The other night I staid at the office pretty late, and I got distracted doing some whiteboard art. I ended up going pretty far afield with it.
All that whiteboarding got me thinking. And a whispering question rose into my mind, ascending gradually like a ring of toxic, troubling smoke dissolving into the ceiling of my skull. It is an ancient quandary that has plagued mankind since the antediluvian age when Ronald Reagan was the supreme ruler of all the earth (except for the Soviet Union). And perhaps–just perhaps–even LONGER….
This terrible and awesome mystery has haunted me since childhood: Which Dry Erase Marker draws the best according to every conceivable metric? It’s been a looming question that’s been in the back of my mind forever–a question…that will finally…BE ANSWERED!!!
[booming crack of thunder]
It took 16 hours from when I ordered the dry erase markers from Staples for the box they sent to arrive at my office, before I got here early this morning. And so at last–after waiting for what seemed like an eternity(16 hours)–the day had finally come. Today would be the day that I finally held….
The Dry-Erase Marker Death Match of Dooooooooom!!!!
The contenders participating in this death match are as follows in no particular order: Ticonderoga, Remarx, Idea Paint, Expo Neon, Quartet, and TUL.
The metrics by which they will be judged are as follows:
Endurance: How much space can you fill before the whiteboard starts bleeding through?
Feel: Does it lay down a smooth stroke or is it squeaky and uneven in it’s application?
Appearance: Does it look cool?
Ink Density: Can you create a solid plane with this type of ink?
Odor: What does it smell like?
Let the Death Match
For such a storied and eminent art supply company, Ticonderoga’s dry erase markers kind of suck. Their mark is thin and squeaky and they don’t lay down that much ink. They could be cool for doing detail work, however.
Quartet’s brand rolls the dice on endurance, and their endurance is pretty good. But their endurance was not the best out of the lot. There’s good versatility with their rock hard nib being able to draw lines of varying thicknesses. They look cool.
Expo Neon’s are totally odorless, and they lay on thicker than any other brand of marker in this set. Their intensity of color is awesome. Expo Neon might be my favorite dry erase marker.
As an Obama socialist it pains me to admit that Remarx is not competitive. They lay on thin, they run out quickly. I still believe in the concept of “From each according to his ability, and to each according to his need,” but I have to admit that Remarx don’t have great ability.
TUL is super awesome, and they are the coolest markers of the bunch. They score high in every metric, but they are slightly beat out by Idea Paint in terms of smooth stroke and ink density and the intensity of color that Expo Neon’s have pushes them down to the first slot. But do they look cool enough to recover and steal first prize from Expo Neon or Idea Paint?
Idea Paint probably has the best endurance out of any of the markers although the stroke is a little bit thin throughout filling in of the box. The ink lays on smooth as silk. Idea Paint markers look very cool with rounded edges and neat fonts, a la Apple OS icons. Nib density is fine. As mentioned above the ink is supple but does not entirely blot out the white plane which lies beneath its colorful surface. As with many brands of dry erase markers, they kind of smell kind of like Booze.
As Samuel Beckett once wrote, “Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.” That may well be true–but the real question is: Which dry erase marker is going to give you the best value when you are applying stains to silence and nothingness? I think that ultimately this question is an undecidable aporia which will forever remain contentious, sowing division and dischord amongst men and women of different passions, temperaments and different white boarding needs and uses.