Moleskine Laser Engraving Test


What to do with an extra Moleskine, a friend with a laser etching machine and some free time? Patrick Ng sure made good use of his resources.

I created an illustrator file and vectorized some of the images I like, made sure there were enough different types of lines and brush strokes to make comparisons.  Along side with the file I gave a bunch of out dated 2007 diaries to my friend’s production base and waited anxiously.

Various strengths and resolutions were tested.  From 8% to 50% strength and 400dpi to 1200dpi.  Basically the laser beam burned away the surface of the notebooks, in particular burn power can be specified to various brush strokes to simulate brush pressure effect.  Anything below 10% on Moleskine cover creates brownish color patterns which looks like silk screen printing but the effect is too subtle.  15% strength creates much lighter brown color because the oilskin is already burned away, showing the hard paper cover beneath.

In terms of resolution, the higher is always better.  However there is no optimal laser power on Moleskine because the effect varies based on the graphic design.  i.e. in case of light fonts and thin strokes, less laser power, as long as it is higher than 15%, creates less depth and lighter color which brings out more of the contrast between the font/strokes and the Moleskine black cover.  In case of bold fonts and large strokes or surface area of the design, it is much more difficult to create an even color impression because paper fibers are arranged less evenly than for example metal, thus density of a surface area varies and burn color varies even though the entire area is applied with the same laser strength.

More at Patrick’s blog,Scription