As product customization becomes ever more popular with consumers, it is inevitable that items as personal as notebooks are also being altered to suit individual tastes. Rather than fighting this in an effort to preserve their classic black finish, Moleskine have recently launched a marketplace that embraces artists’ interpretations and redesigns of their notebooks.
Artists on the marketplace all take original Moleskines for their canvas, and redesign them using carving, embroidery, painting, screen printing, sketching, and many more techniques. They can then put their customized notebooks up for sale on the marketplace for others to buy. Visitors to the site can browse the marketplace and search it by notebook model, materials and techniques used in the redesign, or, if the notebook is being bought as a gift, by the occasion it is being bought for. Payments are then made via PayPal, and the notebook is shipped directly from the designer. The website also hosts a “Meet the artists page”, where visitors can view the profiles of the Moleskine re-designers and like them on Facebook.
In the site’s own words, “The Moleskine Artist Marketplace aims to match what people are looking for with the talent of our users. We are creating this platform to help satisfy the growing demands of our consumers while channeling the revenues directly to our creatively dedicated Moleskine community.” Just as Apple opened up to allow the public to create apps, sometimes it’s worth taking a gamble that puts your audience in the driving seat. Other brands around the world take note: This is a model that inspires brand loyalty and helps build a sense of community. So be courageous, and see what rewards you could reap! (Related: Puzzle books given a design makeover.)