Posts Tagged ‘field notes’

Show & Tell: Field Notes DDC Factory Floor Edition : “Simple Minded Silver Streak”

Field Notes DDC Factory Floor Silver Streak

This is my first DDC Factory Floor edition of Field Notes. These were released for the Draplin Design Pop-Up Store in Portland but a handful were made available on the Draplin website. I was able to score two 3-packs.

I’m feeling oddly collector-y about these. Usually when I buy two sets of Field Notes, I give one set to my husband and as soon as he saw these he was all grabby hands and I swatted him away.

Each of the three books has a different color cover: metallic silver, orange and a copper-y color made from combining the orange and silver inks. Inside is bright white 50# paper with orange grid ruling. All of this information I’ve had to cull from the internet because I can’t bring myself to break the shrinkwrap seal yet. For a more in-depth review, check out the Gentleman Stationer who had the decency to take these out of the wrappers.

Field Notes DDC Factory Floor Silver Streak backs

In retrospect, I think I should let these be opened and used in the manner they were designed to be used. Leaving them in shrinkwrap indefinitely is no way to live. I think in 2015, I hope to stop “collecting” and start using the Field Notes I’ve accumulated.

How about you? Collector or user?

Field Notes Cherry Wood vs. Shelterwood

Field Notes Cherry Wood vs. Shelterwood

I recently picked up a set of the Cherry Wood standard edition Field Notes and thought it would be fun to compare them to their older brother, the Shelterwood. The first thing you’ll notice is that the Cherry Wood color is lighter than the Shelterwood and the Cherry Wood has black printed text on the cover instead of the translucent white on the Shelterwood.

Field Notes Cherry Wood vs. Shelterwood

Inside, the Cherry Wood features the more popular graph paper with ochre brown lines. The Shelterwood features lined paper in a similar brownish color.

Both books have gold staples, if you care. I didn’t test out the paper but I suspect that the Cherry Wood paper, filled with the standard edition paper stock, Finch Opaque Smooth 50# text stock, will perform as well as the standard Kraft editions. The Shelterwoods were stocked with a bit heartier Finch Fine “Soft White” 70# text stock which is a tiny bit thicker and warmer color.

As someone who prefers lined or blank paper over graph AND I use a lot of fountain pens, I think I prefer the Shelterwood but I’m sure lots of people will be thrilled to be able to get a steady supply of the Cherry Wood.

Cherry Wood editions are available as open stock at Field Notes. A 3-pack is $9.99.

Field Notes XOXO 2014 “Glitch” Edition

Field Notes XOXO Edition

A few weeks back, Field Notes announced that they had a small quantity of the XOXO 2014 “Glitch” edition of Field Notes leftover after the conference available for sale. They had a strict one-pack policy for them but it was a chance for non-conference goers to get their hands on a pack of these rare, limited edition Field Notes. And this set is truly unique.

Field Notes XOXO Edition

The aesthetic of the XOXO set is basically a misprinted look of the classic Kraft edition Field Notes. What makes these so eye-catching is that the graphics are askew, off-center and misaligned. The registration key, which would normally appear along the edge of a press sheet for the purpose of color accuracy and registration, is printed across two of the books in plain sight! One cover has the “Field Notes” logo so off-center it is split across the spine. On the back of one book is the designer “sign-off” on the press run “OK BB CP” and the date which means, in press speak, Mr. Bryan Bedell was at the press check on 8/14 and approved the press run. Its right there on the back cover! This whole print run must have given the pressmen twitches.

Inside, the graph paper lines are wavy and the inside covers are just plain wonky.

Field Notes XOXO Edition

As someone who works in the print industry, we often use the misprints, the screw-ups and the scarp bits for notes and other uses so we don’t waste paper. This series of Field Notes captures the feel of that world in a slightly controlled way. And all the little designer-y marks like the registration and color key and sign-off all make me kind of happy. They are all industry insider details. Super nerdy.

Field Notes XOXO Edition

I’m so glad I was able to get a set of these. I will probably happily use them as well because I just find the quirks too fun.

I never thought I’d go nuts collecting Field Notes but here I am with several sets of special editions and a ton of Colors editions. Though, I still maintain a solid stance that Field Notes are meant to be used and, to me, they will still have their air of specialness even after they are dented, dinged, creased and filled with notes and doodles.

Hands On: Field Notes Colors Edition Ambition

Field Notes Ambition

I finally received my Field Notes Colors Subscription Ambition edition. I’ve been super excited about this set. I like the different paper formats and the inclusion of the planner is a great chance to launch into 2015 more organized than ever.

Field Notes Ambition edging

The embossed logos in gold over the jeweled French Speckletone cardstock covers feels vintage and fresh, all at once. The gilded edging is a beautiful detail and looks so good with the deep jewel tones of the covers. Such a  treat!

I’m probably one of the few people who will probably never use the graph paper book. If anyone wants to swap their ledger paper for my graph paper, drop me an email.

Field Notes Ambition paper

I haven’t done any writing tests with the new Cougar 50# natural white featured in the Ambition edition. Yet.

At least not knowing what the paper is. I did get to test drive an assortment of papers over the summer for Field Notes but it was a blind test so I’m not sure which stock was finally chosen.  I returned my test writings to Field Notes HQ in July so I don’t know which paper was what. Hopefully, it will live up to me expectations. I tried some very nice options in those blind tests.

Field Notes Ambition comparison

The Traveling Salesman edition is one of my favorites so I was excited about the ledger format too. The photo above is the new Ambition ledger paper (back) next to the Traveling Salesman. I still love the green tinted paper (of course) but the light brown lines of the Ambition ledger paper is easy on the eyes and so classic.

If you’ve ever wanted to introduce a friend or family member to the joys of Field Notes, this edition is a great place to start. Grab as many sets as you can before they run out. $9.99 for a set of three. Colors Subscriptions start at $97.

See other great Field Notes Ambition write-ups from:

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Field Notes and Coudal Partners for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Field Notes: Ambition (Winter Colors Edition is OUT!)

Field Notes Ambition cover

Field Notes is not resting on its laurels. The Winter 2014/15 Colors Edition “Ambition” is certainly an ambitious edition. The three books are stunning in rich autumny tones with gold embossed logo lettering on the cover and gold foil edges. Each notebook serves a different function: the olive cover features ledger lines (the same as what was featured in the Traveling Salesman edition – one of my favorite editions), and the wine-colored cover covers a book of graph paper, and the chocolate colored cover hides 56 pages of weekly planner pages. Get a jump start on 2015!

The paper inside each book is Cougar Opaque 50# Natural White text weight vellum and, of course, there are matching gold tone staples biding the books together.

Field Notes Ambition gold edges

No better time to start a Colors subscription ($97 for a year of quarterly offers plus a 3-pack of the classic Kraft editions) than with this edition. Or purchase individual sets for $9.95 per set.

Field Notes Ambition inside lines

I don’t have mine in  hand yet but I cannot wait for this edition and I’ll definitely have to order additional sets. It would make a good stocking stuffer too.

Field Notes Colors Edition “Arts & Sciences”

Field Notes Arts & Sciences Edition

I finally got around to opening my Field Notes Color Edition “Arts & Sciences” notebooks.

Field Notes Arts & Sciences Edition size comparison

The Arts & Sciences edition really do feel like a Hagrid-sized version of the classic Field Notes. At 4.75″x7.5″ they are substantially bigger than the standard Field Notes’ 3.5″x5.5″ size but not as large as a standard A5 (6×8.25″) notebook. They live in a happy, in-between place.

Field Notes Arts & Sciences Edition

This Colors Edition, due to the larger size and slightly increased page count (64 pages compared to the regular 48-pages in a standard pocket Field Notes), came with two books instead of the standard three-pack. Everything about this edition seems to similar BUT different! And I like that.

Field Notes Arts & Sciences Edition Inside Pages

Inside, the pages are printed on the right hand sheets. The Sciences edition is printed with quadrille graph lines and the Arts edition is printed with lines. Both are printed in a pale “Academy” grey.

Field Notes Arts & Sciences Edition Back covers

Both the covers have embossed logos with metallic silver ink and a coordinating icon on the back. The red book is the Arts edition and features palette, paintbrush, ink, tape, pencil and more on the icon. The Sciences edition in the dark grey color with an icon with a DNA chain, beaker, celestial bodies, and amoeba and more. How long before someone gets one or both of these as a tattoo?

All in all, I love that Field Notes continues to experiment with each version of their Colors Editions. Now that they’ve added size as a variable, it seems like the possibilities are endless.

Remember, the Colors Editions are limited so order a set or two today ($9.95 per 2-pack). Or subscribe and receive the Arts & Sciences edition and future editions as soon as they are available.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Field Notes for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Field Notes Field Trip!

Yesterday, Bryan at Field Notes/Coudal Partners kindly toured us around the world headquarters (AKA their offices in Chicago). We had  great time and got to take a peek at the inner workings of Field Notes. It was an all-access pass and I am so thankful that Bryan took time out of his busy schedule to humor me.

Ready for some pictures?

Bryan Bedell at Coudal/Field Notes HQ
Bryan greeted us at the door, ready to show off all the fabulousness that is Coudal and Field Notes.

Coudal/Field Notes front desk and sales counter
Behind the door, was the front desk and sales counter for walk-in customers and pick-up orders. Its a really pretty work space.

Bob peruses the Field Notes selection
Bob peruses some of the leather covers available from Field Notes while I just ogle.

Field Notes Arts & Sciences Uncut press sheet
We got to see some of the uncut press sheets from the Arts & Sciences edition. It’s so good to see how much attention to detail they take to get the Field Notes Colors Editions just right.

Field Notes stock room
In the stockroom are piles and piles of the County Fair editions which are some of my favorites. I have sets from every state I’ve lived in.

Field Notes County Fair Editions

In the shipping area are bins filled with individual County Fair books for the Road Trip kit.

Field Notes packing zone

The packing area is efficient and well-organized and the team was busy packing up orders.

Field Notes Arts & Sciences button bins

Bins filled with the Arts & Sciences edition buttons sat prominently on the counter in Well-Appointed Desk-approved green bins.

Field Notes Stencil boxes

Totally industrial looking stenciled boxed lined the walls.

Me and Bryan at Coudal/Field Notes

I had a great time and Bryan was to ally patient with us. Thanks for a great tour!

Field Notes/Coudal mail box

Expect to find a thank you note in THIS mailbox soon!

Field Notes: Arts & Sciences Colors Edition

Field Notes Arts & Sciences Edition

Today Field Notes announced the newest edition of the Field Notes Colors series: Arts and Sciences. The books are most notable because its a set of two different notebooks– one for arts, one for sciences– and because these books are larger than your average Field Notes at 7.5″ x 4.75″. Isn’t that awesome?

Field Notes Arts & Sciences Edition Size Comparison

Both notebooks have Mohawk Loop 110lb covers printed with  silver ink. Inside are 64 pages of Finch Opaque 50lb paper, the same stocks used in many earlier editions of the Field Notes. The Arts edition has a brick red cover and features “Academy Gray” lined paper on the right hand side and blank sheets on the left for a combination of drawing and writing. The Sciences edition has a dark grey cover and engineering-style grid on the right hand side and blank on the left hand page in the same “Academy Gray”.

Field Notes Arts & Sciences Edition Paper Stocks

On the back covers are seals for the two houses of thought: arts and sciences in the same silver as the cover logos.

Field Notes Arts & Sciences Edition seal

Pack of two (one of each) is available for $9.95 or subscribe to the quarterly Color Subscription for one year for $97. Remember, the Colors editions sell out fast.

Field Notes: Shelterwood Edition

Field Notes Shelterwood

Finally! Its the new Colors Edition of Field Notes called Shelterwood. I’m sure you’ve already heard about it already and probably already opened your order, but in case you haven’t… admire it here.

These memo books are covered with a veneer of real wood, laminated to kraft paper. Inside is the same 70lb Finch text weight stock that Coudal has previously used in the “America The Beautiful” edition, this time with lines in “Maidenhair Green”. The staples are gold toned and the logo is silkscreened on the covers in white.

Field Notes Shelterwood

Other people have mentioned it but once the shrink wrap is removed, the books don’t close completely. The covers still feel fairly flexible though I probably wouldn’t risk folding the cover all the way back on itself for fear of cracking the spine.

Since I carry my Field Notes in a leather cover, the not-quite-closed covers don’t bother me at all. If you’re inclined to carry them in a shirt pocket, this might be a little annoying.

Field Notes Shelterwood

Opening the package, the books smell so good. It was like the books were imbued with fresh pencil shavings.

Field Notes Shelterwood

You’ll notice the book in the middle has faint “tan lines”. I had the books in the shrinkwrap with the belly band on, laying on my desk for about a week. For whatever reason, that caused the uncovered parts to darken slightly. If you are hoping to keep your Shelterwoods MINT, keep them out of the light.

Field Notes Shelterwood

Since the paper is similar to America The Beautiful, I didn’t do an extensive writing test. I know that some, but not all fountain pens, pencils, gel and ballpoints work great and markers like Sharpies will bleed terribly. So this time, I just lined them up and gave them a quick test. Results were consistent with the America The Beautiful.

If you love Field Notes, you’ll want to grab this limited edition while you can. If this is your first foray into Field Notes, be aware this is very different product from the regular editions. Enjoy it, collect it but just know this is something a little different.

How Green is my Mailbox?

How green is my office?

My mailbox has been overflowing with green bounty. A handmade leather envelope for storing pens and pencils from my Australian pen pal (she made it herself!), an assortment of awesome green pencils from Johnny at Pencil Revolution and, of course, the beautiful but hotly-debated Field Notes Shelterwood. Reviews will be coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy the spring greens!

Field Notes: Shelterwood

Field Notes Shelterwood

The newest edition of the Field Notes color series is called Shelterwood and its awesome feature is the REAL WOOD covers. Slivers of wood are bonded to kraft paper covers to create unique, beautiful wood veneer-covered Field Notes. Inside the books are the same 70 lb Finch Soft White paper that was in the America The Beautiful editions with green lines. This special edition is going to sell out fast so you better order yours today. $9.95 for  a 3-pack, or better yet, subscribe for a year and be guaranteed to get the next edition as soon as its available.

I’ll give you more details when my set arrives but, by then, it might be too late. Take a chance on these and order quickly!

Field Notes for Memory Keeping

Memory keeping with Field Notes

While traveling, I used a Field Notes to keep my thoughts, names of places, restaurants and people, as well as pasting in receipts, business cards and various paper ephemera. I stamped the date and the name of the event on the front of the the Field Notes before I left.

I added the squashed penny with gel Super Glue when I returned. Squashed pennies are great inexpensive keepsakes for a trip. I got this one at the Musee Méchanique at Fisherman’s Wharf, a mechanical toy and game museum where you can play every game! Some took nickels and dimes but most took quarters and ranged from dancing puppets, vintage “peep shows,” pinball machines and classic 80s arcade games. Most American museums or large tourist attractions have a squashed penny machine. You insert 50¢ and one penny (I like to use a shiny penny but anyone will work). Then turn the crank and out pops your penny embossed with a design.

I was surprised how easily my paper scarps fit into the Fields Notes with little more than a fold. I used glue stick and washi tape to attach items and a 4-day trip filled almost a whole book. I used a paper clip to hold the transit cards just in case I needed to use them again. I’m not a scrapbooker but this is the perfect amount of memory keeping. I could complete it while traveling and on the airplane so, once I was home, it was done and all the bits I’d collected were contained.

Memorykeeping with Field Notes

Review: Zenok Leatherworks Field Notes Cover

Zenok Leather Field Notes Cover

My darling husband has been known, on occasion, to read The Well-Appointed Desk as a make-shift wish list for me. This often works out in my favor at the holidays. For Christmas this year, he bought me a Zenok Leatherworks Field Notes Cover ($39) in natural beige.

Zenok Leather Field Notes Cover Comparison

I thought I’d give is a quick comparison to my Pelle Journal on the left and my Midori Traveler Passport-sized Star Edition on the right.

The most notable detail of the Zenok cover is the leather tab that covers the elastic at the open edge of the cover. There are notches in the leather cover for the elastics which is also unique to the Zenok. An extra elastic was included with the package though I think I might visit a local fabric store and acquire a contrasting elastic to customize my cover.

The Zenok Leatherworks Cover for Field Notes is just a bit taller than the passport-sized Traveler and the leather is a lighter color. I like the warmer color of the Traveler cover and a bit softer. The Zenok cover feels like untreated leather so I wonder if I treat it with saddle soap or mink oil might soften it and deepen the color.

Zenok Leather Field Notes Cover

Inside, the cover includes four elastics that can be used to hold notebooks or other item inside the cover.

Zenok Leather Field Notes Cover

Zenok Leather Field Notes Cover

The cover comfortably holds three notebooks. Four Field Notes will fit but that’s a lot of notebooks for me. I think I’ll normally carry two: one for work and one for personal notes. I’d add a third only if I was getting to end of one book and wanted to have a back-up. I’ll use the additional elastics for a folder for loose papers. I also found that a small Bar-4 envelope (10 for $3) can be used to store receipts and business cards if I tuck the envelope tongue under the elastic.

When the cover arrived and I tucked a Field Notes into it, my husband got a little envious so I think we’ll be ordering another one soon. Very soon.

Review: Field Notes Cold Horizon

Cold Horizon Covers

Its the latest Field Notes edition, Cold Horizon and everyone in the stationery-o-verse is talking about it. How do you feel about the shiny covers? Too shiny? Gritty? How do you like the gradient effect? Love it? Hate it? What about the graph paper in tints of wintery whites_ light grey, light green and light blue?

Cold Horizon Color Array

My husband, the printer, insisted on lining the books up to show where each gradient intersected with each other. The spine of one book aligns its gradient to the front cover and back cover of the other two books.

The shine of the covers is quite reminiscent of wet ice along with the crystal blue colors of the covers — the theme is beautifully harmonized in the final product. The covers are a little pebbly from the gloss aqueous coating. Overall, the books show lots of fingerprints and smudges just like a stainless steel refrigerator — for better or worse.

Cold Horizon paper colors

Its hard to get a good photograph of the slight color shift between the books. The paper is lightly tinted in a pale blue, green and grey. The grid marks are the same color grey on all three versions. The minor color shift is pleasant but not dramatic enough to have warranted the trouble and expense to do them each differently.

Field Notes Cold Horizon

I did my pen test in the light grey paper book. As others have noted, I suspect that tinting the paper made it a little less receptive to fountain pen inks. Field Notes really are best paired with a non-fountain pen pen. I got good results with all the other tools I used but I did get a bit of line railroading (when the edges of the strokes are visible but the ink sort of drops out in the middle like a miniature railroad track) with the Pilot Juice and the Pentel Hybrid Technica pens, both of which are hybrid ballpoint/gel inks. Pilot Hi-Tec Cs and UniBall Signo RTs performed the cleanest with no show through on the reverse of the page. I used all cool blues, black, blue-blacks and graphite as it seemed like a good chance to pair my tool color to the notebooks.

Cold Horizon Writing Sample

I wanted to provide a close-up to show the feathering with the two fountain pens I tried. It didn’t seem worth the trouble to try even wider nibs or a Sharpie marker. I know they are going to bleed or bead up a little.  There’s a reason why we collect so many tools — so we can pair just the write pens with just the right papers for the optimal writing experience.

I will enjoy using these notebooks. They are completely functional and will certainly brighten up the dreary winter days ahead but these are not books I’ll necessarily covet like I do the Traveling Salesman which is my FAVORITE to date. (I wish I had purchased an extra set of those!)

The Field Notes Cold Horizon Color Edition is available in limited supply. A three-pack of the variegated cover and mixed tint paper are available for $9.99.

Field Notes: Colors Edition Winter Cold Horizon


In case you missed the news last week, Field Notes announced the Winter Edition of the Colors Series called Cold Horizon. It is a another departure from the traditional Kraft cover version. This time the covers are a gradient blue and each of the three books are a slightly different gradient but they can be lined up to transition in color from one book to the next. The covers are a glossy coated stock this time to enhance the icy cold look. Inside is the standard Finch paper stock printed with grid marks and tinted in light blue, light green and cool gray — each book a different colored stock inside.

I think this edition is distinctively different from previous incarnations. I’ll be curious how people react to the new Field Notes Cold Horizon once they have it in hand. I need to renew my subscription ASAP to make sure I get at least one set to review and compare.

A set of three Cold Horizon Field Notes sell for $9.95. A year’s subscription is $97 and includes four quarterly editions, starting with the Cold Horizon, and a bonus 3-pack of Kraft mixed and a 3-pack of Kraft Grid.


Leather Cover for Field Notes

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 7.10.37 AM

Greg Stevens has created a lovely leather cover for Field Notes (and other similarly-sized pocket notebooks) that includes a pen quiver on the cover and an elastic band to keep it closed. He’s added a pocket inside the front cover for even more functionality. The case looks like it will age beautifully though the elastic might get stretched out. Prices start at $100 and include a 3-pack of Kraft Field Notes.

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 7.32.32 AM

Don’t forget that Field Notes offers their own EDC brown leather memo book cover and Pony Express leather pouch in their shop ($85.95 each). Gourmet Pens did a write up on the Davis Leatherworks notebook cover which is distinctly Midori-like. I did a search on Etsy and there are dozens of other options available for notebook covers as well. My favorite from Etsy is the Zenok Leather from Canada. Zenok’s Midori-style covers hold three notebooks and sell for $39 each.

More leather cover options can be seen on The New Artemis as well.

(via Greg Stevens, tip o’ the hat to reader Cheyenne)

Pitch Black is the new black


Field Notes heard us. They announced last week that they are now offering an open-stock (non-limited) black edition of their classic Field Notes pocket notebook. Its called Pitch Black and features French Paper Company 100lb “Blacktop” covers with grey text on the cover. On the inside is the same white 50lb Finch Opaque paper but with a light-grey dot grid. They added a little zing with black staples. A 3-pack is the same price as the Kraft and Red-Blooded editions, $9.95.

I’m pretty sure this was made-to-order for Brad over at Pen Addict. Wouldn’t you agree?


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Field Notes Drink Local Edition Sneak Peek

And its here! The new Field Notes Drink Local edition arrived in my mailbox last night. The packaging with the subscriptions making the 6-pack of beer-inspired notebooks look like an actual 6-pack is absolutely stunning though I recommend assembling the carton BEFORE imbibing as it does require a little thought. LOVE!

I wanted to get it captured before disassembling the shrink wrap and effecting its MIB appearance so I have not  had a chance to pet the “soft-touch” covers or closely admire the letterpress coaster which is inside the shrink wrap. This is just some visual stimulus to join the subscription service today and get your 6-pack before they sell out. They’ve gone fast in the past but I think these are going to set a new record.

I’ll do a more in-depth look later but I wanted to share some sneak peeks now while there are still sets and subscriptions available.

Subscriptions are $97 for one-year. Individual 3-packs are available in “Ales” or “Lagers” for $9.95 per set but they will not ship with the limited 6-pack packaging. Extra sets of beer coasters can be ordered as well: set of 4 for $3.95.

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