The Beginnings of Copic
The iconic Copic markers are well acclaimed and loved in the art world as these versatile markers are available in a wide range of shapes and styles to suit every artists needs.
The Copic marker history started in 1919 by a woman named Ms. Ishii Soyo, who opened an art supply store called Izumiya in Tokyo and began importing popular art supplies. The use of markers amongst designers didn’t really kick-off until 1963, but when they started to become more popular, Izumiya started importing and selling Speedry Markers (an American brand that was developed exclusively for this audience). And in 1968 American Magic marker and Izumiya collaborated to form a collection called ‘Magic Marker Corporation Japan’.
During the mid to late 1900s, design professionals would often rely on copy machines for design work, however the colouring tools available during this time did not perform well with machine ink and would cause the printed ink to dissolve and smudge. Izumiya set out to solve this problem which progressed into the official launch of a brand new marker in 1987. These pens were aptly named Copic, deriving from the word ‘copies’ and the pale grey colour of the barrel was chosen to resemble the colour of the copy machines used at the time. This line of markers was launched in 71 colours all with matching refills called Various Inks. This original Copic marker was later rebranded as the Copic Classic, which is still remains an iconic and beloved tool among artists more than 30 years later.
From this point forward, more colours and marker types have been added to the ever expanding collection. Just 2 years later, in 1989, the colour range of these markers was doubled to meet specific shades requirements for architectural and figurative illustrations. And in 1991 a further 72 new colours were added to the collection.
In 1993 there was a launch of a brand new drawing experience with Copic Sketch markers. These innovative markers featured a brush nib, to emulate the properties similar to a paint brush and these pens were quickly adopted by manga and cartoon artists. And a year later the product line expanded further to offer a range of Copic Multiliners with water-resistant pigment ink that would not blur or smudge when used along side Copic markers.
Copic continued (and still continues) to add new products to their line such as the airbrush set, Copic Ciao markers, refillable Multiliners and even a technical guidebook. They also continued to expand their colour range and they now offer the widest colour spectrum on the market, including a staggering total of 358 colours and they are now one of the most popular markers in the art and design community.
Artwork by October 2021 ScrawlrBox featured artist Alexandra Olivia