First, get the adequate solvent. Ordinary paint thinner that is available in every hardware store contains in most cases toluene and xylene. However, often some paraffin derived additives like white spirit are in it and that may – that’s my experience – being incompatible with the marker ink in the marker. And don´t use turpentine or acetone, the latter make some inks agglutinate, turpentine may hamper the ink to dry completely (it´s a cleaning tool for paint brushes or a thinner for oil-painting, not for permanent marker inks or layout marker inks). And, never use water for refreshing solvent-based markers, that won´t work.

If you find toluene or xylene in it´s pure form, it´s the best option. As mentioned before, that may be a bit complicated. In Germany, most pharmacies have these two substances. Since toluene and xylene are highly harmful substances, they may ask you what for you need toluene/xylene. Whenever I explained them the purpose, they gave it away in small amounts for cheap, sometimes even for free. Ask them for a medicine dropper (it must be glass or a solvent resistant material). Well, if you got the stuff, do use it only – and I mean ONLY – in a well ventilated area.

Medicine dropper

Okay, in the unscrewed marker, drop the solvent several times onto the wool-filling inside the marker. The ink color will immediately fade. Don´t overfill the marker! It´s better to repeat that step than to overfill the marker and risk a mess. It depends on the dimension of the marker how many solvent you´ll need, try five to ten (on edding refill ink bottles it reads: “1ml corresponds to approx. 40 drops” – just as a measure…) drops first. Screw and close the marker. Store the marker vertically with nib/cap up. Wait a while – half an hour or more. Then store the marker upside down, also for a good while. It may take some time until the dried marker ink and the solvent mixes in a matter, that the color doesn’t look faded. If you store the marker upside down, it´s good to put them in a glass jar or on tissue – if you put too much solvent inside the marker, ink may flow out – so don´t overfill!) If you can´t unscrew the marker, remove the nip carefully, put it aside and drop the solvent through the opening into the barrel. Also, be careful not to overfill. Take care when replacing the nib, the ink/solvent may spurt out – replace it slowly. Follow the same steps as with an unscrewable marker.

2.) Alcohol-based markers

If your markers are alcohol based make sure to get pure alcohol like isopropyl alcohol. You may also use rubbing alcohol for cleaning, but it often contains a small amount of water (see picture below).

Rubber alcohol: 94% Vol.

Rubber alcohol: 94% Vol.

Pure isopropyl alcohol: 99,97% Vol.

Pure isopropyl alcohol: 99,97% Vol. – better choice

However, for refreshing the marker there won’t be a difference, but if you work on paper, the paper maybe will wave a little bit according to the water. The water may also cause the marker ink not to dry completely if applied on other materials than paper, like plastic or metal – so far my experience. Some brands like copic have a special thinner. It´s also pure isopropyl alcohol and you may use that for all kinds of alcohol based ink. For reviving your markers, follow the steps from “1.) Solvent-based Markers”.

A last advice: avoid mixing alcohol-based ink and solvent-based ink or filling alcohol into solvent-based markers and vice versa. This may lead to a chemical reaction that will cause aluminum barrels to corrode. In the below picture you can see what I mean… I refilled an old edding 500 solvent-based marker with the alcohol-based edding refill ink of today, and some weeks later, it started to corrode…

edding 500 permanent marker

Corrosion on an edding 500 marker

Refreshing/reviving markers this way works only with permanent and layout markers. I never was successful to refresh paint markers or gouache markers (markers with a water-based pigment ink, like the Artline Poster Markers). Once, the paint or gouache is dry, there isn´t much to do as far as I know. If you´ve made other experiences, just let me know…

Please let me and others know, if these steps worked with your markers – feel free to share your experiences and leave a comment!

Vintage Markers I: “edding extrabreit”

Extrabreit: Until the early 1990s the term “extrabreit”, or “superbroad” in English, was an additional labeling of the edding 850 due to the fact that the edding 850 was then – and still is -  the widest marker available on the regular market (of course one can find today every type of huge tagmarkers in graffiti stores…).

The edding 800 “extrabreit”: Some weeks ago I found a bunch of vintage edding 800 markers in a sellout, which seems to be much older than the edding 800 markers I already have in my collection. To my surprise these edding 800 markers were also labeled “extrabreit” and even the rest of the labeling was the same like on the old edding 850. It may be that when these edding 800 extrabreit markers were sold in the 1970s, these ones were the widest markers on the market. After the edding 850 was launched, they simply put the labeling on the new wider marker. Doesn´t make much sense to label two different markers the same way. The other vintage edding 800 markers bear the text “in 10 farben”/”in 10 colours” instead of “extrabreit”. Also the other labeling changed a little…

edding 850_800 superbroad en

… note the different “y”

edding 850_800 extrabreit de

Which one is more “extrabreit”?

edding 800 extrabeit in 10 farben de

in 10 Farben

edding 800 superbroad in 10 colours

in 10 colours

However, either the edding 850 extrabreit or the edding 800 extrabreit inspired a German band to adopt the name “Extrabreit” in 1978. I don´t know if they choose this name for this reason, but “breit” is a synonym for “to be drunk” in German… so you can guess what “extrabreit” may mean.