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The Moleskine Project
October 19, 2007 7:59 AM   Subscribe

The Moleskine Project

An artistic medium worthy of a cryptic FPP.
posted by psmealey (43 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Image Comics recently printed Intersections, wherein artists Sean Phillips and Duncan Fegredo sent a book back and forth over the course of a year and covered every page. Amazing how much you can tell about someone's highs and lows through their work like that.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 8:06 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Very nice.
posted by caddis at 8:12 AM on October 19, 2007


Mad cool drawings that could be done in any art notebook, not just a moleskine.
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:14 AM on October 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh wow, if these wonderful little works of art are called "doodles," then my rudimentary spirals, boxes and funny faces are not measuring up.

This is a really cool source of inspiration. Thanks, psmealey!
posted by amyms at 8:16 AM on October 19, 2007


True, DenOfSizer, but as someone who relied heavily on moleskines for years when everyone else moved on to Palm Pilots, BlackBerries and now iPhones, I found this to be very particularly compelling.
posted by psmealey at 8:16 AM on October 19, 2007


Did this previously obscure "Moleskine" brand just come up with a load of cash for advertising, product placement, and viral marketing? I'd never heard of them until maybe 6 months ago, and now they're trying to convince us they're the Coca-Cola Classic of notebooks. Seems a little fake to me.

Not to mention the fact that, though relatively attractive, they're ridiculously overpriced.
posted by decoherence at 8:19 AM on October 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


I think that's just confirmation bias. Moleskine has been all over the blogs for a few years now. I'm sure they got more popular once they got better distribution though; you can buy them at most chain bookstores now.
posted by smackfu at 8:24 AM on October 19, 2007


The "Moleskine" brand is indeed fairly recent -- it was officially registered in 1996. Francesco Franceschi, head of Modo & Modo's marketing department, was quoted as saying, "It's an exaggeration. It's marketing, not science. It's not the absolute truth."
Does a Moleskine notebook tell the truth?

"Though more figurative than literal, that marketing campaign, which Piccolo dubbed 'the commercialization of the Moleskine myth,' has nevertheless proved effective. Modo & Modo produced nearly three million Moleskine notebooks last year [2003], up from 30,000 made in the first edition in 1998.

...Still, some critics wonder if that success has in part been fueled by a fib, and they ask if it is fair to imply that famous writers and artists scribbled and sketched in Moleskine pages long before the brand was ever registered."
posted by ericb at 8:30 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


They've had distribution at the chains for at least 5 years now. It's definitely confirmation bias, as I've been using them for nearly five years now (granted, I get mine at a discount).
posted by drezdn at 8:32 AM on October 19, 2007


I'm sure they got more popular once they got better distribution though...

They've got worldwide distribution already.
"Despite increasingly saturated markets in the United States, Germany, Italy and Great Britain, sales are still climbing. Moleskine generated about €30 million, or $37 million, in revenue in 2003, of which Modo & Modo grossed about €7 million."*
posted by ericb at 8:37 AM on October 19, 2007


I glanced at my barely-written-in Miquelrius and now want to spend the next five hours scribbling in it just so I can catch up.
posted by jquinby at 8:38 AM on October 19, 2007


I'm sure they got more popular once they got better distribution though...

Modo & Modo worldwide distributors list.
posted by ericb at 8:39 AM on October 19, 2007


"Moleskine notebooks certainly do have all the qualities of a fad, one with international appeal to boot. All fads are faced with an eventual backlash, the rejection of all that made them superficially popular in the first place. So why do I still find it exciting to open yet another new Moleskine? Moleskine notebooks may be a fad, a cult item, a source for status, but when all that surface quality eventually fades these notebooks will still have the power to hold our ideals, to allow us to begin and then begin again."*
posted by ericb at 8:41 AM on October 19, 2007


Sorry, I have always wanted to ask … how is it pronounced? Mole-skin, mole-skyne, mole-skeen?
posted by gubo at 8:50 AM on October 19, 2007


Never mind, Wikipedia link explains …
posted by gubo at 8:53 AM on October 19, 2007


Sorry, I have always wanted to ask … how is it pronounced? Mole-skin, mole-skyne, mole-skeen?

pronounced /m?le?skine/ or mol-a-skeen'-a

but then wikipedia can suck it, it's always been mole skin to me.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:54 AM on October 19, 2007


Bah, I was using Moleskines back when they were cool. The fact that they're still cool means nothing.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:01 AM on October 19, 2007


ooooh, "cryptic FPP". You're so mysterious psmealey.

it's always been mole skin to me

Me too.

Love the Autumn one.

Rapidograph
pens and moleskines, good combo.

Does anyone know the name of this type of notebook before the company Moleskine? Or did they take the old name for this type of notebook and make it a brand?

Moleskine
on Wikipedia.

Moleskinerie.

Interesting the Bruce Chatwin part of the history of Moleskines.
posted by nickyskye at 9:14 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


ah, maybe it was the Book Factory that made the old style notebooks? Just found a blog, Black Cover, about black notebooks, just the empty book.
posted by nickyskye at 9:32 AM on October 19, 2007


I shout at the top of my lungs: Doodles for all, not just the talented!

Did you, like I, think that this FPP and the one adjacent woiuld be more related than they actually were? More importantly, are your doodles not up to snuff? Look at yourself. You're carrying a bic pen and a CVS spiral stenographer's pad, and for christ's sake, you're at a meeting, not in a studio apartment filled with art supplies.

"Oh wow, if these wonderful little works of art are called "doodles," then my rudimentary spirals, boxes and funny faces are not measuring up."

There's still hope for me you. You just need to practice.

(I'd never heard of a Moleskine before this post.)
posted by not_on_display at 9:46 AM on October 19, 2007


I can't speak to trendiness, but I've been using one for a couple of years now as a way of storing ideas, scenes, or things I want to eventually build. I keep it on my nightstand, and the only real modification I needed to make was to add a leather belt that goes around it and holds a drafting pencil and an eraser (because there is nothing worse that having an idea which is slowly slipping away as you frantically look around for something to write it down with.)

It's the perfect size, and the strap around it makes it really handy for storing the note cards and post-it's that I use for this when I'm not home.
posted by quin at 9:46 AM on October 19, 2007


I can't wait until Moleskine introduces their new line of toilet paper so their cult members can feel superior about what they wipe their ass with.
posted by spock at 10:00 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


The biggest problem I have with my Moleskine journal is that when I use my beloved G-2 pen, I get ink spots on the facing pages if I don't remember to let it dry. Stupid fancy paper.
posted by smackfu at 10:00 AM on October 19, 2007


I can't wait until Moleskine introduces their new line of toilet paper so their cult members can feel superior about what they wipe their ass with.

They wouldn't have to change the terrible paper they use at all.
posted by interrobang at 10:06 AM on October 19, 2007


I feel a bit cheated when I plunk down $5 for a notebook. These fancy books aren't really better than that $5 book either.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:06 AM on October 19, 2007


I can't wait until Moleskine introduces their new line of toilet paper so their cult members can feel superior about what they wipe their ass with.

I was not aware there was a cult of self-satisfied superiority among Moleskine users. I'll have mark that down next to: Thanks for clearing that up. I'm new on this planet, so this is good stuff for the orientation manual.
posted by psmealey at 10:25 AM on October 19, 2007


The Foreskin Project
posted by Pollomacho at 10:50 AM on October 19, 2007


One more for "You're paying too much for your notebook."
posted by Reggie Digest at 11:48 AM on October 19, 2007


I've been using a moelskin (the grid pages kind) as a wallet/notebook for seven years now. It's been great for jotting down everything from books I want to remember to a mini-journal of my day.

I see others drawing in theirs all the time at airports, and it makes me want to take drawing lessons. But then I think that I'll have no place to put down my writing.
posted by herda05 at 12:34 PM on October 19, 2007


One more for "You're paying too much for your notebook."

I guess you can never predict what people will react to when you release a young FPP into the wild blue yonder, but I can't help but wonder: does anyone actually click on the links anymore?
posted by psmealey at 12:57 PM on October 19, 2007


does anyone actually click on the links anymore?

I was thinking the same thing as the comments started rolling in about moleskins etc, when the link itself is actually about drawings, very cool drawings too.
posted by caddis at 1:22 PM on October 19, 2007


What is there to discuss? They're drawings.
posted by smackfu at 1:26 PM on October 19, 2007


Well, they're drawings with links to some other pretty cool sites.
posted by psmealey at 1:32 PM on October 19, 2007


What is there to discuss? They're drawings. It's a new album.
What is there to discuss? They're drawings.. It's a war.
What is there to discuss? They're drawings. It's a phone.
What is there to discuss? They're drawings. It's a movie.
What is there to discuss? They're drawings. It's a website.

This is fun!
posted by eyeballkid at 1:37 PM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


And yet no one is discussing the drawings.
posted by smackfu at 1:49 PM on October 19, 2007


The first time MetaFilter met the Moleskines
posted by briank at 1:53 PM on October 19, 2007


MetaFilter: What is there to discuss?
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on October 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Now that's a tag line that actually works.
posted by psmealey at 1:58 PM on October 19, 2007


You want a cheap notebook then you buy one. I like moleskins because they feel good. I also like them because I know they won't change so I can have a row of them on my bookshelf and they will look the same.
posted by srboisvert at 2:30 PM on October 19, 2007


I'm usually not a brand loyalty guy, but srboisvert captures some of the reasons I've stuck with them...

So anyways, how about we try our own Metafilter notebook exchange program?
posted by drezdn at 2:38 PM on October 19, 2007


Interesting, but I'll wait until someone can explain to me why they're superior to the gridded composition books I've been using since basically forever.

Put me down as a Rapidograph pen fan, though. (If only the darn things didn't get clogged and basically ruin themselves when you forget to take the ink out and don't use them for a while ... I have a whole set that need to be totally taken apart because of that. ugh.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:26 PM on October 19, 2007


I love that moleskines now have such caché that they are being pretty accurately reproduced by pirates in mainland China.

I especially love that those reproductions keep showing up in my local ¥100 shops.

Because I'm simply lacking in the kind of confidence that would be necessary for me to commit my own scribbles and doodles to a notebook costing well over ten times that amount. Maybe if they were on par what these...but, not so much.
posted by squasha at 9:07 AM on October 20, 2007


I love that moleskines now have such caché that they are being pretty accurately reproduced by pirates in mainland China.

The originals are also made in China.
posted by ericb at 3:42 PM on October 20, 2007


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