who created the markers and how they are classified

Markers are useful for artistic applications, labeling, as well as for writing or drawing on different surfaces. The first appeared in the 1940s, so since then different models have been created, classified according to the ink, the type of tip and its permanence.

When we look for markers in the market, we see it as a common instrument for school or for use in the office, but very few people know the history of its origin, or how the first markers were created, because in stationery stores or office items there is usually a wide variety of models, made with different materials and with a very interesting structure. 

In this section, we want to talk a little about these aspects, to find out how they are classified and, based on the particular characteristics of each model, determine which is the best marker that can meet our needs.

History of its creation

According to historians specialized in the subject, probably the first felt-tip pen created was the felt-tip marker, which appeared in the 40s of the last century. Its main use was for labeling and for various types of art. Later, in 1952, Sidney Rosenthal modernized the marker by creating what he called the “magic marker”, made up of a glass container where the ink was deposited and a wick-type cord made of wool felt. 

Already by the year 1958, using these gadgets was common, as people used them to mark packages, label, create posters or label things. But fine-point highlighters appeared around the 1970s, as did permanent markers. Whereas, dry erase and extra fine tip ones were more popular in the 90’s.

Now, the fiber-tipped ballpoint pen that we know today was invented in 1962 by the Japanese Yukio Horie, an employee of the Tokyo Stationery Company (currently known as Pentel). But on a commercial level, the Marks-A-Lot and Hi-Liter brands appeared in the early 1990s, both belonging to the Avery Dennison Corporation, making the product known as a marker. This marker superimposes a transparent color on the printed word, leaving it legible and with greater emphasis.  

After the boom it generated, Binney & Smith redesigned a line called Magic Marker, made up of common and permanent type markers, entering the market in 1991. Later, in 1996, fine-point markers called Magic Marker II were introduced. DryErase, which are very useful for drawing and writing on glass surfaces, as well as acrylic boards.  

What is marker ink made of?

According to those who have investigated this point, marker ink is made from fine chemical pigments, mixed with water or alcohol. In the case of permanent markers, they are made up of three basic elements: a resin, a dye and a solvent. The colorant is precisely the dye or pigment that gives color to the ink. Thus, you can find markers in shades of red, blue, black, pink, neon yellow, fluorescent colors, among others. Unlike pigments, dyes have a high degree of solubility in water; On the other hand, the pigments are not or they are solvents called non-polar. The latter are the most used in markers, because they are more resistant to dissolving due to environmental agents or humidity.

For its part, the resin used in the ink is a polymer that provides security to the colorant so that it is fixed on the paper when the solvent fades or evaporates. It prevents the dye from turning to powder and disappearing from the paper. Meanwhile, the solvent is an important element in the permanent marker, since it is responsible for dissolving the dye and transporting it. Initially, manufacturers used xylene as a solvent, but it was very toxic, so from 1990 onwards, they switched to using alcohols with a lower degree of toxicity, such as isopropyl and ethanol, especially in the case of alcohols. bookmarks for kids

Classification based on ink and permanence

It should be noted that based on the components of the ink, the first classification of markers is made between permanent and non-permanent. In the case of permanents, we must know that the resin used in their composition is not capable of dissolving in water. So if you accidentally get permanent ink on your clothing, it won’t come off unless you use acetone to remove it. These are known as professional markers and they come in a wide variety of shades. On the other hand, the non-permanent ones are soluble in water, because they depend on an aqueous base, they are the most suitable for school activities and are more easily obtained.

Classification of markers according to the type of tip

Another interesting classification, which we can distinguish between markers, has to do with the thickness of the tip. As you may have noticed, the tip is usually made of felt or synthetic fibers and is usually connected to a tape that is inside the body that serves as a deposit, made of nylon or polyester fiber, which allows transport. of the ink between the tape to the outside, flowing by capillarity.

Thus we have markers with a beveled tip, which is presented in three different line thicknesses according to the use of its face; It is the most common and offers you a wide variety of strokes. Another type is made up of markers that have a tip like a bullet, being the most suitable for work with many details in which the quality of the tracing does not matter, although it is somewhat difficult to fill with color when it is a large area.

There is also the brush tip, which is flexible and long, curving like a brush, which is very useful for creating lines with different widths and an even tone. On the other hand, fine tip markers are the most appropriate for detailed work.

Now that you know a little about the history of markers and their classification, it will be easier to choose the appropriate model to carry out your work or crafts using the correct markers, which can provide you with a quality presentation so that your drawings look beautiful.

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