Have a question? Check out our FAQs below!

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Why is archival ink important?

You may have noticed that many Sakura products including Pigma products and some Gelly Roll pens are labeled Archival. Archival suggest that these products are permanent, durable and chemically stable. They can be safely used for pieces such as legal documents, family albums or journals. While archival is a non-technical term, as there are no industry standards for how long archival materials must last, Sakura uses archival to describe the high overall quality of our Pigma® ink products.

What is Pigma Ink?

  • Pigma® is the brand name of the pigmented ink used in Sakura products. The formula for Pigma ink was developed specifically for museum archivists and conservators after extensive research and testing. Our Pigma ink is also chemically stable, which refers to the ability to resist chemical degradation. Sakura uses one or two pigments to color its inks, to enhance their chemical stability, and to eliminate the possibility of pigment separation due to age or exposure to outside elements.
  • Lightfast – Pigma® inks are light fast due to the high quality pigments that compose them. Lightfastness refers to the ability to retain color over time and/or when exposed to light, heat, or other adverse conditions.
    Neutral pH – Pigma inks dry to a neutral pH and, therefore, will not adversely effect the materials on which they are applied. Neutral pH refers to a material with a pH of 7, that is, one that is neither acid nor alkaline.
  • Permanence – Pigma inks are also permanent, waterproof, chemical resistant and temperature-resistant on paper and on many fabrics. Permanent/permanence refers to the ability of a substance to resist change over long periods of time without significant deterioration under normal use and storage conditions. Permanence may be effected by temperature, humidity, light, and acidic or alkaline chemicals.

Why we don’t label our products Acid-Free

Acid-Free is a deceptive term used sometimes used as a synonym for alkaline or buffered. Do not be fooled by pens or writing materials labeled “acid free” because this does not guarantee that a product is truly suitable for projects intended for keeping. There are no industry standards applicable for ensuring that a product is, indeed, acid-free.

What is the difference between line width and ball diameter?

Line width refers to the end result of making a mark on paper and ball diameter refers to a part of the writing instrument.

Line Width – the mark made by a writing instrument. The actual line width may vary based on

  • the writing pressure
  • the absorbency or type of paper
  • the speed with which one writes

1mm Line, 0.35mm Line … etc.

Ball Diameter refers to the spherical ball part of the writing instrument’s nib. You will see it designated on Sakura packaging such as 0.5 mm Ball. The ball diameter indication is only used for writing instruments that utilize ball nib technology, such as Gelly Roll and is not used for writing instruments that utilize fiber or plastic nib technology such as Permapaque markers.

What does Sakura mean by "permanent on most surfaces?"

Many Sakura markers can write on many surfaces, but whether the mark is permanent or not depends on the surface and conditions (washing, scrubbing, chemicals, heat, cold, etc.), applied to the mark after the fact. Using an ink intended for paper on another type of surface can dramatically alter the ink’s performance. Even specialty papers that are treated with coatings or emulsions can affect the permanence of Sakura’s products.

No permanent marker can withstand every possible condition on every surface, nor are we able to test for every possible condition on every surface. We suggest that you test first to make sure that the marker will work for your specific use and conditions.

How can I verify that I'm getting authentic Sakura products when purchasing online?

Tips for Purchasing Online

  • Choose trustworthy US or Canadian sellers either directly or via third party marketplace sites. You can refer to our store locator here.
  • Research the name of the company, look for their website, and check reviews: Is the seller easy to reach? Do they have a physical address? Do they have a customer service phone number?
  • Look at other products the seller has listed to help determine seller legitimacy
  • If you suspect product is not authentic, report it to the applicable online marketplace (I.e., Amazon or eBay) – they can help refund your money and start investigating the seller
  • On Amazon, Sakura’s authorized sources of Sakura product are:  

We suggest purchasing from reputable US or Canadian sellers either directly or via third party marketplace sites.

Counterfeit products look identical to authentic items but are illegal, of inferior quality, and may contain harmful ingredients. Sellers of such goods infringe on Sakura’s trademarks, patents and copyrights by passing off its goods as made by Sakura.

Gray market products are products sold through unauthorized distribution channels. Some problems with gray market products:

  • They do not come with a warranty
  • They may not meet a specific country’s safety, environmental, health, packaging, labeling, or other regulations
  • They may evade government taxes
  • They may be stored improperly or be expired and outdated which results in degraded product performance
  • They may hurt the company’s brand reputation and can cause brand confusion to the consumers
I have an idea I'd like to send you, where can I send it?

Sakura Color Products of America “SAKURA” or any of its employees do not accept or consider unsolicited ideas, including ideas for new advertising campaigns, new promotions, new or improved products or technologies, product enhancements, processes, materials, marketing plans or new product names. Please do not submit any unsolicited ideas, original creative artwork, suggestions or other works (“submissions”) in any form to SAKURA or any of its employees. The sole purpose of this policy is to avoid potential misunderstandings or disputes when SAKURA’s products or marketing strategies might seem similar to ideas submitted to SAKURA. If, despite our request that you not send us your ideas, you still submit them, then regardless of what your communication says, the following terms shall apply to your submissions: (1) your submissions and their contents will automatically become the property of SAKURA, without any compensation to you; (2) SAKURA may use or redistribute the submissions and their contents for any purpose and in any way; (3) there is no obligation for SAKURA to review the submission; and (4) there is no obligation to keep any submissions confidential.

How do I best care for my pens?

Gelly Roll Pen Care
Gel inks need to be kept sealed away from air so it is very important to put the correct cap on the pen between uses because unlike regular ballpoint pen ink, prolonged exposure to air will cause the gel ink to dry-out in the tip/ball chamber. (removing the barrel end plug will have the same effect)

In our Gelly Roll ink system there is a tiny silicone ball inside the cap that touches the tip and helps prevents any air from drying out the gel in the ball chamber when the cap is on. If this silicone ball is damaged or removed, the pen will eventually dry out and not work.

Gelly Roll can be stored horizontally or vertically because of the properties of gel ink. If you choose to store them vertically, just be sure that you don’t drop them into the pen cup as this can cause air bubbles to form in the gel, which will disrupt the ink flow.

The best way to see if a Gelly Roll pen can be revived is to scribble in circles and/or firmly tap the tip of the pen on a pad of paper. The motion makes the tip (ball) roll and causes the gel ink to be pulled into the ball tip chamber. It might take a few tries, but may help to revive the pen. There is no guarantee though that this will start the pen again. Heating a Gelly Roll tip or shaking the pen will not correct the problem of a clogged nib. This technique only works for oil-based ballpoint pens.

Micron Pen Care
Micron’s best use is on paper, so be aware that alternative surfaces may contribute to a bent or clogged nib.

Why is my Micron nib getting clogged?
A Micron nib may clog from use with partially dried paint or primer, wood dust, fabric dust, starches and protections on fabric surfaces and very fibrous paper. Micron nibs are small plastic tubes which allow our pigment ink formula to easily flow from the barrel to the paper. When any foreign matter clogs these tubes, the Pigma ink flow is blocked.

Why is my Micron nib so delicate?
Microns are designed to be used at a 90° degree angle. The smaller point sizes (003, 005 and 01) use very delicate nibs to create the extra fine line, so they need to be used with a very light touch, no more than the weight of the pen itself. Microns require very little pressure to provide a flow of ink. If you experience a bent nib, switching to a thicker nib size, and/or using lighter hand pressure when writing, should resolve the issue. Our Gelly Roll or Pigma Micron PN pens provide an alternative for a more durable point and are ideally suited for everyday writing use.

Why is my Micron leaking?
A leak near the nib holder or ink wick could be caused by dropping, inadvertently shaking, or accidently applying centrifugal force to the pen by spinning it in your hand. Be sure to handle your Microns with care to prevent leaks from happening.

Why did my Micron pen run out?
Although Sakura strives to make a durable Pigma product, it is considered a “disposable pen”. Our standard product performance is based on a 24 month shelf life. Most of our Pigma products can last longer than the 24 months (with the exception of running out of ink or damage to the nib) under ideal use conditions.

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