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Copic Color System Questions

Q: What do the letters on my marker mean?

The Letters on your marker tell you what color family they belong to: [B- Blue] [BG- Blue Green] [BV- Blue Violet] [G- Green] [YG- Yellow Green] [Y- Yellow] [YR- Yellow Red] [R- Red] [RV- Red Violet] [V- Violet] [E- Earth] [C- Cool Gray] [N- Neutral Gray] [T- Toner Gray] [W- Warm Gray]

Q: What do the numbers mean?

The numbers explain the qualities of light, dark, and gray colors in that marker.

If we look at any marker, the first number stands for the Saturation, or how vibrant the color is. 0′s will be very vibrant, while 9′s will be more dull or gray.

The last digit tells you how light the marker is within that saturation group.

For example, a BG01 will be light and make a nice bright highlight color. BG05 is a vibrant mid-tone, or middle color. BG09 would be a strong shadow that matches that color group. If you substitute a BG99 for your shadow, it will add a lot of gray for that color blend and may look out of place.

Q: How do I pick colors that will blend well with each other?

To pick colors that feel natural when blended together in one color family, choose colors that have the same letter and first number, then keep 2-3 digits between the last digit. Start with the lightest color and gradually add in your darker tones.

For blends across color families, try to choose colors that have similar numbers but different letters. It helps if these are color families near each other on a color wheel (like a B and a BG or G). It is hard to get even blends between intense colors that are opposite each other on a color wheel (like Y and RV) It is easiest to get blends across very different color families when you use pale colors.

Q: What’s the difference between 100 and 110?

The 100 is a “true”, deep blue black, the 110 is a slightly neutral gray black- it comes down to what pigments were used to make up each color. The 110 would be equivalent to a T11, if such a number existed on our color chart. The two blacks may not look different on your paper, but on some papers they do.

Q: What’s the difference between grays?

Cool Grays are bluish, or cool. Neutral Grays have no tone, warm or cool. Toner Grays are slightly warmer, or more brown than neutral. Warm Grays are browner than any of the other grays.

Q: How do I get a custom colored marker?

We suggest you mix Copic Various Inks in an empty ink bottle until you get the color you need, then fill an empty marker. Carefully follow the directions for refilling

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