Review – ZIG Cocoiro Lettering Pen From Kuretake

Buffy from Kuretake recently sent me one of the ZIG Cocoiro Lettering Pens from their Japanese Stationery range to try out – so it is review time!

So the first thing to notice about the ZIG Cocoiro Lettering Pen is that you can choose the colour of the body and the colour of the ink. You can even choose the type of tip for the black ink. 

It is kind of like a mix ‘n’ match selection for your pens. Currently you can choose from ten colours of the Cocoiro pen bodies and six ink colours for the Extra Fine Refill and a black Refill Ball Tip as well at the Kuretake Shop.

I had the Sky Blue body with the Dark Green (colour not currently available from the Kuretake online shop) Extra Fine Refill to try out, each arrived in their own little plastic sleeve. Once unwrapped you can remove the temporary cap from the refill, save it for later as it will be useful if you have lots of refills to swap around with, remove the cap from the body and slip the refill in. The refill screws into the body to keep it in place, then you can replace the lid that came with the body.

The end of the refill pokes out of the end of the pen so that you can see what ink you have in the body and the whole pen is extremely light to carry. It is very quick and simple to put together and you can easily swap in a different refill in no time at all. But to be honest I would probably have a couple of different coloured bodies too ‘coz I like the colours and I am a bit of a pen fiend!

The Extra Fine Refill tip is a stiff brush and you can get a variety of ultra thin and wider marks so when you use it for writing you get a flow of thick and thin lines. Same with drawing too, the flow of the tip across the page means that the line thickness will change as you move the pen. It takes a little getting used to but with some practice you can use this to your advantage, say for making the trail of the mark thin out at the end for example.

There is a little dryness to the ink flow that I’m not used to with Kuretake products so that also took a little getting used to. But I found that if I used the pen more slowly and made the marks with more purpose (i.e. didn’t scribble at high speed) then it wasn’t a problem. The ink is not waterproof so don’t use it on your unfinished art journal pages or anywhere that might come in contact with liquid.

This is a great pen for doodling and writing in your notebooks or Smash books. The ‘interactiveness’ of changing the refills really appeals to me as it means I can change the ink colour to match my mood – and yes I do frequently change pen colours to match my mood! No really – I do! 

If I was doing some full on drawing I might grab one of my other Kuretake ZIG pens first but I would quite happily sit there doodling into my notebooks with a ZIG Cocoiro pen – just stay away from me if you spot me using black or red LOL!

Enjoy perusing the yummy colours!


(Disclaimer time- you guys know I’m on the Kuretake Design Team, I don’t get paid for my reviews or opinions but I do get product. I still try to give you my honest, unbiased opinions to the products I test whether I’m on the design team or not.)

Kim Dellow

Kim Dellow is an artist–designer–film-maker living the creative life in London, UK. She's a freelance creative for the craft industry and others, and she loves to share her art-ventures on her blog.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. misteejay

    Thank you for your review – I had seen these advertised in a mag and wondered what they were like.

    From one pen fiend to another
    Toni xx

  2. Rita

    I have used Zig pens in the past Kim and its great to hear an honest review on this one. Sounds good and exciting too. TFS. Hugs Rita xxxx

  3. CraftygasheadZo

    Looks fab, I like the idea of different coloured bodies etc. My trouble is I have to have a chunky pen to hold otherwise I can't hold it to use. Is this pen chunky, or normal pen size? By chunky I mean like a Spectrum Noir type pen. Thanks Zo xx

  4. Kim Dellow

    Hi Zo,

    Thanks for the question about the chunkiness of the ZIG Cocoiro pen, I would say they are probably medium chunky, so they are more chunky than a biro but less chunky than a Promarker. The body is slightly smaller than the diameter of a Copic Ciao but the refill is thinner and that is probably the place you would be holding it.

    Hope that helps. Unfortunately I haven't had the good fortune to play with Spectrum Noirs yet, so can't do a direct comparison! D'oh!


  5. Margie H

    Hi, Kim! Thanks for the review…I heard about these pens and was curious 🙂 Great review – now have a better idea about them.

  6. Kimberly

    Hello there, my ink has suddenly stopped flowing down to the tip no matter how i write or shake. Its practically brand new, any other way i can get it working?

    1. Kim Dellow

      Hi Kimberly,

      Thanks for getting in touch and sorry for the late reply, I have been out of my studio. I am sorry to hear about the pen and I don’t really know what to advice other than to get in touch with Kuretake (now working under the brand name Pirika if you are in the UK) and ask them.
      Sorry I can’t be much more help.
      All the best

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