Books that need to be written first
That trend was recognized at the end of the 1990s by the Italian manufacturer Moleskine
, whose notebooks have a great marketing story. Over the last two centuries, a manufacturer in Paris made black notebooks and supplied them to the stationery shop that was frequented by writers and artists of the avant-garde. Bruce Chatwin, for example, christened his favorite notebook “moleskine”. In his book "The Songlines, he recalled how “moleskine” notebooks had become impossible to get hold of in the mid-1980s. Maria Sebregondi read the book – and the Moleskine brand was born. The result is a simple, black, rectangular notebook with rounded corners, which could in some ways be said to share the aesthetics of the iPhone and iPad.
In 2015, sales were still at 128 million euros, three years later they already came in at 174 million euros. This corresponds to an increase of around 35 percent. Today, Moleskine’s range extends well beyond just notebooks. Bags and pencils have been added to the numerous types of diaries, sketchbooks, photo albums, planners, special thematic editions. These are all products that accompany people on the go.
With the “Smart Writing Set”, Moleskine has also attempted to connect the analog and digital worlds with a “Smart Pen”. It sounds practical, of course, but the market has not really accepted this solution. On the one hand, this is due to the price, which is over 200 euros for the Smart Pen, and, on the other hand, the technical approach also takes something very crucial out of the notebook - simplicity.
Individual notebooks for different professions
The success of Moleskine has, of course, prompted many companies to jump on the notebook bandwagon. The Italians gave rise to a huge market that is flourishing in terms of sizes, colors, special finishing and personalization. Highly exclusive leather-bound notebooks retail for prices as high as EUR 50.
An example of how the notebook can be further developed is the Vienna-based startup There's a book for that
. The company has designed 28 different notebooks tailored to different professions and interests. The content pages consist of a predefined grid, which was designed to fit the relevant requirement. Be it for journalists, skateboard designers, makeup artists, project managers, photographers, interior designers or family-led organizations – 28 books are on offer in the online shop.
The books are available in twelve colors and are produced regionally. The iPad inspired the design of the notebooks - 16.7 cm wide and 24 cm high. The hardcover is finished with a mat cellophane finish, which gives it durability and an elegant look.