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If you are a designer or just a creative soul chances are you own at least one of Moleskine‘s iconic black notebooks. The company, founded in 1997, brought back to life the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries. Today, the name Moleskine encompasses a family of objects: notebooks, diaries, journals, bags, writing instruments, reading accessories and even apps and print-on-demand services. To better reflect this ever-growing brand, Moleskine called in Milan-based agency Achilli Ghizzardi Associati to create a fluid visual icon that communicates its multi-faceted and open nature while unifying its many objects, types of users and brand values.

 
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Let’s not pretend for a second that spec contests are good for designers.

Spec contests have worked out pretty well for transatlantic flight and mapping the human genomebut are more or less a poison for emerging designers. Those businesses who source their design work to internet-based spec contests are promoting a cynical race to the bottom and need to cut it out.

But just as the Bubonic Plague produced some neat triptychs and World War I some readable classic novels, there was once a spec contest that produced an icon of great design, and created the curious case of Gary Anderson. But the takeaway isn’t as simple as it may seem.

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