Copic Markers: An In-Depth Review and Comparison

Copic Markers: An In-Depth Review and Comparison

Learn the differences between the four types of markers and determine which is the best Copic marker for you.

Copics are some of the best markers for coloring. They are used by professional artists and illustrators all around the world. They are top-quality alcohol-based markers that are designed to last a lifetime. However, these benefits do not come without a price. It can be difficult to decide which type of Copic to buy since they are a larger investment than other art supplies.

Types of Copics

Click the buttons to view each slide:


Copic Sketch

Copic Sketch Marker Uncapped

Number of Colors
Available Colors
Number Of Refills
Refills from One Various Ink Container
Oval Marker Shape

Nib Options
  • Super Brush
  • Medium Broad
  • Medium Round

Bolded Nibs Come Standard,
Others Must Be Purchased

Extra Features
  • ABS Compatible
  • Largest Variety of Colors

The Copic Sketch Markers are the top-of-the-line for the brand. They have the widest color selection, and many colorists agree that they are the ideal marker for coloring. They are capable of laying down smooth, even colors in a short amount of time. They are also designed for blending and use an alcohol-based ink.

The Sketch is available in every single color that Copic offers. That means that there are 358 different colors, shades, and hues you have at your coloring disposal. It can definitely take some time to complete an entire collection, but you also never have to worry about a color being unavailable. Markers are available individually if you’re looking for a specific shade. You can also buy them in various sets of 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, and 72 if you want to add multiple new art markers to your collection.

The nibs that come with the marker are the Medium Broad and Super Brush tips. This is a diverse and useful combination. The Super Brush is springy and flexible, and is your go to end for blending and shading. It behaves more like a paintbrush or a brush pen. The Medium Broad nib is firmer and is angled like a chisel. It is useful for covering larger areas with uniform colors. This end will do your heavy lifting while the other will be used for the details.

The Sketch is larger than the Ciao but smaller than the Classic. It feels comfortable in small or large hands alike. The barrel of the marker is ovular rather than circular. This is useful as it prevents the markers from rolling around when set down on a desk or table.

While it is the second-smallest marker in the collection, the Sketch still holds a decent amount of ink. Out-of-the-box markers will color for a long time before running low on ink. When they start fading, an refill cartridge will provide enough ink to refill the marker 12 times. Treated right, these markers can last you a lifetime.

Many colorists consider the Sketch to be the best marker for coloring books. These markers come in an enormous array of colors, and their shape prevents them from rolling off the table when you’re quickly switching between colors. If you keep them properly maintained and refilled, you will have no reason to buy any other type of marker for the rest of your life.

Use the links below to view current Amazon prices:

Copic Ciao

Copic Ciao Marker Uncapped

Number of Colors
Available Colors
Number Of Refills
Refills from One Various Ink Container


Nib Options
  • Super Brush
  • Medium Broad
Extra Features
  • ABS Compatible
  • Child-Safe Caps

The Copic Ciao Markers are the budget option of the four. While they are smaller and do not come in nearly the same selection of colors as the Sketch, these are fantastic entry-level markers. Just because they are the cheapest Copic does not mean they are lower quality – the Ciaos will outperform the vast majority of other brands of art markers. Like other Copics, they are alcohol-based can be used to create the same blends and gradients as other markers in this line-up.

The Ciaos come in just over half of Copic’s total color selection. While they don’t have the variety of the other types, they still come in 180 different shades. You will still have an immense palette to choose from with a full set. There is also no good reason to limit yourself to a single Copic type; once you’ve got all the Ciaos, you can start purchasing Sketches to fill in the gaps in your coloring collection.

Each Ciao marker comes standard with a Medium Broad on one end and Super Brush tip on the other. While there are no additional nibs available for this particular marker, this combination is more than enough to meet your coloring needs. The Super Brush is softer and bends under pressure like a brush. Use it to fill in detailed areas and to gently spread ink across the page. The Super Brush tip is deal for creating beautiful color transitions. The Medium Broad nib is a hard chisel tip with less give than the Super Brush. It is best for adding color to larger open spaces. Combined, these two nibs open up a world of coloring possibilities.

The Ciao is the smallest marker in Copic’s collection. The thinner shape makes it ideal for children and adults with smaller hands. Unlike other Copic markers, it is circular. This makes them a little more precarious than other markers, as they can easily roll around on their side and fall off of tables if left unchecked. However, if you are diligent about storing your markers upright, you won’t run into this issue.

As the smallest of these four markers, the Ciao holds the least amount of ink. That’s not to say that these markers dry up quickly; Ciaos will provide you hours of coloring joy before you notice the ink start to fade. Like all other Copics, these markers can be refilled with a Various Ink cartridge. Each ink container can refill a single Ciao up to fifteen times before running out.

In Japan, Ciaos are geared more towards children and beginner artists. They let them get a feel for Copics at a lower price point. As a result, they are built with children in mind. They include safety air holes in the marker cap so that they do not obstruct airways if swallowed. If you color with kids or pets around, this is definitely a good precaution.

While these markers do not come in every shade that Copic offers, they compete with the Sketches on almost every other level. Their lower price makes them a very attractive prospect for colorists who are just starting their art marker collection. If you want to try Copics out, these are great markers to start with.

Use the links below to view current Amazon prices:

Copic Classic

Copic Classic Marker Uncapped

Number of Colors
Available Colors
Number Of Refills
Refills from One Various Ink Container


Nib Options
  • Standard Broad
  • Standard Fine
  • Brush
  • Semi Broad
  • Soft Broad
  • Super Fine
  • Round
  • Calligraphy 3mm
  • Calligraphy 5mm

Bolded Nibs Come Standard,
Others Must Be Purchased

Extra Features
  • ABS Compatible
  • Largest Variety of Nibs

The Copic Classic is the marker that started it all. It is the original Copic design. While both the Sketch and Ciao are considered the more popular choice for coloring, the Classic is a very similar marker that just gets less attention. With a larger color selection than the Ciao and more nib options than the Sketch, there are several reasons not to overlook the Classic.

The Classic is a nice middle-ground between the Ciao and the Sketch in terms of color variety. With 214 available shades, you will have no trouble finding the Classic in the color you are looking for. You might assume that there are only 34 additional colors available to the Classic as opposed to the Ciao, but that’s not the case. There is not a direct overlap between the two color selections – certain colors are unique to the Ciao line and certain colors are unique to the Classic line.

Unlike the other double-ended markers in the series, the Classic comes with different nibs. Out-of-the-box, these markers include a Standard Broad tip and a Standard Fine tip. The Standard Broad nib very similar to the Medium Broad nib that comes with other types oc Copics. It is a little bit larger, but boasts the same firmness and slanted chisel tip that makes filling in larger empty spaces a breeze. The Standard Fine nib is a bit different. It is firmer, smaller, and rounder than the Super Brush nib, but is similarly used for detail work.

While it is still an alcohol marker, the lack of the Super Brush nib makes the Classic less suitable for blending. Never fear, as there is a Brush nib that is compatible with Copic Classics. There are also 6 other additional nibs for you to purchase and experiment with. With a full set of nine unique nibs, the Classic can easily become the most versatile marker of the four.

Copic Classics are large markers. They are the largest of the three double-ended Copic markers. Despite their size, they are still comfortable and easy-to-use in smaller hands. The square barrel keeps these markers from rolling around too much when placed on their sides. Still, the corners are rounded, so be careful jostling your coloring surface too much, or these markers could start moving.

The Classic’s ink capacity is second only to the Wide marker line. These guys can hold a lot of ink. If you’re looking for the longest-lasting Copic marker right, you probably want to look at these. A single Copic Various Ink container can refill one Copic Classic up to nine times, meaning that this marker has close to double the ink capacity of the Copic Ciao.

Copic Classics are definitely under-represented in the coloring world. Many colorists like Copics because of their incredible blending ability. While a blending nib does not come standard with the Classics, it can be purchased additionally. This tip will turn any Classic marker into a formidable blending tool. Considering the large array of colors and the unmatched variety of nibs, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not considering Copic Classics for your coloring toolkit.

Use the links below to view current Amazon prices:

Copic Wide

Copic Wide Marker Uncapped

Number of Colors
Available Colors
Number Of Refills
Refills from One Various Ink Container


Nib Options
  • 18mm Wide
  • Broad Calligraphy

Bolded Nibs Come Standard,
Others Must Be Purchased

Extra Features
  • ABS Compatible
  • Largest Ink Capacity

The Copic Wide is definitely the odd marker out in this set. While the Sketch, Ciao, and Classic all have similar shapes, features, and abilities, the Wide marker is quite different. With only a single coloring end and a large chisel tip, these are definitely markers with a specific purpose. While these markers are not all-in-one coloring tools like the other three, they have unique features that make them a great addition to any coloring supply collection.

Copic Wides have a very limited color selection. They are only available in 36 of the 358 colors in the Copic color palette. That is just over 10% – not the greatest selection. Still, the 36 different shades have good variety and are spread throughout the whole color wheel.

The Wide marker is unique in that it only has single end for coloring. All other Copic markers are double-sided, with a different nib on each end. They come with standard with the Extra Broad nib. If you’ve been reading through the information on the other markers in the product line, you can probably guess what this nib is like. It is a firmer, angled chisel nib that is 3/4″ wide – far broader than the Medium Broad or Standard Broad nibs available on other markers. This nib makes the marker ideal for filling in large blank areas with even, uniform colors. The width of the nib allows you to cover the area in fewer passes. This means less opportunity for overlapping strokes, which will make your colors look smoother.

Copic Wides are large markers with a flat, ovular shape. This can make gripping the marker a little bit awkward, especially for those with little hands. Pinching the marker between your thumb and index fingers is the best way to hold it. This will allow you to make even, sweeping strokes and fill in large areas with precision. The oval marker barrel helps prevent these markers from rolling around when laid on their sides.

Of all Copics, the Wide markers can hold the most ink. However, the wider nib also means that they lay down color at a faster rate than any of the other markers. As a result, these markers may seem like they run out of ink a bit faster than the others. An individual Copic Various Ink container holds enough ink to refill a single Wide marker seven times.

Copic Wides will probably never be your primary coloring markers. Still, they have unique features that make them a valuable addition to your toolkit. No other marker will be able to lay down color as quickly or as evenly. When used in combination with other types of Copics, you can create some really gorgeous coloring creations.

Use the links below to view current Amazon prices:

Copic Color Chart

With 358 colors in the entire Copic color wheel, you should be able to find the shade or hue you are looking for. However, every color is not available for every type of marker. The Sketch is the only marker that Copic offers in every single color.

Use the chart below to view Copic’s entire color collection and see which markers come in the shade you are looking for. Hover over a color swatch to view the name and color code.

Want to know which colors are available for each different marker type?
Use the buttons at the bottom of your screen to filter the color chart based on each type of Copic marker.

0 | Colorless Blender

100 | Black

110 | Special Black

B0000 | Pale Celestine

B000 | Pale Porcelain Blue

B00 | Frost Blue

B01 | Mint Blue

B02 | Robin’s Egg Blue

B04 | Tahitian Blue

B05 | Process Blue

B06 | Peacok Blue

B12 | Ice Blue

B14 | Light Blue

B16 | Cyanine Blue

B18 | Lapis Lazuli

B21 | Baby Blue

B23 | Phthalo Blue

B24 | Sky

B26 | Cobalt Blue

B28 | Royal Blue

B29 | Ultramarine

B32 | Pale Blue

B34 | Manganese Blue

B37 | Antwerp Blue

B39 | Prussian Blue

B41 | Powder Blue

B45 | Smoky Blue

B52 | Soft Greenish Blue

B60 | Pale Blue Gray

B63 | Light Hydrangea

B66 | Clematis

B69 | Stratospheric Blue

B79 | Iris

B91 | Pale Grayish Blue

B93 | Light Crockery Blue

B95 | Light Grayish Cobalt

B97 | Night Blue

B99 | Agate

BG0000 | Snow Green

BG000 | Pale Aqua

BG01 | Aqua Blue

BG02 | New Blue

BG05 | Holiday Blue

BG07 | Petroleum Blue

BG09 | Blue Green

BG10 | Cool Shadow

BG11 | Moon White

BG13 | Mint Green

BG15 | Aqua

BG18 | Teal Blue

BG23 | Coral Sea

BG32 | Aqua Mint

BG34 | Horizon Green

BG45 | Nile Blue

BG49 | Duck Blue

BG53 | Ice Mint

BG57 | Sketch Jasper

BG70 | Ocean Mist

BG72 | Ice Ocean

BG75 | Abyss Green

BG78 | Bronze

BG90 | Sketch Gray Sky

BG93 | Green Gray

BG96 | Bush

BG99 | Flagstone Blue

BV0000 | Sketch Pale Thistle

BV000 | Iridescent Mauve

BV00 | Mauve Shadow

BV01 | Viola

BV02 | Prune

BV04 | Blue Berry

BV08 | Blue Violet

BV11 | Soft Violet

BV13 | Hydrangea Blue

BV17 | Deep Reddish Blue

BV20 | Dull Lavender

BV23 | Grayish Lavender

BV25 | Grayish Violet

BV29 | Slate

BV31 | Pale Lavender

BV34 | Sketch Bluebell

C00 | Cool Gray

C0 | Cool Gray

C10 | Cool Gray

C1 | Cool Gray No. 1

C2 | Cool Gray

C3 | Cool Gray No. 3

C4 | Cool Gray

C5 | Cool Gray No. 5

C6 | Cool Gray

C7 | Cool Gray No. 7

C8 | Cool Gray

C9 | Cool Gray

E0000 | Floral White

E000 | Pale Fruit Pink

E00 | Cotton Pearl

E01 | Pink Flamingo

E02 | Fruit Pink

E04 | Lipstick Natural

E07 | Light Mahogany

E08 | Brown

E09 | Burnt Sienna

E11 | Barley Beige

E13 | Light Suntan

E15 | Dark Suntan

E17 | Reddish Brass

E18 | Copper

E19 | Redwood

E21 | Soft Sun

E23 | Hazelnut

E25 | Caribe Cocoa

E27 | Milk Chocolate

E29 | Burnt Umber

E30 | Bisque

E31 | Brick Beige

E33 | Sand

E34 | Toast

E35 | Chamois

E37 | Sepia

E39 | Leather

E40 | Brick White

E41 | Pearl White

E42 | Sand White

E43 | Dull Ivory

E44 | Clay

E47 | Dark Brown

E49 | Dark Bark

E50 | Egg Shell

E51 | Milky White

E53 | Raw Silk

E55 | Light Camel

E57 | Light Walnut

E59 | Walnut

E70 | Ash Rose

E71 | Champagne

E74 | Cocoa Brown

E77 | Maroon

E79 | Cashew

E81 | Ivory

E84 | – Sketch Khaki

E87 | Fig

E89 | – Sketch Pecan

E93 | Tea Rose

E95 | Tea Orange

E97 | Deep Orange

E99 | Baked Clay

FB2 | Fluorescent Dull Blue

FBG2 | Fluorescent Dull Blue Green

FRV1 | Fluorescent Pink

FV2 | Fluorescent Dull Violet

FY1 | Fluorescent Yellow Orange

FYG1 | Fluorescent Yellow

FYG2 | Fluorescent Dull Yellow Green

FYR1 | Fluorescent Orange

G0000 | Crystal Opal

G000 | Pale Green

G00 | Jade Green

G02 | Spectrum Green

G03 | Meadow Green

G05 | Emerald Green

G07 | Nile Green

G09 | Veronese Green

G12 | Sea Green

G14 | Apple Green

G16 | Malachite

G17 | Forest Green

G19 | Bright Parrot Green

G20 | Wax White

G21 | Lime Green

G24 | Willow

G28 | Ocean Green

G29 | Pine Tree Green

G40 | Dim Green

G43 | Various Pistachio

G46 | Sketch Mistletoe

G82 | Spring Dim Green

G85 | Verdigris

G94 | Grayish Olive

G99 | Olive

N0 | Neutral Gray

N10 | Neutral Gray

N1 | Neutral Gray

N2 | Neutral Gray

N3 | Neutral Gray

N4 | Neutral Gray

N5 | Neutral Gray

N6 | Neutral Gray

N7 | Neutral Gray

N8 | Neutral Gray

N9 | Neutral Gray

R0000 | Pink Beryl

R000 | Cherry White

R00 | Pinkish White

R01 | Pinkish Vanilla

R02 | Rose Salmon

R05 | Salmon Red

R08 | Vermilion

R11 | Pale Cherry Pink

R12 | Light Tea Rose

R14 | Light Rouge

R17 | Lipstick Orange

R20 | Blush

R21 | Sardonyx

R22 | Light Prawn

R24 | Prawn

R27 | Cadmium Red

R29 | Lipstick Red

R30 | Pale Yellowish Pink

R32 | Peach

R35 | Coral

R37 | Carmine

R39 | Garnet

R43 | Bougainvillaea

R46 | Strong Red

R56 | Currant

R59 | Cardinal

R81 | Rose Pink

R83 | Rose Mist

R85 | Rose Red

R89 | Dark Red

RV0000 | Evening Primrose

RV000 | Pale Purple

RV00 | Water Lily

RV02 | Sugared Almond Pink

RV04 | Shock Pink

RV06 | Cerise

RV09 | Fuchsia

RV10 | Pale Pink

RV11 | Pink

RV13 | Tender Pink

RV14 | Begonia Pink

RV17 | Deep Magenta

RV19 | Red Violet

RV21 | Light Pink

RV23 | Pure Pink

RV25 | Dog Rose Flower

RV29 | Crimson

RV32 | Shadow Pink

RV34 | Dark Pink

RV42 | Salmon Pink

RV52 | Various Cotton Candy

RV55 | Hollyhock

RV63 | Begonia

RV66 | Raspberry

RV69 | Peony

RV91 | Garyish Cherry

RV93 | Smokey Purple

RV95 | Baby Blossoms

RV99 | Argyle Purple

T0 | Toner Gray

T10 | Toner Gray

T1 | Toner Gray

T2 | Toner Gray

T3 | Toner Gray

T4 | Toner Gray

T5 | Toner Gray

T6 | Toner Gray

T7 | Toner Gray

T8 | Toner Gray

T9 | Toner Gray

V0000 | Rose Quartz

V000 | Pale Heath

V01 | Heath

V04 | Lilac

V05 | Azalea

V06 | Lavender

V09 | Violet

V12 | Pale Lilac

V15 | Mallow

V17 | Amethyst

V20 | Wisteria

V22 | Sketch Ash Lavender

V25 | Pale Blackberry

V28 | Sketch Eggplant

V91 | Pale Grape

V93 | Early Grape

V95 | Light Grape

V99 | Aubergine

W00 | Warm Gray

W0 | Warm Gray

W10 | Warm Gray

W1 | Warm Gray No. 1

W2 | Warm Gray

W3 | Warm Gray No. 3

W4 | Warm Gray

W5 | Warm Gray No. 5

W6 | Warm Gray

W7 | Warm Gray No. 7

W8 | Warm Gray

W9 | Warm Gray

Y0000 | Yellow Fluorite

Y000 | Pale Lemon

Y00 | Barium Yellow

Y02 | Canary Yellow

Y04 | Acacia

Y06 | Yellow

Y08 | Acid Yellow

Y11 | Pale Yellow

Y13 | Lemon Yellow

Y15 | Cadmium Yellow

Y17 | Golden Yellow

Y18 | Lightning Yellow

Y19 | Napoli Yellow

Y21 | Buttercup Yellow

Y23 | Yellowish Beige

Y26 | Mustard

Y28 | Lionet Gold

Y32 | Cashmere

Y35 | Maize

Y38 | Honey

YG0000 | Lily White

YG00 | Mimosa Yellow

YG01 | Green Bice

YG03 | Yellow Green

YG05 | Salad

YG06 | Yellowish Green

YG07 | Acid Green

YG09 | Lettuce Green

YG11 | Mignonette

YG13 | Chartreuse

YG17 | Grass Green

YG21 | Anise

YG23 | New Leaf

YG25 | Celadon Green

YG41 | Pale Cobalt Green

YG45 | Cobalt Green

YG61 | Pale Moss

YG63 | Pea Green

YG67 | Moss

YG91 | Putty

YG93 | Grayish Yellow

YG95 | Pale Olive

YG97 | Spanish Olive

YG99 | Marine Green

YR0000 | Pale Chiffon

YR000 | Silk

YR00 | Powder Pink

YR01 | Peach Puff

YR02 | Light Orange

YR04 | Chrome Orange

YR07 | Cadmium Orange

YR09 | Chinese Orange

YR12 | Loquat

YR14 | Caramel

YR15 | Pumpkin Yellow

YR16 | Apricot

YR18 | Sanguine

YR20 | Yellowish Shade

YR21 | Cream

YR23 | Yellow Ochre

YR24 | Pale Sepia

YR27 | Tuscan Orange

YR30 | Macadamia Nut

YR31 | Light Reddish Yellow

YR61 | Spring Orange

YR65 | Atoll

YR68 | Orange

YR82 | Mellow Peach

Copic Nib Options

Copic offers a wide variety of tips and nibs for each line of marker. The shape, size, firmness, and flexibility of the nib can have a profound effect on your coloring. Some nibs are designed for blending, whereas others are designed for filling large areas.

These nibs are interchangeable, so you can replace the tip of your marker if it gets worn out. Other times, it’s just nice to experiment with something new.

Want to see which nibs are compatible with each of the different marker types?
Use the buttons at the bottom of your screen to filter the selection.

Super Brush Nib

Super Brush
Brush Nib

Standard Broad Nib

Standard Broad
Medium Broad Nib

Medium Broad
Soft Broad Nib

Soft Broad
Semi Broad Nib

Semi Broad
Extra Broad Nib

Extra Broad
Super Fine Nib

Super Fine
Standard Fine Nib

Standard Fine
Round Nib

Medium Round Nib

Medium Round
Calligraphy 3mm Nib

Calligraphy 3mm
Calligraphy 5mm Nib

Calligraphy 5mm
Calligraphy Broad Nib

Calligraphy Broad

Differences Between Copics

As you've already seen, each type of Copic marker offers something different. Each marker has pros and cons that make them suited for different types of art. Colorists love these markers, but they're not the only ones. Copics are the gold standard for artists of all types, from designers and architects to graphic artists and comic book illustrators.

You don't have to limit yourself to just one type, either. Especially if you are just starting out, consider testing each type of marker to find out which one suits your coloring style. You'll quickly find that each subset has its own merits. Different people like different markers for different reasons; we do our best to explain all the nuances in this article, but the best way to find your ideal match is to test them out!

Various Copic Sketch marker caps arranged to show the variety of colors available.

Color Variety

The Copic Sketch definitely dominates in terms of color variety. Still, 358 different shades is a huge selection to choose from. Unless you are seriously into color theory, you will probably find that the Ciaos and Classics provide more than enough different colors to meet your needs.

When buying Copics for the first time, many people struggle with choosing a base set of colors. When you are just starting out, you want your initial set to cover all the major color bases. There's nothing worse than getting half-way through a coloring page and realizing that you're missing a color. Luckily, some of the pre-selected Copic marker sets do a good job of including all the major color groups.

Copic's color coding system also makes it easy to find the exact color you need when expanding your marker collection.

A close-up of a Copic Classic marker, demonstrating the size and square shape

Marker Size and Shape

While most would not consider the size and shape of the markers as a key factor in determining which is best, it can matter to certain individuals. As anyone who has colored for hours on end will agree, comfort is important. If you're going to invest a good chunk of change in a set of markers, you want to know that they will feel good in your hand.

As you've read, Classics are the largest marker and have a square tube with rounded corners. If you color with a tight grip, these rounded corners can place a little bit of pressure on your fingers and knuckles. This isn't a big deal at first, but can become slightly uncomfortable after a long time. This is generally less of an issue if you have smaller hands.

The Sketches are slightly smaller, and have an ovular tube. Most people find this slightly more comfortable than the square Classics. However, since you are likely to be rotating the marker to take advantage of the different shaped nib, both of these markers may require slight adjustments to your grip as you go.

The Ciaos are perfectly circular, which means they can be rotated in your hand without affecting your grip whatsoever. This, combined with their slimmer contour, makes for a very comfortable coloring experience. Many children and colorists with smaller hands get more precision due to the smaller shape. However, they're circular shape also makes them more prone to rolling off of your coloring surface compared to other Copic markers.

The Wides are the odd marker out in terms of size and shape. These markers are shorter and flatter than the others, which can make them difficult to manipulate. However, when pinched and held like a highlighter, they slide across the page with ease. Since colorists rarely use these markers for fine details, you don't really have to worry about holding them for extended periods of time.

While there are nuances to each type, every Copic marker is ergonomic and comfortable to use. Unless a medical condition seriously affects your hand's comfort when coloring, you don't need to worry too much about size and shape.

Copic Resources

Copic Color Code System

While they may seem like random letters and numbers at first, the Copic color code system actually provides important information on the shade, saturation, and brightness of all the different marker colors. Each part of the color id corresponds to a specific color quality. When you understand how the coding system is organized, you can easily find the color you are looking for, even if you are not sure if it exists.

Want to learn how the Copic color codes work?
Click the characters in the code below to see what each one means.

Lapis Lazuli

The first letter (or group of letters) determines the color hue. Codes that start with B are all blues, codes that start with G are all greens, and so on. If you have a marker you love but wish you had it in another shade, you want to look at Copics that start with the same letter.


The first number determines the color saturation. This number can range from 0 to 9, and generally determines which colors are in the same blending group. If you are looking to add the smoothest gradients and transitions to your coloring pages, you should blend with colors with the same saturation number.


The second number (or group of numbers) determines the color tone. Tone refers to how bright or dark a certain color is. This is generally a number from 0 to 9, but certain color families have tone values of 00 or even 000. Smaller numbers are brighter, and larger numbers are darker. If you are looking to add highlights or shadows to a color you already have, you should find a marker with the same hue and saturation values and a higher or lower tone value. It is recommended to keep 2 or 3 digits between tone values to produce ideal color contrast.


Every color in Copic's repertoire has a name in addition to an id code. Often the name of the color is easier to use. The color names tend to be accurate and descriptive. For those less familiar with the color coding system, it's often easier to recognize the color from the name than the code. Having both the color name and the code can help when searching for a specific marker online or in a store.

Alternatives to Copic Markers

While Copics are top-quality markers, they also come with a top-quality price tag. It can sometimes be hard to justify the high price if you are not a professional artist or designer. While these are great markers for coloring, not every colorists has a ton of money to pour into their hobby.

Luckily, Copic is not the only name in the art marker game. There are a lot of other brands that produce very nice blendable alcohol markers for a lower price. A few minutes of online searching will introduce you to all sorts of alternative marker options, but we've also included a few of our favorites below:

A pack of Prismacolor Art Markers, a cheaper alternative to Copic markers
Prismacolor Double-Ended Art Markers

You probably know that Prismacolor makes some of the best pencils for coloring. You might not know that they also produce their own line of alcohol markers. These double-ended markers feature a fine tip and a chisel tip for variations in stroke weight. The alcohol and dye based ink makes them well-suited for blending, shading, and creating color gradients. The complete set includes 200 different markers, which is a respectable variety of colors to choose from.

A set of 52 Chameleon Color Tone pens, an alternative to Copic markers
Chameleon Color Tone Pens

Chameleon Pens are very unique and a great alternative to Copics if you are looking for a marker that performs amazing color blends. These are alcohol-based markers as well, but with a twist. Chameleon Color Tones have a special system that allows you to seamlessly blend any two marker colors together. The pens are designed to interlock with one another, allowing the ink from one to flow into another. The result is a marker that will actually change color as you use it, allowing you to create amazing blends and shades with ink.

ColorGaia Reviews

Looking for more information on a specific type of marker? Check out the section below to find reviews for the individual types of Copics. Our review pages let users rate markers based on a variety of factors, including color intensity, color variety, life span, comfort, and price. Ratings are based on feedback from ColorGaia visitors, so if you have experience with one of these markers, feel free to rate it. That way, you can help other colorists decide which marker is right for them!