Tag Archives: Calepino

The notebook as (framed) art

PenWorld is a place of pens and ink and cases, paper and notebooks and covers, pencils and markers and sketchbooks, plus the handwriting and artwork that can be created therewith. It’s probably fair to say that PenWorld’s residents, among whom I count myself, look at this assemblage of objects through both aesthetic and utilitarian lenses. Of course, true collectors generally have a different perspective — after all, a stamp collector is unlikely to salivate over a rare mint find in order to lick it and mail a letter! That scenario aside, most of us who own multiple fountain pens, for example, still look forward to inking them and using them. We may stare at them appreciatively, which is why those wooden cases for 12 or 24 pens usually have a glass top. But that top raises up so we can take them out and write with them.

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Weighing in on Moleskine paper

After I wrote the previous post on The Moleskine IPO, I saw a hypothetical parallel to the company’s annoying unwillingness to reveal the weight of the paper in their “legendary” pocket notebooks. When the U.S. government mandated disclosure of miles-per-gallon (MPG) ratings for automobiles, marketers immediately followed the lead of the software industry and turned this “bug” into a “feature” — the added workload of satisfying the new regulations was offset by an opportunity to tout the models with the best mileage. Of course, some model ends up at the bottom of that list, and every car buyer can see it. Imagine instead that these disclosures were voluntary, with most manufacturers participating, but that Übermobile demurred because it knew that its best-selling Ω Series would be the bottom-dweller. In short order, blogs and forums on luxury car websites would have anecdotes galore about poor gas mileage. But the official corporate posture would be silence, not to say disdain. Who cares about a few complainers, if affluent or aspiring drivers continue to buy?

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