Monday, September 2, 2013

Markers - Prang vs. Crayola

Yesterday I was packing up the box of materials that Prang/Dixon sent me to review to take to school and realized that I had not yet field tested the last item: colored markers. While I don't use markers often in the art room, I have always purchased Crayola brand. As a matter of fact, I didn't know that Prang made markers.
The Prang set of "10" actually had 12 markers -- a little bonus. They have 2 shades of blue and green. The Crayola set had the standard 10 colors. You can see the colors in the top photo. The top row in the above photo shows sets of 4 vertical, side-by-side strokes. You can see that the Crayolas make a much wider line.

When I use markers in my art room it is usually in connection with water and watching the color spread, like in my "Twisted Circle" lesson (HERE). So, I tried twisting the bottle cap lids with 2 primary colors to see how the colors ran together. The Prang darker color blue did not run well, but the lighter blue was OK. All the Crayola colors run together quite well.
The bottom stripes (above) show what happened when I brushed clear water between the marker lines to see how the color would "float" on the water.

Finally, and most important, take a look at the individual pens. Prang has white caps, which is fine. The points and the felt was what interested me most. Remember those first vertical lines I drew where the Crayola produced a much wider line? The angle of the felt marker point is different in these 2 pens. The Crayola creates a wide line MUCH easier because of that angle. Also, the angled side of the Crayola is perfectly straight, while the Prang's is slightly rounded. That rounded side makes it harder to draw a straight, thick line. I also found that, while the intensity of the Prang colors was a bit more vibrant, the pen tip sort of make a scratchy sound as I pulled it across the paper, sticking now and then. The Crayola pen glides easily. If it was difficult for me to get the lines I wanted with the Prang marker, I imagine it would be even harder for students. Sorry Prang, I'm sticking with the Crayolas for colored markers.

So the final result of all the products?
     1)  Dixon Ticonderoga vs. any other brand - Dixon wins hands down!! Full review here.
     2)  Prang Semi-Moist Watercolors vs. Crayola Washable - Between these 2 I would take the Prang, but if I were comparing the Prang Semi-Moist to regular Crayola pan watercolors I could go either way. Full review here.
     3)  Prang Colored Markers vs Crayola Colored Markers - Definitely, Crayola.

Remember, Prang offered us a complimentary Prang coupon here for considering their products.


  1. Ooooh- I LOVE brand comparisons like this!! You did such a comprehensive job!
    I haven't tried the Prang markers before- only the Crayola. Crayola's work well, but my only pet peeve is how you have to really push the lids down hard to close them. My littlest students can't do it, then they can dry out. So how easily a marker lid closes is a big criteria for me. How did you find the Prang lids?

    1. The lids of the 2 brands snap on almost the same, although the Prang might be just a teeny bit easier. One thing to note that I didn't mention in my post, some of the Prang colors bleed through lighter weight papers, like copier paper. I rarely use that weight in the Art Room, so it wouldn't be a big problem for me. I would advise testing a set of the Prang yourself before ordering enough for your whole class, though.