Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Don't Confuse Your Markers

While attending a meeting and dutifully creating a multitude of Venn Diagrams on our white board I noticed a different marker among our usual colored markers.  It was one of the nice chunky Pilot BeGreen markers with replaceable ink cartridges when they go dry.  I immediately recognized it (they are hard to miss) but I confused it with a different Pilot BeGreen marker I already have.


Notice the similarities?  Notice the differences?  There aren't a lot.  One marker (top) is a permanent marker and the other is a white board marker.  They are no doubt easy to confuse, but you'll want to make sure you don't confuse them so your cost/benefit analysis chart isn't permanently emblazoned on your dry erase board.

Just because the white board marker is easy to confuse with the permanent marker doesn't automatically mean you should avoid purchasing these markers.  I have had the same black Pilot BeGreen marker for several years now and it still writes as good as the day I first unwrapped it.  I've used some of the cheap black permanent markers on many occasions and sometimes they are great, and sometimes they are awful.






Here you can see the chisel tip version of the refillable marker.  Not surprisingly, it looks a lot like the photo of the marker I posted above, only it was taken with fancy photography equipment.  It is a straight ahead glossy photo shoot.



The marketing gurus at Pilot made sure their imagery for their permanent markers and their didn't look as similar as they do in real life.  Note the different placement of the cap, and the greatly decreased shininess of the photo and you can see it was even at a slight angle to give it a little more depth.

Of course, different styles of marker photo shoots doesn't mean everything is intentional.  It might be just two different freelance marker photographers (I assume somebody has to do it).  Of course the Permanent Marker Refill and Dry Erase Marker Refill are different products, but they look suspiciously similar.  What are the chances you could put a permanent refill in the dry erase marker or a dry erase refill in the permanent marker?  Is anybody who has both markers willing to experiment and possibly ruin one or both markers in the name of science?

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