The Art Directors Club (ADC) is an international non-profit organization uniting creative professionals active in advertising, design and interactive media worldwide. Founded in New York in 1920, ADC promotes the highest standards of design excellence and integrity. It is especially focused on encouraging students and young professionals who are entering the industry.
The organization had worked with Moleskine to create notebooks for its Annual Awards and Hall of Fame competition, so it already knew how much a custom edition could benefit its communications strategy. This time around, ADC wanted to create something special for its Young Guns awards, a competition for new talent aged 30 and under working in visual communications and graphic design.
The Young Guns 5 notebook turned out to be one of the most ambitious personalization projects Moleskine has handled to date. ADC wanted to maximize the potential of the notebook, to create limited edition notebook that would comprise a catalogue of the Young Guns 5 competition. It presented Moleskine with a must-have list of elements that were to be part of the design. More than 60 artists were being profiled; each would get a few pages in the notebook for their bio and images of their work. Full-bleed presentation was also a must, as well as some extra blank pages for making notes or sketches.
The Moleskine teams in New York and Italy worked together on the ADC notebook, carefully considering how the physical characteristics of different Moleskine notebooks could be used to the advantage of the project. For instance, the pages in the notebooks have a slightly off-white color, and both sides wondered whether this was the best foundation for the ADC images. Moleskine test printed several of the designs to ensure that the coloring was acceptable, only to discover that the Young Guns' work looked fantastic on Moleskine paper. To accommodate ADC's request for extra blank pages, a separate, detachable cahier was included inside the notebook, adding even more value to the final piece.
Moleskine presented its basic ideas for the shape of the notebook to ADC and both sides polished them together. ADC handled the design of the inside of the project. Alan Dye of Kate Spade created the final concept for ADC. We suggested three different treatments for exterior of the notebook, settling on matte black foil debossing, which really brought out the design of the cover graphic, which was the logo for the competition.
Copies of the Young Guns notebooks were given to competition winners, causing an enthusiastic commotion among the young designers. They loved the fact that unlike a coffee table-sized catalogue, they could take the Moleskine with them to parties and events in order to show off their winning designs.