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.
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.
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.
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.