Inside the Minds of Designers

Michael Graves

Its amazing that the Moleskine has manage to brand and associate themselves with the great talents of our time. Don’t get me wrong as I think this is a good thing, but I wonder if this branding aspect has been taken too far. Maybe its just me, but I find that the Moleskine brand promise to be very bi-polar. On one hand the brand makes me feel superior because by using my moleskin I can be associated with such pedigree of talents. On the other hand, it makes me feel inferior as I feel that I should only use my moleskin if I am able or about to reproduce that next design classic, otherwise I should just stay away!

Furthermore, for a sketch book to come in at such a high price point, it becomes almost too painful for me to make a mark on its pristine pages. This I find defeats the purpose of using a sketchbook in the first place as it is suppose to be a repository of quick, down and dirty ideas. The brand makes me keep on thinking that, is want I am about to write or draw something that, in years to come, people would want to see? This is probably why my moleskin still sits on my book shelf, and STILL in its wrapper. Sniff. I love this product so much but I just cant bare to use it.

I supposed at the end of the day if you end up having to be precious about your work, sketch or design, you can’t really do any good work as your mind is already restricted by these invisible barriers. Anyways do check out some of the exhibition work of people who don’t have a problem with “tearing” into their Moleskines as considering who they are, they could probably afford doing it!

Scott Henderson

Karim Rashid

Steven Guarnaccia

Source: Official Detour Moleskine Experience exhibition in New York website and here.
Via: My friends at Mocoloco

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Brian Ling (Design Sojourn)

Brian is a multidisciplinary Design Leader with more than 18 years of experience leading strategic design programs that drives successful Brands and Fortune 500 businesses such as GE, Philips, Nakamichi, Flextronics, Ericsson, Hannspree, and HP. His passion is in helping organisations leverage on Design Driven Innovation to make people’s lives better.

  • Dexter T

    .  9 years ago

    I totally agree with the perception of value attached to a Moleskine. For the longest time, I had refused to buy an overpriced notebook for my scribbles of ideas and sketches. But then one day, I got one (I think I was inspired) and started a little journal in it. Then it became two. The other one travels with me in the bag. However, I also jot my notes and random thoughts down on my mobile phone (A pocket PC) since I type faster on it than on paper.
    Having said that, there is no other notebook I know that opens all the way and has that lovely paperly feel to it when one applies a nice ink pen on it. Yet, I sometimes feel my thoughts and ideas are almost ‘unworthy’ of the moleskine. That is the love and respect I have for it.
    Ah the joys and pains of art. Or the need to create art.
    The dilemma continues…

  • GJ

    .  9 years ago

    This whole thing about Moleskin did really struck me when i saw my friend with his Moleskin. First of all, the size of it is really handy and the square lines are in right proportion, what matters most is the act & habit of recording your thoughts. But once i see the price and i thought, “what? Am I going to pay for a blank notebook of 6 times of the normal kind? SAVE the trees!”
    Come to think of it, does it really matter to own a nice notebook, or it matters more to have a nice collection of thoughts of your very own?
    With that, I decided to dump the idea of searching a nice notebook to begin with. Instead, I start recording ideas on any piece of paper, and compile them into my very own notebook. From, Notebook = ideas to Ideas = Notebook.
    From, “u have Moleskin” to “u have great ideas”


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