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10 Different Types of Felt Markers for Calligraphy and Writing Tasks

A look at various colorful felt markers.

Did you know the use of ink in writing dates back to 3-200 B.C? The Felt-tip pen, also recognized as the felt marker, was invented in 1953 by Sidney Rosenthal. The right pen is key to enhancing smooth writing; thus, as outlined in the article, we break down the different kinds of felt markers.

A felt marker pen has its own ink source and a tip made of porous, pressed fibers. Helping you choose the best pen for wringing/ calligraphy is our ultimate goal. There are numerous categories of felt markers to choose from. Scroll and read the post to learn features, benefits, and uses.

Did you know marker tips are measured? Marker tip sizes are measured in millimeters ranging from 3mm up to 50 mm. Extra fine marker tips are ideal for adding sharp lines to artwork, while fine tip markers are ideal for writing.

History of felt markers

Inventor Sidney Rosenthal from Richmond Hill, New York, invented the felt-tip pen in 1953. Sidney Rosenthal placed a felt-tip on the end of a small, stout bottle of permanent ink. The inventor discovered that the resulting marks saturated a heavy, absorbent surface. The marks yielded rich color and permanence.

Traditionally, humans used, ink and dyes throughout human evolution, marking and writing on objects. Around 3,200 B.C, Egyptians used a mixture of fine soot and gum to make ink products. Egyptians made red ink from iron oxide (rust).

Around 2000 B.C, the Chinese began making ink from mercury sulfate mixed with iron-sulfur and sumac tree sap. In the 17th century, the recipe to form the blue and black inks used today was formulated by the Europeans. The formula involved using tannic acid from the tree back blend with iron salt.

The earliest pens were made from hollow reeds. Later, other forms of pens were used, including hollow wing feathers of geese and swans infused with ink. In the early 1800s, steel pen nibs and fountain pens gained popularity. In the early 1900s, inventors created dustless chalk and marking crayons.

Lee Newman patented a felt-tipped marking pen in 1910. Then, it was not until the 1950s when Rosenthal marketed his felt-tip pen invention.

In the modern world, various types of felt markers have advanced and emerged to cater to demands in artwork and writing. Below we scrutinize and put together a guide on some of the common types of markers to help you put these tools to their best use.

Types of Felt Markers

Permanent Marker

A close look at a black permanent marker Sharpie.

They are porous felt pens that can write on surfaces such as stone, wood, metal, plastic, and glass. Marks made by permanent marker ink are resistant to rubbing and water. The marks are generally long-lasting. They impart a solid lie of color that dries quickly.

Permanent markers are best suited for colorists worldwide. Depending on the surface the marker is used on, marks made can be removed by vigorous scrubbing or use of chemicals such as acetone. Markings made on Teflon and polypropylene can be erased easily. They may not work well on wet or oily surfaces.

Whiteboard Markers

A red and blue marker at the bottom of a whiteboard.

They are also known as dry-erase markers. The whiteboard marker uses erasable ink. Individuals can use them temporary writing on slick or non-porous surfaces such as signboards, whiteboards, or overhead projectors. They can be used on almost any material but may not work well on oily and wet surfaces.

The user can easily rub the marks using a tissue, damp cloth, baby wipe, handkerchief, or other disposable items. The erasable ink in whiteboard markers doesn’t contain toxic chemical compounds like xylene and toluene.

Permanent and non-permanent markers entail a shaped felt tip that draws ink from the internal reservoir. More forms of felt markers are perused below.


A book highlighted with green marker.

They are a form of markers produced in neon colors to allow color-coding. Highlighters are used to highlight and cover existing writing while still leaving the writing readable.

Security Marker

ASR Federal UV Security Spy Invisible Ink Pen Permanent Marker - Green

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They are special markers incorporating fluorescent or invisible inks. The felt markers are used for marking valuables in case of burglary. Ultraviolent light can be used to make the writing visible.

Mini Markers

A green and a pink mini markers.

They are crafted to incorporate a fine-point felt tip with a lid and a keyring loop. Additionally, they are available in chisel-point tips. This form of marker can be used on almost all surfaces, irrespective of material, texture, or grain.

They are known to impart solid, thin, and permanent marks. The markings made are resistant to smudging and dry quickly.

Election Marker

Ballot marking pens from Print Elect.

Source: Print Elect

They are marker pens blending an indelible dye and a photosensitive agent. The pen is used to mark the finger, especially the cuticle. Stain marks from the election marker stay visible for a week or two.

The voters are marked during elections to deter electoral fraud like double voting. More so, the marks can be used to assist in vaccination procedures.

They impart brightly colored, fast-drying marks onto a surface. The marker has a fiber tip and a reservoir of paint in its body. The marks imparted on surfaces are faded and water-resistant.

Liquid Paint Markers

Markal Pro-Line Fine Tip Liquid Paint Marker with 1/16" Bullet Tip, Black (Pack of 12)

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Liquid paint markers require less pressure to release paint. They are suitable for hard, smooth materials such as cardboard, aluminum foil, metals, plastics, and Perspex.

Solid Paint Markers

Markal 80228 B Paintstik Solid Paint Ambient Surface Marker, Purple (Pack of 12)

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They are designed to integrate solidified paint in the shape of a stick. The markers impart a thick, brightly colored line onto the surface. They can be used on any surface (oily, wet, or dry), material (rusty/icy), or texture (smooth/rough).

Marks made by solid paint makers dry like paint and are weather/fade resistant. The markers integrate long-lasting durability and comfortable ease of use.

Porous Point Pen

Pentel Finito! Porous Point Pen, Extra Fine Point Tip, Black Ink, Box of 12 (SD98-A)

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This type of felt marker constitutes a point made of porous material such as ceramic. The ceramic tip is ideal because it doesn’t broaden when pressure is applied when writing. An example is the Draftsman’s pens.

Ball Paint Markers

Mini Permanent Markers With Golf Keychain Clips, Fine Point, BLACK MARKERS - 4 Marker Pack

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The ball paint markers are known to impart brightly colored and quick-drying lines. The marks generated are long-lasting and weather resistant. Ideally, they are best suited for metal surfaces but can also be used on nearly all materials/textures.

The ball paint marker has a tough plastic bottle and a metal writing ball-point tip. Additionally, it has a steel ball in it to regulate the flow of liquid paint.

Characteristics of felt markers

Tip Material

A close look at a red felt tip marker.

Felt markers are crafted to feature two different tip types.

A thin, firm, plastic nib enclosed in a metal. They are ideal for even and smooth writing.

A soft, conical nib tip. Suitable for drawing and writing.

Tip Size

Extra fine tip: They are suitable for tiny pieces of artwork and text on chalkboards.

Fine tips: They are ideal for writing on whiteboards or chalkboards. Examples include Fine DecoColor Paint Marker, Le Plume Permanent Marker, and Fine Bistro Chalk Makers.

Medium tips: They are great for crafts, office use, and creating arts. Examples include Medium DecoFabric Marker and Medium Le Plume Permanent Marker.

Broad tips: They are ideal for covering large areas when creating art. Jumbo tip sizes are best when coloring in a solid background.

Tip Shapes

Bullet tip markers: It entails a round top suitable for coloring and writing. E.g., Fabric Marker broad.

Chisel tip markers: They have slanted ends. They are used to creating sharp, thick, and thin lines in calligraphy. Mostly found in highlighters.

Brush tip: The markers write like a paintbrush. They are ideal for creating small lines. An example is the ColorIn brush.

Ink Used

This is a blue felt marker drawing on a whiteboard.

Felt markers feature varying ink types. Some are permanent, while others are likely to fade/smudge over time. Some inks are water-based, while others are oil/ alcohol-based.

Water resistance

Alcohol-based inks are more water-resistant, whereas water-based ink is less water-resistant.

Uses of Felt Markers

  • Permanently marking and labeling surfaces
  • Writing, drawing, and coloring
  • Putting names on boxes and clothing tags for identification purposes
  • Creating poster board signs

That marks the end of different types of markers list! Hopefully, you have captured a thing or two concerning the felt markers.

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