While there (should) still be enough room in everybody’s toolkit or backpack for reliable analog tools, the fact of the matter is that no matter where you start, those analog sketches are likely going to end up in your computer in some way or another.

While it has taken forever for the iPad–and other digital sketching experiences–to catch on (perhaps for good reason), the process of scanning sketches and leveling them in Photoshop or converting them into vector artwork in Illustrator is still a laborious task that most probably wouldn’t miss.

Aiming to throw out as much of this critical step as they technologically (and affordably) can, iconic sketchbook makers Moleskine have teamed up with Adobe to offer a special edition sketchbook and accompanying iOS app that digitalizes your sketches with a seamless upload into Adobe’s Creative Cloud server. Ultimately, once your revolutionary concept sketch for a double-wide marshmallow catapult is sketched in ballpoint on paper, all you need to do is snap a picture with the app and the image will automatically load into a new Photoshop or Illustrator file on your machine at home.

“Watch paper evolve as the creative process is condensed into a few simple steps. The Moleskine Smart Notebook, Creative Cloud connected lets you instantly turn hand-drawn sketches into fully workable digital files.”

The Moleskine announcement comes soon after Adobe’s announcement at their Adobe MAX event in October that they were working on ways of making the mobile experience as seamless as possible for aiding in the desktop experience. Understanding that inspiration rarely—if ever—strikes while sitting in front of a glaring screen, the goal of their new suite of mobile apps is to capture a designer’s inspiration on-the-go and have the concept ready to be ‘ironed out’ in a more professional toolset-setting once they get home or office…to the point of already being open and ready to go in Photoshop or Illustrator.

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The capture process itself is really quite simple and on-par with Moleskine’s other ‘digital collabs’ with other cloud services such as Evernote: Using a set of four dots placed at each corner of the 8×5- inch sketchbook page, the app orients the camera to capture everything that is within the space…assuming that your lines are dark and bold (any media is acceptable so long as the outlines are crisp).

A 160-page hardcover special edition Adobe+Moleskine is available in the 8×5-inch size for $33 over at Moleskine…however they won’t be shipping until December.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.