Every morning this week I’ve got up at six am to work on my home cinema unit project for an hour before leaving for work. The unit is designed, measured, drawn and inked and all that’s left is the colour rendering. By yesterday I was ready to start but I got out my set of Letraset Tria Markers to find that every one of them had dried out. Every single one.
I’ve had my set for two or three years and haven’t used them very much and so I was pretty pissed off that they’re now unusable. There are suggestions online about injecting each pen with alcohol using a syringe but I can’t be bothered with that, and more to the point, why should I have to do it?
Last night I went to my second favourite shop in the world, London Graphics in Covent Garden, to see if they could help. The very helpful sales assistant told me something that made me sad. Letraset are a British brand, founded in London in 1959, and are one of those brands that we should be proud of but they have apparently lost their way. She told me that their products just aren’t as good or as innovative as they used to be and they are being left behind by Japanese rival Copic, a brand I’d never heard of until yesterday. The famous Tria markers have changed little in recent years and Letraset have not moved their product set forwards to keep up with the market. They seemingly rested on the laurels of their marker monopoly and didn’t notice the newcomer hurtling up the inside. Apparently London Graphics’ professional customers rarely buy Letraset anymore, they’ve all converted to Copic which I think is a real shame.
I took her advice and bought a set of Copics and I was amazed at how good these pens are. The ink flows perfectly, they blend well and are a joy to use. Each pen has two nibs and the best thing is that, not only are they refillable (there is an ink refill for every colour), but she assured me that they will never, ever dry out. At £5.99 they are more expensive than the £4.49 Tria’s but to pay an extra £1.50 to get a pen that will last a lifetime rather than one that will dry out after only a couple of years, for me there is no contest.
Have you had the same problems with Trias? Have you tried Copics? What media do you use for colour rendering? I’d love to hear your tips.