Pencils, Pens & Markers Sets

September 15th, 2009

Ahhh, the good old tools. Last week I asked around about who uses what type of markers, pens and pencils, and here are some results. In general, people tend to have at least a few light to medium dark and thick grey markers for laying a foundation down. On top of the greys, a few coloured options are also used for extra emphasis when needed. Then, most designers also rely on using some form of a thin gel pen for detailed work such as text. Pencils and sharpies are also visibly used for callouts, annotations or defining interactions. One other nice thing about markers such as these is that you can also layer them to achieve higher saturation. By putting a few extra strokes on top of one another, more of the ink seeps into the paper and you can have darker tones. Aside from markers, Synve prefers to use crayons over markers as to have an even stronger control over saturation. Nick also uses an empty business card holder for drawing box outlines and blue tack for attaching modal windows. :)

The more popular markers which people seem to buy include: Copics (refillable), Tombow (less pricey, but equally good), and Prismacolor.

Thanks to: Jason, Nick, Ben, Synve, and Jakub

15 Responses to “Pencils, Pens & Markers Sets”

  1. Mário Andrade Says:

    I never used markets but I've notice that most people use the same color schemes or very similar ones.

    Do the colors have a general meaning or do you define that when wireframing?

  2. Christine Says:

    Yes, I love copic markers for my wireframes. They add that nice touch making look like a piece of art rather than just any old plain wireframe. It makes me want to add detail to my work and to really thoroughly think of the best solution and design as it will be presented in a most aesthetically pleasing way.

    I believe that greys offer the base colour for any wireframe. Colour adds accents to the piece and yes generally you can define the general meaning of particular colours but obviously particular colours will sound a certain action more than others.

  3. Nick Forsberg Says:

    'Jason also uses an empty business card holder for drawing box outlines and blue tack for attaching modal windows. :) '

  4. Nick Forsberg Says:

    …Nick not Jason! Unless Jason does as well?! (submitted comment a bit early!)

  5. Jakub Linowski Says:

    Sorry. Fixed.

  6. Jakub Linowski Says:

    Perhaps it has something to do with the tradition that colour is often avoided at the wireframe level. I still use colour just to emphasize certain elements, and red for actions.

  7. Dave R Says:

    Thanks for the useful post, interesting stuff.

    "a piece of art rather than just any old plain wireframe"

    I think this is a bad thing in many situations. The value of sketching comes partially from the fact that sketches are quick and disposable. Once you start using 6 different types of marker on a fancy piece of paper they are quickly becoming less quick and less disposable. It becomes art, not a sketch – not necessarily a bad thing, but it has a different purpose.

    One test I think about when sketching: Would a colleague or customer (with no artistic talent) feel comfortable drawing a huge red x and arrow on my sketch to state her idea. Would I get annoyed if the person did it? If the answer to either is yes, your pretty sketch may be less valuable then an uglier counterpart.

  8. Jason Robb Says:

    Nice post! Thanks for sharing my tools. It's great to see what people use for sketching. :)

  9. Pete Says:

    I swear by my Copics. In case of emergency, I grab my Copic set and if time allows my bleedproof marker pad. Copic Sketch with the brush-y tip is stellar.

    OK to totally not sound like a spam comment I'll add that other markers are available. ;-P

    I do agree with Dave R. that it's veeeery important not to spend too much time adding highlights and such. The power of paper sketches spells fast iterations, which requires both fast feedback and effective feedback.

  10. agenerousdesigner Says:

    Thanks for the post. Just bought my first Copic Ciaoset. :)

  11. Lowell%9 Says: