Today I was having a conversation with a fellow Moleskine fan and we got on the topic of why we liked the notebooks so much. It’s not so much the toughness, or the pocket in the back, but rather it’s that it feels like a notebook that important ideas should go in. There’s no one piece of its design that leads to that conclusion, yet he agreed with me wholeheartedly. When you open the pages of a Moleskine you write more neatly and think more clearly. You feel as though you must give it the thoughts and words that its pages deserve.
Tonight as I was clicking around, I landed on Joshua Porter’s site where he had linked to an essay by Joel Splosky on design. Josh pulled out this quote specifically to discuss the essay: “If you have been thinking that there is anything whatsoever in design that requires artistic skill, well, banish the thought. Immediately, swiftly, and promptly. Art can enhance design but the design itself is strictly an engineering problem.”
Josh and Joel are both trying to get to the point that there’s more to design than just the visuals, and I could agree more, but that’s not to say you can’t leave them out. Now I have great respect for both Josh and Joel (and have even talked at some length about how much I respect Joel’s design take, but it takes more than just ‘engineering’ to give someone the feeling I described about the Moleskine. That’s engineering, art, science, psychology and just about any other discipline you can think of converging together to create something beautiful.