This post has been languishing in my drafts since mid September 2022. The photos were taken using my old iPhone 11, and the lighting came out very yellow and vintage-y. I was considering photographing everything again, but then I decided that this somehow works with this Moleskine’s theme.
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a Moleskine, but I’ve decided to get back to regular Moleskine reviews since I’ve got so many of them, and I still think that they are masters of design, and make the best quality covers and bindings than anything else in the notebook market. And 90% of Moleskine’s limited editions are their covers.
Back in the heady days of 2015, Moleskine came out with one of their best collaborative limited editions: The Moleskine Blue Note notebooks.
Blue Note are a jazz icon, a record label established in 1939 and instrumental in the development of modern jazz and in album cover graphic design. This collaboration could not be more tailor made for a brand that emphasized graphic design as much as Moleksine do.
The front cover looks like a Blue Note album cover, because it is a Blue Note album cover: midnight blue by Kenny Burrell. It’s a classic Blue Note album with a classic Blue Note design, and it’s no wonder that this is one of the albums that was chosen for this collaboration. The other albums in this series (Art Blakey’s “A Night in Tunisia”, Freddie Hubbard’s “Hub Tones”, Dexter Gordon’s “Go!” and Thelonius Monk’s “Genius of Modern Music Volume 2”) are equally iconic in both sound and album design, although “Midnight Blue” is the most muted of the bunch. As usual in Moleskine limited editions, there were two large notebooks and two pocket notebook designs in this series. I can’t help wishing for more of these, because I think that it’s such a perfect fit between the brands, and because Blue Note album covers are so fantastically well designed.
The inside cover design is the same for all the notebooks in this edition (again, this is something that Moleskine does for all its limited editions), and they feature photos of many of the legendary artists that recorded Blue Note albums (how many do you recognize?). There’s also a note about the album and the famous Blue Note logo on the bottom right side of the page, and Moleskine’s on the left. I’ll note here that Moleskine gave Blue Note’s logo far more prominence on the cover than what it gives its own logo (which is simply debossed on the back).
On the back endpapers there’s a history of the Blue Note label, the famous back pocket, and again Moleksine’s phenomenal printing and assembling capabilities that make the pocket printing completely aligned with the endpaper printing. Pattern matching is hard, and it always surprises me that they get theirs perfect every time.
The sleeves on this edition are excellent. Moleskine in Jazz indeed:
There are four stickers that come with each of the notebooks in this edition, one for each one of the albums in it, and they are perfect. The look exactly like a Blue Note disc, and the details on them are magnificent. Someone really enjoyed their job here, and it tells.
Almost all of Moleskine’s limited editions feature lined paper, but the Blue Note edition was a welcome change: this notebook has blank paper! I’ve been using it, in combination with another notebook, for journalling, and it’s great! As is the case with Moleskine paper, it’s largely for gel ink, ballpoint, pencil and fineliner use, although some combinations of fine nibbed fountain pens and inks work on this paper, and blank paper tends to be the most fountain pen friendly of the bunch.
If I could have any say in the matter, I would have loved to see more Moleskine and Blue Note collaborations, and I would have loved to see more blank paper limited edition notebooks. Most Moleskine users still prefer lined paper, which is why almost all of their limited editions have lined paper. But as Moleskine limited editions lately seem to skew to either book themed (Petit Price, Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Alice in Wonderland), pop-culture themed (Star Wars, various Manga and video game editions, Coke-Cola, Smiley) or designer based, I doubt that we’ll get to see more of these kinds of collaborations.
3 thoughts on “Moleskine Blue Note Limited Edition”
Wow, I totally missed this edition! And I sure wish there’d be more unruled options, too. Not for sketching — I just prefer writing without restrictive lines (which are usually too narrow for my big handwriting).
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Completely agree. There’s so much more freedom in unlined pages
This is fabulous 😍 I need one!
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