Are you also a fan of Tombow's Dual Brushpens? I use them a lot and use them for various techniques, including watercoloring. Because I use them so much, the color code of the pen wears off and becomes unreadable. Despite having a color chart of the Tombow Dual Brush Pen, I still find it annoying that I can't read the code on the pen itself. Do you have that too? Then maybe I have the tip for you below.
In my bullet journal I use Tombow's Dual Brushpens on a daily basis
I highlight text with it, color my trackers and doodle a lot with them. I even use them in water painting. The pigments are very pretty and intense, so with a little bit of color and water you'll go a long way.
*** Just a moment please: do you like doodlechallenges? ***
Carri and I designed a super fun, original and easy challenge for you, #finishmydoodle. You can read about it here.
The Tombow color code is no longer readable on many of my markers
Now this is not really a problem for using it, but there are situations where I find it annoying. Such as when jotting down a color scheme I've used or when someone asks me: "what color did you use to draw this?". Of course I can get my Tombow color chart, but first I have to put a test mark and keep it next to the color wheel to find out the code. On top of that, some colors are very close together.
What I did to find the color codes online
I used the barcode. If the barcode is no longer readable on your pen, it becomes a problem. If you have a tip on how to find out the color code if there isn't a barcode available on your pen, I would love to hear it. Will you let me know in the comments below?
Back to the barcode
The most commonly used barcode we see in the Netherlands is the EAN (European Article Numbering) and consists of 13 digits. This is an extension of the original UPC code (Universal Product Code) and has been in use since 1974. The first product that was scanned with a barcode was chewing gum in Ohio, America. Albert Heijn brought the barcode from America to the Netherlands in 1977.
The barcode of a Tombow Dual Brushpen also consists of 13 digits and starts with 4901991. So if you miss a digit from the first part, you know you can copy this combination. The last 6 digits are unique for each pen.
You can decipher the barcode a bit if you know these basic principles
The first two digits indicate the country of origin. In the case of the Tombow Dual Brushing, this number is 49, Japan. The Netherlands is indicated by 87. It is not the country where the article was made, but where it is registered by the manufacturer. The next 5 digits is the code of the manufacturer and the article itself gets the last 5 digits of the barcode. The very last number is a check digit. Each company has its own unique code, this is called a connection number. The article number gives the manufacturer himself to his product. So far a small lesson in logistics.
How to find the color code with this barcode
You can type the barcode in Google or any other search engine. Only the number is sufficient, simply joined together. When you have given the search query, you will see the Tombow pen in the results. Click on 'images' and see if the color does indeed match.
A description of the pen on the website you clicked almost always includes the color code. If this is not the case - I haven't encountered it yet, but you never know - you go back to your search results and click on another website that shows the picture of the brush pen. Et voila, you have found your color code.
How to make sure I don't lose the color code
From the moment I apply this method to search for the color online, I write the code on the cap with a permanent marker. That seemed practical to me, but it wasn't, as it turned out. Also a permanent marker wears off the cap and so the code is no longer there. The solution is a label maker, a small tag or just an old-fashioned pen, paper and tape. Although I have a label maker, I applied the prefered cutting and sticking work 😉.
I wrote the codes on a piece of paper, cut them out and stuck them with a bit of tape on the back of the pen. For me the back of a Tombow Brush Pen is the side with the small cap. It's useful if we have the same part in mind. That's where I hold the pen the least and so for me it's most likely that my tape with code will stick the best. Choose for you a location on the pen that goes through your hands the least.
So I used the barcode and a search engine to find the color code of the Tombow Brush Pen. By cutting and pasting I have provided my markers with their code and I don't have to search through my color wheel for the corresponding color numbers anymore. I hope this tip has taken away some of the frustration of fading color codes. Feel free to leave your method of color coding in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
Would you like to start a bullet journal, but you don't know where to start? I've written a number of articles about it, including this one: "Bullet Journal For Beginners"