In search of the perfect sketchbook

The illustrious Graphic Designer, Michael Bierut, recently wrote a long and rather interesting article about his collection of notebooks (what he likes to call them) he has built up over his 25 year career working in the design industry.

I found it astonishing that he has used the same type of notebook for all these years and it got me thinking about all the notebooks I have lying around my house and stored away.

I'm a funny one when it comes to sketchbooks. Since my days as an Art student, I've varied my choice ranging from A4 and A3 ring-bound books to Field Notes books and cheap pocket notepads from WH Smith.

I often start a book and rarely finish them, which has resulted in having many of them lying around half finished. My main problem is after a while, the book I'm using becomes unsuitable in some way. Some books are too cumbersome to carry everywhere while other books that can fit into my pocket get destroyed as I go about my day-to-day business.

My current choice is a Moleskine, predictable and not at all surprising to you I'd imagine, chosen purely because I wanted to see how I got on working in them. At first I had the same attitude as David Desandro, anything I wrote in there had to be written very neatly and all thumbnails had to be carefully sketched so I wasn't to tarnish the clean unspoiled look of the rest of the book. Over the last week or so I've managed to pull myself out of this habit. I figured if my sketchbook ceased to be a place where I can make mistakes, scribble and doodle then what's the point in having one.

Apart from the feeling of not wanting to spoil my shiney (and pricey) Moleskine, it is fairing the better out of my recent choices. It's a comfortable size to carry, the paper is great quality and the pocket in the back is brilliant for keeping all my tidbits and ephemera I find on my travels. At £15 a pop they're pretty pricey for a sketchbook so I'll be searching for a cheaper alternative before forking out for another. The search continues...