Notebooks of Italian notebook manufacturer Moleskine are laid out for sale in a store in central Rome on December 20, 2016.AFP / TIZIANA FABI
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From spelling out New Year's resolutions to jotting down designer brainwaves, sometimes only a pen and paper will do, even in the digital era.From its launch as a brand in 1997, under then-owner Milanese publisher Modo & Modo, Moleskine has hammered away at the idea that it has revived the classic notebooks favored by the likes of Picasso, Van Gogh and Hemingway.Inspired by that account, Modo & Modo registered Moleskine as a trademark almost a decade later and the notebooks are still instantly recognizable, even if the new owners have substantially expanded the range of sizes, formats and paper quality on offer.As with the revival of vinyl in music, an aesthetically pleasing, robust notebook provides an add-on to what the iPhone or a laptop can do, he argues, citing a survey of 4,000 designers which found 65 percent of them prefer a pen/notebook combination for recording ideas.So how does he explain Moleskine growing sales at 20 percent a year in a global stationery market expanding at 3 to 4 percent?
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