Review: Daiso Graphoo Calligraphy marker

The Daiso Graphoo Calligraphy marker showed up at my local store shortly after the Daiso Fluently did. The Graphoos are double-sided markers with a chisel tip and a brush tip, and there are five sets of two markers, for a total of ten colors.

Daiso Graphoo calligraphy marker
I got the green/blue to start with, of course.

I was really excited to see a Daiso marker with a brush tip!

Even if it’s a カリグラフィーマーカー (lit. “calligraphy marker”/”karigurafi maka”), I am definitely just gonna use the brush to color stuff! It’s worth noting that these are intended for Western-style calligraphy, rather than Asian calligraphy (as evidenced by the packaging), though the brush tip can still accommodate the latter.

Only two of the sets were at my store at the time, so I grabbed set #2 with sky blue and lime green to test first. I was really pleased with the initial results.

Daiso Graphoo calligraphy marker
Daiso Graphoo calligraphy marker, initial test on cardstock.

The colors are rich and vibrant. Both tips have a good range. The chisel is solid and easy to maneuver and angle (thanks to a round pen body and not a weird square one), which is particularly important for Gothic-style lettering. The brush, meanwhile, is flexible and easy to control… for coloring, at least.

Unfortunately, as a calligraphy newb who much prefers lettering styles using a chisel tip than a brush tip, I can’t comment much on how the brush handles for lettering. Brush lettering is weirdly perplexing and difficult for me, and I’ve yet managed to get it to look right, no matter the tool.

Still, a brush that handles well for coloring probably handles well for lettering. Or at least, that’s the impression I’ve gotten since many of my favourite brush pens for inking are also highly regarded by calligraphers.

Daiso Graphoo calligraphy marker
Some initial thoughts! (On the back of the cover sheet for a package of cardstock, ha.)

As with the Fluently, the Daiso branding and most useful information is only on the packaging. The sizes of the tips are noted as 4mm for the chisel and 3mm for the brush: good sizes for casual use. The front of the package says “paint marker,” but the back clarifies that it uses “water-based dye ink” — aka, it’s not waterproof.

The ink doesn’t bleed through standard printer paper, though darker colors may still be noticeable, sort of like how a dark colored highlighter would still be slightly visible. It’s definitely not enough to stop the reverse side of the page from being usable though.

Daiso Graphoo calligraphy marker
Water test and Copic test: not waterproof and does not blend with alcohol-based markers.

The markers themselves are generic and just say “brush pen (twin)” and the color, with no branding or additional info. Marker tips are denoted via icons on the pen body, but I love that the caps are transparent so you can just see which tip is on which end. Why don’t more twin tips do this???

Only one of the caps has a clip — preferable, since two clips would be weird — but you can fit both caps on both sides, so it doesn’t matter which is where. You can also post both caps on top of each other, so no need to worry about setting down the clipless cap and having it roll away.

Honestly, the marker design is really good! It’s super slick and practical. I love how easy it is to tell what color each marker is without the color being too overbearing, too.

Leafeon colored with Daiso Graphoo calligraphy marker
Lines with Tombow Fudenosuke (hard); spot colors with Daiso Graphoo.

On the art end, with its limited colors, the Daiso Graphoo marker can only really be used for flat and spot colors, but it works really well for that!

The brush tip is great for both edging and filling in large swaths of color. Presumably, large color fills is why chisel tips are included in traditional art markers like the Copic original, but I’ve never liked using them for that purpose… A brush tip works just as well for covering large areas and is also able to maneuver around lines, which is difficult to do with a chisel tip.

But hey, it works out for me that I like doing Gothic-style lettering with the chisel tip on the Graphoo while using its brush tip for spot colors.

Daiso Graphoo calligraphy marker

The only downside of this marker is the ease at which the chisel tip can get damaged. I’m actually not sure how this happened on both markers, but I assume it’s because of careless capping. The chisels have begun to fall apart even more after these initial splinters, though I don’t really recall smashing them into the cap much. Kind of weird.

Still, this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re careful, and honestly — the markers are still perfectly usable even like this. The extra side-tip gives resulting lettering some character, or you can just snip them off with scissors if you want.

Glaceon colored with Daiso Graphoo calligraphy marker
Lines with Tombow Fudenosuke (hard); spot colors with Daiso Graphoo.

At your standard Daiso price of $1.50 (+tax) a pair, these markers are a great deal, but they’re also just great in general.

They’re well-designed, easy to use, and of decent quality. That you can use them for both calligraphy and coloring is a nice bonus, too, in case you wanted to use it primarily for one thing while also playing around with the other thing.

Daiso Graphoo calligraphy marker
Asian calligraphy (nothing to write home about) and also using the marker as a highlighter?

The ten colors available are yellow and light pink (#1); light blue and lime green (#2); navy and green (#3); pink and purple (#4); and black and red (set #5).

If you don’t have a local Daiso, or yours doesn’t carry them, the markers are available online for now, but only in bulk. For most Daiso products, long-term inventory can be pretty unpredictable, so who knows if they’ll still be there in a month or next year. If you’re able to grab them though, I recommend it!

Daiso Graphoo calligraphy marker
Haha, look at how bad my brush lettering is… 💦

About the author

Kiri is a Seattle-based artist, writer, webmaster, and (brush) pen enthusiast with over 12 years of convention and event vending experience and a lot of opinions.