Moleskine notebooks are produced by a private Italian company based in Milan, by the name of Moleskine. There is no official pronunciation for the brand, claiming they are a "brand name with undefined national identity".
The company opened in Tours, France, in the 19th century. After more than a hundred years of successful operation, the family-owned business closed in 1986. A small Milanese company bought the rights to the company and its products, and reopened in Milan, Italy in 1997. The company's repertoire now includes planners, address books, diaries, and several other creative and organizational products.
During 19th and 20th century Europe artists and thinkers (Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde, Henri Matisse, Ernest Hemingway, Vincent van Gogh, etc. ) used a small black notebook to jot down their ideas, sketches and notes on projects they would eventually create. Some would even paint in them.
Swedish artist Mattias Adolfsson has created a series of landscapes in the pages of his Moleskine books at his blog, http://mattiasa.blogspot.com/
The notebooks are bound in coated paper cardboard with an elastic band to hold the notebook closed and acid free paper (although the paper is a light yellow in color). They also have a pocket inside the rear cover to hold notes (which also holds the history of the company), a ribbon bookmark, and very secure binding.
Poets use Molesking notebooks as a focusing agent. The calm yellow pages are said to inspire creativity, which can be helpful if you're in a creative slump.
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Moleskine's notebooks come in a variety of shapes and styles to fit everybody's interests. Ruled, unruled, music writers, storyboard artists, and watercolor painters are just a few of the varieties. They are great for travel and come in a handy pocket sized version (3.7 x 5.8 inches, 80 pages) and a somewhat larger version (5.3 x 8.4 inches, 100 pages). Most notebooks are available in different colors, too. The paper itself is a heavier weight than other notebooks and more durable than you'd expect, which is why it can hold watercolor paints. The notebook's spine relaxes and opens up flat for simple note taking.
The company is in a unique position market-wise. The fame and reknown of its most influential customers has inspired millions of artists and creatives around the world. The notebooks can be found online, in bookstores, and airports.
You never really want to be caught without your moleskine notebook, after all.
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