Moleskine‘s ubiquitous little black notebook. You see them in coffee shops, nestled into purses and totes, and at the office and others’ homes. But what is it about Moleskine that galvanizes creatives and professionals across the world to identify with these black notebooks? We think the answer’s clear: Moleskine is synonymous with community.
Whether it connects you back to reality or piques your imagination, Moleskine is a source for inspiration. And the inspiration doesn’t just come from the blank pages and classic black covers of the notebooks themselves, it also manifests in the reality that hundreds, even thousands, of others are using their Moleskine notebook at the same time as you. It’s that underlying current of creative energy we believe makes Moleskine so appealing.
The Legend Explained
The nameless little black notebook so many legendary artists and thinkers have used over the past two centuries was originally made by a French bookbinder whose name was lost to obscurity. The notebook was even spotted among such greats as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, and the man who ultimately coined the name ‘Moleskine’, Bruce Chatwin.
The original notebook faded over time and was last seen in the 1980′s, but was ultimately picked up by a small Milanese publisher named Modo&Modo and the brand name Moleskine was officially trademarked in 1997. A little less than a decade later, the trademark was acquired by an Italian company that took on the name for itself. Moleskine SRL now has the sole objective of bringing back to life the notebook that captured that minimalist style and quality that literally has centuries of experience. As they say, “To the initiated, there is no substitute.”
In 2008, Moleskine went through the laborious process of obtaining an FSC certification for all their paper. “FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.” Many of the brands on EuropeanPaper.com have either a PEFC or FSC certification for their sustainable paper, but most people don’t realize the amount of work involved to become certified.
On the foundation front, Moleskine primarily supports lettera27, a non-profit working toward a universal right to education and access to knowledge around the world. However, Moleskine also does a phenomenal job supporting young creatives via myriad organizations.
Where they are really seen supporting the creative community is through MyMoleskine, a hub for Moleskine fans around the world to share their art, hacks, and general passion for the brand. Several projects such as the Cover Art series have risen from this meeting place to showcase artists’ work on Moleskine notebooks – a platform previously thought unattainable by the general creative public.
Beginning with the tried and trusted classic design, Moleskine’s Classic Hard Cover Journals are known for their quintessential features: sewn binding, acid-free paper, rounded edges, elastic closure, cloth ribbon placeholder, and a rear expandable inner pocket.
Moleskine’s Volant and Cahier series are also staples in the Moleskine arsenal, the first being perfect bound with bright covers and the latter side-stitched with craft covers. Moleskine has also taken a creative page out of their fans’ notebook and and expanded with their ever-increasing Limited Edition selection, through collaborations with LEGO, Star Wars, Le Petit Prince, Pac-Man, and their published book series “The Hand of …” They’ve even developed hobby-specific notebooks known as the Moleskine Passions Journals.
It’s hard to encapsulate all of Moleskine in the proverbial nutshell as they’ve also expanded their offerings with their fairly recent New Collections. The Moleskine New Collections are sets of striking pieces that focus on writing, travelling, and reading. Perfectly compatible with the legendary notebooks, they were designed by Giulio Iacchetti to incorporate signature Moleskine function and aesthetics: the elastic band, the rounded corners, the black color, the simple design. The offerings include bags, pencils, pens, computer cases, reading glasses, a rechargeable reading light and an e-reader stand.
Moleskine ultimately corresponds with travel, culture, imagination, and identity. Moleskine connects with individuals because it is a symbol of modern-day nomadism, a romantic notion turned into reality each day through every far-reaching fan. And we’ll admit, we’re all Moleskine fans.