Autograph Pros


What Marker Should I Use?

Autograph Pros

By Autograph Pros

Mar 29, 2018

Taken from a segment of Michael Kasmar's new book on autographs coming out soon......
You should really try to treat autographs as a job and be as professional as possible. This means you need to know what tools are out there and which work best for each project. The most important tool you’re ever going to find is a Sanford Sharpie Fine Point. Back in the day there were only 3 choices, black, blue, or Vis A Vis (not the erasable kind). The Vis A Vis was the choice of the Pros. It was a little darker blue and dried quicker. Unfortunately Sanford decided to stop making those but even today veterans know the value of those markers and I’ve seen some sell for close to $100. $100 for a marker! I can’t recommend ever paying that but I can say I do miss the Vis a Vis. Whatever you do DO NOT go buying just any old Vis a Vis and thinking you struck gold. They still sell the transparency overhead projector ones which are NOT the same.


Blue and Black Sanford Sharpie Fine Point Fine Point

My suggestion is always stock up when they go on sale and bring both colors, black and blue. What I would do is once I get a marker I would rub the tip a little to make it a little flattened. This would broaden the signature thickness and also in the event you get a signature or stray mark you want removed, the fine tip can ‘dig’ into the photo or item whereas the non-blunt tip prevents that. Also important is whenever you’re going out for autographs ALWAYS test your markers. Bring a sheet of paper and test out the marker because the last thing you’ll ever want to do is have a celebrity grab your crappy marker and piss off everyone around you, including yourself. Blue has always been the preference on photos because even in dark areas it tends to POP a little more but over the years celebrities have been shying away from using blue markers. Part of it was from a rumor that I think dates back to Beyonce who said there were people using blue signatures to reproduce them on other items but more recently says people are “bootleggin” when they use blue and it’s just become a symbol of what all eBay sellers used so several celebrities treat it like a virus. Some celebrities who are definitely anti-blue include Red Hot Chili Peppers Flea, Aerosmith Steven Tyler, Slash’s security calls your items eBay if he sees blue, Joan Baez, Jake Gyllenhall, and the list really goes on so always have black as a backup and don’t even try these names with blue. I’d also stay away from the Super Sharpie Fine Point or the Industrial Sharpie Fine Point. The signatures end up being very permanent and as you’re going to find, there are times where you get a stray mark on your photo and you want to remove that. Keep it simple and stay with the original.

Paint Pens/ Paint Marker– Which to use

My suggested choice for photos is the silver Recollections pens. They are just over $2 and well worth it. Test them out, see if you like the result as much as many other Pros and if you do, make sure you never run out of fresh ones. You can get them at Michaels and again, shop sales, find coupons, whatever it takes but if it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it and you don’t have to try to reinvent the wheel here. These work great and I suggest using a new one each time possible. Make sure you get the bold tip. You don’t have to shake them and they come out great on photos. They dry quicker than Deco or Prisma. The only thing these aren’t good for would be albums, as well as jerseys or leather. Ultimately time is vital so not having to prep them is great. You'll still want to practice so the ink is flowing.
Some people prefer Prisma paint pen markers but my personal preference of the two is Deco Broad. The tips on Prisma fall out if you’re not careful (especially if you shake them with the top down) so I’m not a fan of them at all. I believe both run for about $6 at Michaels and you can get them on sale often. NEVER use a silver Sharpie Fine Point and my suggestion is honestly just stock up on these and use nothing else. Get different colors as you see fit to suite the item and get a bold tip if you’re getting canvas signed and for photos you will also be fine with the Deco Finepoint but certainly has a different look. Don’t go too crazy with colors though. I’ve literally only used colors like red or green etc. on just a few items. Most of the hobby agrees that silver just looks amazing so you want to cater to what customers look for if you’re selling.
What you’re going to need to do each time you use a Deco is to prime the paint. You shake it very well with the tip up in the air and cap on securely. To get the ink started you hold the top pressed onto the surface of your test area until you see the paint start to appear. Once it’s fully covering the tip is when you want to start sketching to ensure the paint is flowing smoothly. You may need to hold it down a little more but you don’t want to hold it too long or the paint will literally puddle out. When you’re finished you’re going to want to make sure you store your paint marker flat.
What happens with paint marker is that the tip may dry out the longer you let it sit. If you can’t afford to get a new paint pen every outing you can consider getting a little paint thinner to wipe the tip as the dried paint may clog and interfere with a smooth flow of paint. You’re going to want to shake it again and when you take the cap off and only press the tip once to the surface to prime it. You may need to use a paper towel to wipe off any excess but it’s important you don’t over pump the paint as it is more apt to pool out. Patience is the key and you need to realize that the second and third time you use a Deco isn’t the same as the first time. This is why I suggest just spending the couple bucks each time and going fresh. There’s only one thing worse than getting denied an autograph and that’s getting the autograph but the paint pen fails or puddles on you.
My suggested choice for photos is the silver Recollections pens. Make sure you get the bold tip. You don’t have to shake them and they come out great on photos. They dry quicker than Deco or Prisma. The only thing these aren’t good for would be jerseys or leather. Ultimately time is vital so not having to prep them is great. You still want to practice.

Items and suggested markers to use:


Photos/Posters – Recollections Silver Pen –Bold or Sanford Sharpie Fine Point (Blue or black, never silver) or DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker - Broad Line

Blanks - Sanford Sharpie Fine Point (Blue or black, never silver) or DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker - Broad Line

Albums/Lps – Sanford Sharpie Fine Point (Blue or black, never silver) or DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker - Broad Line

Drumheads - Sanford Sharpie Fine Point (Blue or black, never silver) or DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker - Broad Line

Pickguards - Sanford Sharpie Fine Point (Blue or black, never silver) or DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker - Fine Line

Microphones - Sanford Sharpie Fine Point (Blue or black, never silver) or DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker - Fine Line

Funko Pops- Sanford Sharpie Fine Point (Blue or black, never silver) or DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker – Broad Line

Baseballs – Bic Cristal – Blue

Index Cards – Sanford Sharpie Fine Point (Blue or black, never silver) or Bic Cristal – Blue

Football – DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker - Broad Line
or Sanford Magnum Chisel Tip Black

Jersey - DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker - Fine Line

Helmet - Sanford Sharpie Fine Point (Blue or black, never silver) or DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker - Broad Line

Bat - Sanford Sharpie Fine Point (Blue or black, never silver) or DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker - Broad Line

Michael Kasmar
Owner
AutographPros.com
(860)-306-9158 (cell)
866-544-PROS (work)
mike@autographpros.com

Michael Kasmar is owner of Autograph Pros, L.L.C.
RACCTrusted.com Seller #101
UACC Autograph Dealer Of The Year
Accredited Better Business Bureau Member with Lifetime A+ Rating
UACC Registered Dealer #237 / AFTAL Authorized Dealer #161 /RACC Trusted Seller #101




Autograph Pros

Autograph Pros

I first started collecting in the very beginning of the 80's and amassed an incredible collection of autographs. Autograph Pros was one of the first legitimate autograph dealers to ever start listing on eBay, and has become one of the largest autographed guitar distributors in the world.

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