19. Moleskine Notebooks

Moleskine notebooks are Lengen-wait for it-DARY! They even claim as much on their website.  This, if for no other reason, is why architects love these simple little writing pads so much. Architects long to be remembered, to be idolized and to leave their mark on society for decades or centuries to come. It is the ‘immortality of the architect’ contained within a single built structure that lures many to pursue the profession in the first place. What better way to sell a bunch of cardboard covered notebooks than by marketing them as “Legendary”? or, in architect speak, ::LEGENDARY::

A selection of Moleskine notebooks.

Image via Wikipedia

When one visits the Moleskine website, they’ll find a plethora of notebooks: varied shapes and sizes, different colored covers, some with lined paper and others without. One would think it was the paper equivalent to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. However, after reading the history of the Moleskine notebook (the books were made by a small, French, family-owned company that went out of business in the 80’s), one begins to wonder why these notebooks are so legendary. If the business model surrounding these inherently awesome notebooks failed, and it took another decade for someone in Italy to pick up the production, then why are they so popular?  (Perhaps the Italian sourcing was more appealing?)

The book’s descriptions on the website are vague and plain, detailing little more than acid-free paper under a cardboard cover with an elastic band.  Oh, and it also has an interior pocket with the history of moleskine, in case you wanted to read it again.

Moleskines and Pens

Yet, architects swear by the books, purchasing them in large quantities and delicately caressing the covers as they talk fancifully of sketching the Eiffel tower while studying abroad.  Maybe it is because all of the notebooks are essentially the same with only slight aesthetic or binding location variations – something reminiscent of modularity – that draws the architect in.  Possibly it’s the lure of fame when they see that other renowned artists have used the notebook.

But perhaps the best way to understand why architects are so enamored with the books is to read this excerpt of “moleskine sightings” from the company website (yes, you can report your own sightings):

Their silent presence accompanies the movements of both real and imaginary characters, protagonists of the world of culture and entertainment. The notebook is itself the protagonist in a crucial point in history and, at other times, the simple mark of a style of living and being, invariably the fruit of the spontaneous choice of its user.”

Well SIGN ME UP!  Any architect that reads this will surely be engrossed in such a linguistic masterpiece and begin throwing money at their computer screen to have a piece of utter brilliance.  More proof that using big words will impress architects and have them clamoring to do whatever those words suggest; especially if it suggests style, history AND spontaneity.

Oh, and the paper is better, I swear.

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