These days, there are very few people who haven’t heard of the Moleskine brand, but not nearly as many who know about its history.
Notebooks closely resembling Moleskines as we know them today were very popular in the 19th and 20th centuries in Paris, but were largely unbranded and nameless. These books proved to be a creative platform for famous artists such as Oscar Wilde, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Henri Matisse to name a few. The association between the Moleskine brand and these world famous artists could well be an attributing factor of their international success in the market.
Today, Moleskine products are designed in Milan, Italy, and mass produced in China, Turkey and France depending on the design. All notebooks in the Moleskine range are made with acid-free paper, which enables documents to be preserved for long periods of time. The Moleskine production range includes notebooks, planners, diaries, sketchbooks, albums and other stationery products such as pens, pencils and book lights.
Moleskine notebooks are easily identified by their eight identifiable characteristics. An authentic moleskine notebook will have the following features:
• It will be bound in coated paper cardboard
• It will feature a coloured elastic band to hold the notebook closed
• The spine of the book will be sewn, and allow it to lie flat on a surface when opened
• The paper will be ivory coloured
• The corners of the notebook will be rounded
• It will include a thin ‘ribbon’ bookmark
• There will be an expandable pocket inside the rear cover of the book, packed in a paper banderole
Interestingly, despite the international success of the brand, a single, official pronunciation of the brand name has not been established.