Basic Breakdown

Layout vs Marker Paper

Basic Breakdown: Layout vs Marker Pads


Despite looking very similar and typically being placed together. It’s easy to get confused and think they are the same product, however they are vastly different from one another. Here is a Basic Breakdown Blog to explore the difference between Layout and Marker Paper;

They are very similar

First of all, let's not deny that they are a very similar paper. When you plan to purchase paper the two most important things you look at to make sure that paper is suitable is weight and texture - and on the surface - marker and layout paper look the same. They are both lightweight (being under 100gsm) with extremely smooth surfaces.


Most of the paper making process will be the same, especially to achieve the smooth paper surface. However one of the main differences between the two is the wax treatment that is added on the reverse side of the marker paper sheet. This treatment is what makes the paper bleedproof and something that is needed with every marker sheet. Winsor and Newton Marker paper is a great example of this and will not bleed through onto the next sheet or make the ink run which is something that is needed when doing something like cartoons drawings.


Winsor and Newton Bleedproof Marker Paper



One of the key differences between marker and layout is that they have dramatically different capabilities - Marker Papers are used for alcohol markers and Layout Papers are used for developing ideas and getting a layout of the final product. One can be used with vibrant and colourful inks, whilst the other can be used with a technical pencil. 



We already know that both sheets are thin and light, however, layout paper is around 45gsm which makes it very similar in weight as tracing paper (and something you can use layout paper for). Marker paper is around 70gsm, making it a little thicker, it's also not as translucent and not ideal for things like tracing.



Image to the left: Winsor & Newton Marker Pad

Image to the right: Seawhite Layout Pad



To be honest, there isn’t much of a comparable difference with this, we just think it’s great to highlight how economical they are. Both pads average out at about 50 sheets and it can be a lot cheaper to purchase a high quality layout or marker pad compared to a high quality cartridge pad.

Overall, we haven’t gone into great detail here, but we don’t think we have to. Both products are great, the main question you need to answer is - what will I be using on it? If it’s just alcohol markers, go with marker paper. If it’s mainly for ideas and sketching with pen and pencil, go for a layout pad. If you want something even more versatile you should also check out our Bristol Board.


Image Credits:

Sandra Manchester