White ink creates unique contrast on dark colored surfaces, making it a valuable tool in the pen case of any artist, scrapbooker, cartoonist, or designer. We carry a large selection of white ink products for all types of applications, and have created this guide to help you navigate through our white wonderland.
Read on to learn more about white ink and find the ideal tool for your project!
- Tip Material: Metal tips, like those found on gel ink pens, produce thin, consistent lines that are ideal for precise line work in lettering or illustrating. Felt or brush tips, like those found on markers, produce thick, bold strokes with some line variation depending on the amount of pressure applied.
- Line Width: A pen with a thin line is great for fine details — for example, if you are adding tiny white highlights to a drawing, a gel ink pen is best. On the other hand, if you're making a signboard that needs to be visible from more than a foot away, then a marker is a more effective choice.
- Opacity: Less opaque inks allow the underlying surface color to show through, resulting in a subtle look. Opaque inks provide greater contrast and are easier to read or see, so choose an opaque white ink product for any project that calls for high visibility.
Watch this video for a quick look at some of our favorite white gel pens!
The images below show the variation and performance of these white gel ink pens. Even within the same brand, different models had varying levels of opacity and line width.
Finer tipped pens tend to be more transparent, since the pen tip is too narrow to accommodate the flow of a thick, opaque ink. It took multiple passes over the same text to get the finer pens to perform even close to the opacity of the the broader ones.
On the other hand, the broadest pens laid a thick line right from the first pass, but had significantly longer dry times. The two decorative pens in particular, the Sakura Glaze and Sakura Souffle, were easily smudged because these inks took over two minutes to fully dry.
Staff Favorite: Uni-ball Signo Broad Gel Ink Pen
Product used: Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip 1.0
Product used: Uni-ball Signo Broad
Watch this video for a quick look at some of our favorite white marker pens!
Porous-tipped markers produce thick lines, and these are no exception. The markers we tested all have a tip width of at least 1.0 mm and are not recommended for fine detail work, but would be ideal for marking large text on a poster or chalkboard. The non-erasable markers can also be used on a variety of craft projects.
White ink markers perform very well on glossy paper, smooth matte paper, and nonporous surfaces like glass or plastic. Low-viscosity paint ink makes them less suitable for porous surfaces like construction paper, which absorbs the ink too quickly
Staff favorite: Sharpie Water-Based Paint Marker
Product used: Marvy Uchida Bistro Chalk Marker
Product used: Raymay Fluorescent Board Marker
Product used: Sharpie Water-Based Paint Marker
Product used: Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Marker
Though not as ubiquitous as black or blue, there are occasions when white ink truly shines. Whether these pens further inspire your creativity or simply get you through a busy workday, they are a valuable and versatile tool to have on hand. Try a few of them in your next project, or take a look at all our white ink products here.
Our customers are always discovering unique uses for their white ink pens and markers — some of these pens have even found a permanent home in research labs, or in medical clinics for marking x-ray radiographs. Do you have a unique use for white ink? Tell us below in the comments!
|Model||Type||Approx. Line Width||Opacity||Dry Time||Ideal Surface|
|Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip 0.8||Gel Ink Pen||0.8 mm||2 sec||Paper|
|Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip 1.0||Gel Ink Pen||1.0 mm||4 sec||Paper|
|Pilot Juice||Gel Ink Pen||0.5 mm||1 sec||Paper|
|Sakura Gelly Roll||Gel Ink Pen||0.7 mm||3 sec||Paper|
|Sakura Glaze||Gel Ink Pen||1.2 mm||2-3 min||Paper, Photos|
|Sakura Souffle||Gel Ink Pen||1.2 mm||2-3 min||Paper, Photos|
|Uni-ball Signo Angelic||Gel Ink Pen||0.7 mm||3 sec||Paper|
|Uni-ball Signo Broad||Gel Ink Pen||1.0 mm||15 sec||Paper, Photos|
|Yasutomo Y&C Gel Stylist||Gel Ink Pen||0.7 mm||2 sec||Paper|
|Kuretake Dry-Erase||White Ink Marker||1.5 mm||1 min||Chalkboard|
|Kuretake Zig Wink of Stella||White Ink Brush Marker||1 mm- 3 mm||10 sec||Paper|
|Marvy Uchida Bistro Chalk||White Ink Marker||1.5 mm||3 min||Chalkboard|
|Sharpie Oil-Based Paint||White Ink Marker||1.0 mm||2-3 min||Plastic/Glossy|
|Sharpie Water-Based Paint||White Ink Marker||1.5 mm||15 sec||All|
|Raymay Fluorescent Board||White Ink Marker||1.5 mm||3 min||Chalkboard/Glass|
|Uni Posca PC-5M Paint||White Ink Marker||2.0 mm||10 sec||All|
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