Plaid Notebooks


"We’ve been working on a couple of really cool projects to launch House of Plaid, our soon to be limited edition design goods site.

we suffered a minor setback, and discovered something icky about
Moleskine brand sketchbooks. We had commissioned custom linoleum block
Plaid artwork, to be printed on Moleskine sketchbooks. There would only
be 50 pieces of this wonderful object ever made.

As our artist put together the order with her Moleskine distributor to complete our project, she was informed that Moleskine "does
not allow for the resale of customized merchandise unless approved by
the manufacturer. Once approved they have their own company that you
must use that does commercial printing (but not letterpress/fine art

Sucks. For us, yes – but the bigger picture
is that Moleskine, possibly the coolest brand of notebooks that I’ve
used religiously up until today – doesn’t understand current art culture…"

House of Plaid

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Image: © 2007 Plaid

Related link: Custom and limited edition Moleskine

7 thoughts on “Plaid Notebooks

  1. Which distributor you were talking to? As far as I can remember, their “premium” business usually customize just the sleeves, de/emboss with logo/letters or package the notebooks in various different ways, never seen one like yours (I might be wrong). You may want to propose being one of their source for such production?

    I saw some customized Moleskine sold in Japan in 2005, but of course that was when they hadn’t started pushing their “premium” business.

    Check out the photo here:

  2. It’s not so bad that the user is more or less called upon to design their notebooks themselves. Part of the fun, really. You generally can’t modify products and sell them anyway. Ie. if Dell computer wants to design a new lap top, but if you decide to paint them and resell them on the strength of their company it’s not going to work–I do wish very much for moleskine sized bookcovers. Then you wouldn’t need the permission of the company at all. It’s a good idea. And this is pretty.

  3. For heaven’s sakes! I DID just look on Etsy, maybe I ought to just buy my moleskines there instead of at Barnes and Noble. Marbelized, printed covers, these are NICE.

  4. P.S. When the entire world population is buying Moleskine notebooks, the thing to do is design your covers with panache. It’s the only thing you’ll be able to live with.

  5. I question the legality of that, at least in the US. The physical objects are yours as you wish to do with them. Rip out the pages and sell them folded as paper airplanes. Once purchased you can do whatever you want and sell them however you want.

    It is only the use of their trademark that they can contest, and I’m fairly certain that value added resellers have some rights to the original trademark to sell to end users. VARs make up a good chunk of manufacturers, and this kind of use is pretty durn common.

    Sounds very very fishy.

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