Pen Review: Uni Posca Paint Markers

Pen Review: Uni Posca Paint Markers

Review by Tina Koyama

Awhile back I reviewed the white Uni Posca Paint Marker in extra fine, which is handy for lettering and fine lines. I also wanted to try a set of Uni Posca fine point markers in eight primary colors.

With a bullet tip, these markers make a line about 1.5mm wide if held at a natural angle, but you can get a slightly finer line if held upright. As advised on the packaging in Japanese (and in English on JetPens’ site), it’s important to prime the marker before first use by shaking vigorously until you hear the agitator rattle inside. Then press the tip down on scratch paper a few times to get the ink flowing. (As a precaution, I give each marker a little scribble on scrap paper before each use. It hasn’t been necessary with these, but my extra fine tip white pen occasionally blorts out a blob of ink initially.)

I got the set of paint markers with the intention of having fun with them on paper, but I read in JetPen’s product description that they also write on nonporous surfaces like glass, metal and plastic. Before I got started on paper, I doodled the pink flower on a metal jar lid. The green writing was done with a Zig Painty FX paint marker, which came in my June 2017 ArtSnacks subscription box. While both markers wrote equally well on the jar lid, the Painty FX has a distinct alcohol marker odor, while water-based Posca markers have hardly any odor – a bonus for me (I can’t stand stinky markers!).

Now I was ready for real fun – on paper! I had seen some of my urban sketcher friends using Posca markers on toned and black paper, and I love how the bright colors pop, so I pulled out my black Stillman & Birn Nova sketchbook. They were just right for sketching koi at Seattle’s Japanese Garden as they swam through dark, murky water.

The colors in the set I chose are so bold and primary that I wondered if they would work for urban sketching, but I decided realistic colors are over-rated. Even mundane street scenes look more exciting on black paper.

I also happen to have a Plum & Punch notebook containing bright neon orange paper (Ed. note:no longer available on their website), and Posca markers can hold their own with near-neon vibrancy.

Of course, they also work great on white paper. I made test scribbles in my Plumchester sketchbook and gave the red scribble a swipe with the waterbrush after it dried. Although Posca inks are waterproof, I could see some insignificant bleeding. When I scribbled the white marker through the other colors after they dried, the white reactivated the colors a bit, making them smear.

Final Impressions

Posca markers are a lot of fun, and their brilliant opacity makes them ideal to use with black and brightly colored papers. Major bonus points for being stink-free!

Tina Koyama is an urban sketcher in Seattle. Her blog is Fueled by Clouds & Coffee, and you can follow her on Instagram as Miatagrrl.

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Notebook Review: Hippo Noto A5 Cream Dot Grid

Review by Laura Cameron

Like many of you, I’m sure, I was excited to receive my Hippo Noto in the mail. I ordered the Turquoise A5 with the cream dot grid paper ($33).

Hippo Noto

When my Hippo Noto arrived, I was first impressed by the packaging. The Hippo Noto comes in a beautiful sturdy black box with a cute belly band. The notebook itself has a leather cover that is soft to the touch and bears the embossed Hippo Noto logo.

The Hippo Noto lives up to its name, boasting 500 pages of beautiful 68gsm Tomoe River paper. The inside covers of the Turquoise notebook are a lovely pale lilac. The inside front cover is plain, but the inside back cover has an envelope folder in the same pale lilac as the front cover, and a turquoise elastic band. Finally, the notebook has two turquoise ribbons.

Hippo Noto

Hippo Noto

Hippo Noto

The paper is luscious. I ordered the dot grid because it’s my favorite, and I wasn’t disappointed. The paper itself is smooth, and my nibs felt like butter sliding across the page. I tried a variety of fountain pens, gel ink pens, fine liners, and I even got out the dip nib and water brush. While there is significant ghosting on the paper, there was very little bleed through.

Hippo Noto

Hippo Noto

Overall, I love this book. It will take me a while to work my way through it, but I can see it being an every day carry for all my notes and plans.

Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.

Book Review: The Revenge of Analog

I had The Revenge of Analog by David Sax sitting on my “to read” pile for several months before I actually picked it up and started reading it. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be too esoteric or high-brow for me as I don’t normally read a lot of non-fiction.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that The Revenge of Analog was both east to read and interesting. Each chapter focuses on a different analog technology (for lack of a better word) starting with vinyl records. Sax discusses records through the growth of record stores in his community and then interviews a vinyl record pressing facility in Nashville to discuss the growth of vinyl records in the age of digital music downloads and streaming music services. It is followed by a chapter about notebooks through the lens of Moleskine and Evernote, film for cameras through the revival of FILM Ferrania and the Impossible Project, and board games through the lens of a local game cafe. Then the second half of the book covers the revival of books and magazines, physical retail shopping, the workplace, school, and camping.

The tone is personal and conversational. For some this won’t seem as well-researched or in-depth but I think for a lot of folks in the pen community, this approach might be appealing.

This is not a doctoral dissertation, but more of an overview of how each of these non-digital technologies are making a resurgence. I’m sure it is possible to write a full, deeply researched book on each individual topic that would be more fully discussed and analyzed. This is the introduction and is food for thought. I finished the book several weeks ago and lent it to a friend immediately because I couldn’t stop talking about different chapters I had read, each which could stand on their own like long form articles as well as parts of the whole book, particularly the Adobe chapter (Chapter 9) and the Camp Chapter (Epilogue). The chapter most likely to rile people is the chapter on Work (Chapter 6) which uses Shinola as a point of reference, for better or worse.

I originally purchased Revenge of Analog for the chapter about notebooks and Moleskine which I found interesting and did provide more background information about the development and rise of that company but the whole appreciation for analog, in general, is interesting to consider. Whether you end up enjoying the book or it makes you livid, it will be food for thought.

News: Notebooks-a-palooza

Kaweco Skyline Sage:

Milligram (formerly Notemaker) has released their own limited edition Kaweco Skyline edition. It’s sage green. It’s also available in a box set with a matching A6 notebook.

Baron Fig Strategist:

Baron Fig has rolled out their own 3×5″ notecards called Strategist. They are printed with dot grid and feature rounded corners. A set of 100 cards for $9.

Story Supply Co:

Story Supply Co has released their new hardcover Exposition notebook ($24.99). The Exposition notebook is “A5-ish” at 5.25″x8″ and features 192 pages using the  same 70# FSC certified, acid-free paper as the pocket notebooks Story Supply creates. The paper is available in blank, lined or dot grid and the covers are “sea depth” linen wrapped board. They a smyth-sewn and include a ribbon bookmark. The notebooks are available for pre-order and quantities are limited so if you are interested in getting one, order now. Also, shipping will start  within two weeks with delivery guaranteed by December 23, 2017.
For every Exposition Notebook sold, Story Supply provides a  Story Supply Kit to a kid with a story to tell. And of course, they are all made in York, PA.

Moo x Timothy Goodman Notebook Collaboration:

The first, limited-edition, hardcover notebook from Moo is a collaboration with artist Timothy Goodman featuring the quote “Meetings Kill Creativity” on the black fabric cover in silver foil lettering. Inside is bright white, plain Munken Kristall paper and a center section of 16 pages of bright yellow G. F. Smith paper. The end papers and the front of the yellow section are accented with illustrations from Goodman to inspire meeting whimsy.

The notebook features the same attention-to-detail as the original hard cover notebooks like the exposed lay-flat spine, heat sealed ribbon and adhesive business card holder.

The Moo x Timothy Goodman notebook is available for $21.99 $17.59 (20% off until Dec. 4).

Giveaway: Agendio Gift E-Card

Giveaway: Agendio Gift E-Card

The folks over at Agendio have updated their web site, added an awesome video to help show how to your own custom Agendio and generally upped their agenda-making game. There are the original hard-covered planners as well as the exposed spiral-covered planners with loads of cover options. The hard-cover planners now offer charms for the elastics to personalize them even further. And of course, if you are a fan of ring-bound planners, Agendio offers customizable refills to fit a variety of different planner sizes.

And they’ve added tons of customizable options for planning pages to allow for habit tracking, goal tracking, and so much more. Of course, since Agendio planners are fully customizable you can start your weeks on Monday and your monthly calendar on Sunday or vice versa. And you can start the whole planner in December and not have to wait until January to start your new year.

You can add all your own holidays (Fountain Pen Day! Lefthander Day! Pen shows!) as well as really important events like your family birthdays, anniversaries and paydays.

Check out the Personal Year Planners if you’re looking for an option that includes reflections, goals , achievements, analysis and life balance as well as calendar, events and daily tracking.

So, if other planners have left you wishing it did more or something different, then try Agendio.

THE GIVEAWAY: Agendio is giving away one $50 gift e-card to a lucky reader.

THE RULES: To enter, tell me how many models, configurations or combinations its possible to make with the Agendio (hint: watch the video) and leave your answer in the comments. Or all of the above.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Monday, December 4, 2017. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Tuesday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win (SEE NOTE BELOW). I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear.

  • A $50 gift e-card will be emailed to the winner within 7 days of the draw (It will probably be within 10 minutes of you telling me the email address, but just in case let’s put one week).
  • The winner must supply the email address they will use to register at Agendio or that they already used to register, because they must match to work and the email address used for the certificate cannot be changed.
  • Info on Agendio gift e-cards can be seen here
  • The gift e-card cannot be exchanged for cash. Agendio gift cards are good for one year, and it’s not re-giftable/transferable.

Link Love: Get Tidy, a Little.

Link Love: Get Tidy, a Little.




Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Art Supplies:

Other Interesting Things: