I’ve just received a complimentary set of the new Letraset Neon Markers (6 set), on sale from 1st September 2012. According to the information sent with them, they are twin tip fluorescent markers offering water-based pigment ink which is lightfast and ‘perfect for adding vibrant highlights to art and design work’.
I decided to put them through their paces. Firstly – colour on white, and then because they are pigment inks, on black too, and across text:
Allowing for poor colour reproduction of fluorescents, the colours are what you’d expect to see on white – vibrant and in your face. The ‘spark red’ isn’t all that sparky, but I guess it joined in to make the six pack… On the black, there’s going to be a colour shift, and I put three layers of ink on each of the blocks to get enough pigment on to show up – all but the ‘Luminous Yellow’ have good coverage, and may well have a role to play on dark backgrounds. They clearly work well as regular highlighter pens.
Do they blend? I love to use Letraset ProMarkers as they blend so well together. The AquaMarkers also blend and merge nicely. So I put the new Neon markers to the test, and since they are water-based, I used them on a good quality watercolour paper:
Well, I’m not so impressed. Direct blending from the pen didn’t really happen – it rucked up the paper, and the colours tended to keep distinct from one another. Adding water caused the crossover to become blotchy and granulated. Washing out with a wet brush was slightly better, but the colours behaved differently, some moving readily, others less so.
I can’t see these markers making their way into my artwork – I don’t think they have the flexibility of use I enjoy from the ProMarkers or AquaMarkers, and I already have highlighter pens around the house that do the same job. I think Letraset have missed a trick here – the Neon Markers don’t seem to be either ProMarkers or AquaMarkers and that’s a pity.