Creating an Icon: Moleskine’s Marco Beghin Talks Tips for Great Design

By Camille Ziegelhofer, Fashion Publishing

Marco Beghin, President of Moleskine America

On Tuesday, September 11th, the students of Rachel Aydt’s Fashion Publishing class were very lucky to get a visit from Marco Beghin, President of Moleskine America.  Mr. Beghin spoke to the class about a variety of topics, from his personal philosophies and the philosophies of Moleskine, to the concepts of quality and design, to how he hopes to achieve a personal balance in the way he consumes digital and analog media, lessons that can certainly be transposed to the publishing world.  Mr. Beghin’s discussion provided wonderful food for thought for us students looking to join the creative class.

Mr. Beghin discussed the notion that Moleskine notebooks have reached icon status.  They are instantly recognizable and they say something about the person carrying them.  This person appreciates design, quality, simplicity, and functionality.  People trust their schedules, their to-do lists, and their sketches to Moleskine.

Whether we Parsons students are studying to become designers, merchandisers, or brand managers, we all want to know the recipe for attaining icon status in a product.  According to Mr. Beghin, the answer is “deep design.”  He asserts that there are some forms, shapes, and other criteria that you choose in design that will forever satisfy a deep need for people to connect with a product.

His advice is to create objects that people trust; that they bond with emotionally.  He says people want design to express who they are, and focusing on quality and deep design satisfies that wish.

Mr. Beghin also says that design should focus on mobility.   Since we are an evermore-mobile society, design should ensure there is little distance between you and the objects you carry; they should move with you comfortably.  Beghin says that quality expresses itself in different objects in different ways, but it should be tied into every aspect of a product.

Mr. Beghin’s parting advice to us: Identify what quality means in different objects.  Practice deep design.  Make sure your design fits the mobile body.  Create something people trust.  With all of this taken into consideration, we may just be on our way to creating an icon.