My family isn't really the camping type. We didn't take long trips in a wood-paneled station wagon to go into the woods and get away from it all. We grew up around the lake, so we had campgrounds, trails, and all that kind of outdoorsy stuff right around our town. Our summer trips were going to theme parks around the Midwest. My father loved sports but wasn't a "sportsman" -- no hunting, fishing, or camping for this kid growing up.Read More
Out: Nixon 2016 Graph
In: Campfire "Night"
Oh, these Campfire books look great upon first glance. Full review coming very soon, filming a video tonight and writing the post, hoping to go live this weekend.
The Pitch Black now comes in 2 sizes, “Memo” and “Note”. Memo is the classic pocket notebook size and Note is the bigger Arts & Sciences-sized journal. Each size comes in 2 rulings, the Dot-Graph of the original Pitch Black and ruled.Read More
The newest Field Notes brand collaboration is with Ingersoll, a watch company that was once American, now owned by a British arm of a Chinese company. They're most famous for the Mickey Mouse watches and the "Dollar Watch", which was, at the time, a watch you could afford for one day's pay.Read More
I grew up in a small farming town. In my town, if you didn't work in the fields, you worked in the factories at the edge of town or in the surrounding towns. It was all very John Cougar Mellencamp.Read More
The 2017 Field Notes Tournament of Books have shown up at Lead Fast HQ! These don't warrant a full review, however, a few notable things:
1. Lined paper! My favorite.
2. The Practical Applications is the list of books in the tournament.
3. Like before, these are $2 and Field Notes will match your $2 and give the money to 826National. Singles only.
4. 60# paper, 80# standard Kraft cover, the red rooster ink is used for the inside covers, and the Field Notes logo is white.
A few pics:
Available from Field Notes, $2.
Field Notes and L.L. Bean have partnered up for their second edition in the past 6 months. The Bean Boot edition was released officially this week, but some stores were stocking and shipping them before that. Some stores were told not to launch them until January 24th, according to a few people in the Field Nuts group who had tried to order them or find them in store. Who knows why, but they're out now, and some stores are already out of stock, due to the power of the Nuts. I ordered mine on Sunday morning from the South Barrington, IL store, and they arrived in 2 days. Of course, as with the first L.L. Bean books, you can only get them in stores, not online, which is a damn shame. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think L.L. Bean was the only brand-collab to do that last year, as you could get the Nixon and the Carhartt on their respective websites.
The covers are 100# cover stock, white Kraft-tone, which has a little speckle to it, similar to the Kraft-tone text paper in the Workshop Companion. They are printed with 2 colors, to match the look of the famous Duck Boot, the often-copied, but never-matched stalwart of the L.L. Bean line. The Field Notes logo, the Bean Boot, and the faux-stitching are all embossed on the front, and to be honest, I'd like to see a video of the process here, because I'm not sure how they did such a good job at matching everything up, especially the stitching. Only the white parts are embossed. Their blog post says something about white ink, but the book specs don't say anything of the sort.
Another thing about the covers: there's 3 books, but only 2 styles. The colors are flipped on the middle book, so instead of a brown top and dark brown bottom, strike that and reverse it. I'm purely speculating here, but I wonder if it was meant that way or just an awesome mistake, because everything else lines up the same.
The inside covers are the color of the white Kraft-tone stock. It is there where you can really get a good look at the hairy speckling of the Kraft-tone paper. The Practical Applications are the same as a standard Kraft book, nothing special here. One interesting bit on the inside back cover where the Edition number usually goes is that it says "Exclusive for L.L. Bean, November 2016". Did Bean sit on these for a while? It makes these the first major Field Notes release in 2017, with the Tournament of Books coming shortly (according to FN Twitter, anyway).
The paper is the standard graph paper in the Kraft books, with the new standard weight of 60#. If you remember, the first L.L. Bean books back in July 2016 were the 80# cover, 50# paper. That makes these books more durable than the previous Bean release and slightly heavier than a standard Kraft, which still uses 80# cover.
They have white staples! The staples are normal wire, but coated with white. You can see it in the macro lens picture. I'm assuming this is to emulate the stitching in the boot. I love when they play with staples.
Overall, a solid release from the Field Notes / L.L. Bean collaboration. If this is going to be a continued series, I'm looking forward to what they've got planned for the next one. This one was a step up from the first, so hopefully number 3 is another step up.
Available in L.L. Bean stores only. $13.95
There was a lot of activity surrounding Field Notes this year, more than I can remember in previous years. They did quite a few collaborations apart from the usual ones. They started a new series of city flag books, and added a whole new size and style to the line. Let’s take a look at what was released this year.
Quarterly Colors editions
Sweet Tooth: Spring release. Colored paper, blank, the same color as the cover. Perforated for tearing out to leave behind notes, use as note cards, etc. 100# cover with 70# paper. Foil stamped. Personally, not a favorite of mine, but we saw a lot of illustrators and sketchers have some fun with this. Tina over at Fueled By Clouds & Coffee did some great work with the Sweet Tooth.
Byline: Summer release. The reporter’s notebook. John Dickerson from Face the Nation enlisted Field Notes to help create this, and after years of getting requests for one, the decided to go ahead with it. Wire-bound at the top, the dark gray cover also protects the wire binding from getting snagged on things, instead of just being an extra sheet on top of paper. 120# cover with 70# text, ruled paper inside that has a slight stone gray tinge to it. They claim pocketability, but that’s if you’re not planning on sitting down. For me, it was great to use as a short form diary/journal, to round out the thoughts of the day. And I hung one up on our kitchen bulletin board for grocery lists…in our house, it’s the perfect size for that task.
Lunacy: Fall release. A black cover die cut to show the moon behind it that’s printed on the flyleaf. Reticle grid, slightly gray paper. Embossed Field Notes logo and embossed moon on the back. Each book’s die cut is different stages of the moon, full, half, crescent. Subscribers also get a book with no die-cut, or the “New Moon”. See my full review.
Black Ice: Winter release. Pur-bound, entire cover foil stamped, except for the spine. Lined paper. 100# Cover with 70# text, the same Finch Paper that graces the America the Beautiful edition. See my full review.
Nixon: An America the Beautiful-esque set of 3 different glossy covers, one blank, one ruled, one graph. The second in as many years from Nixon. I like the look of these things, but the one I used blew up in my pocket fairly quickly.
LL Bean: The first in what seems like will be an on-going series. Kraft-style books that are just different covers. One camo, one hunter green, one kraft with green lettering. I wasn’t super-impressed with these, but if the next ones that have leaked on eBay are any indication, they look like they’ve stepped it up a notch.
Carhartt: My favorite Field Notes release of the year. All lined, Carhartt logo on the cover, different colors for each book, different outdoors theme on each back cover. See my full review.
XOXO: Another year, another XOXO book. These are trippy books designed by Mark Weaver. The XOXO books have been getting crazier and crazier every year, and that’s an awesome thing. But unfortunately, there are rumors this may be the last year…it remains to be seen, but if it is, they went out with a bang.
Tournament of Books: Red cover kraft wth the ToB logo on the front. Sold as singles for $2, and Field Notes matched the $2, and donated it to 826 National. Cool idea, and I’ll be buying more of these when they do it this year.
EEEK: This year, Field Notes co-creator and designer Aaron Draplin released a monograph / mid-career retrospective called Pretty Much Everything. In addition to this, he released the “Everything Else Enhancement Kit” which included, among many things, a special made Field Notes that everyone has since termed the “EEEK” pack. Black canvas-style cover with orange foil stamp, orange paper. Not one of my favorites for actual use, but a great collector piece and a nice piece of design.
Subscriber reprints: Field Notes Colors subscribers got a treat this year in the form of a surprise shipment of a 2-pack that contained one Butcher Orange and one Butcher Blue book, a reprinting of the original first 2 Colors editions, with each subscribers name on the belly band. These are exact reprints other than the edition declaration on the inside cover. They also gave these away for free if you went to FNHQ during announced weekends during the holidays and spent over $20.
Brand’s Hall Pen: A special release, super-expensive pen that was made from wood from reclaimed from a famous Chicago building, created in partnership with Allegory Goods. This is a $160 rollerball pen that, unless you’re a completist, probably doesn’t need to be purchased. Limited to 1500 pens.
New year-round books
Front Line: The standard version of the Byline edition. The differences are a lighter gray for the cover and a more standard white paper. A great addition to the line.
Chicago & Portland: The first two in what I hope is a series of city flag books. These are Kraft editions with city flag designs printed on them. The Chicago books came out first, at the beginning of the year, then the Portland books later in the year. Both are still available and don’t seem to be limited as of yet. Chicago and Portland were picked because of the home cities of Field Notes and Draplin Design Co, respectively. I will be interested to see where this goes in the future.
I may have missed some! What I didn't do is look for all the after-market, re-branded, Kraft books out there, like the High West Distillery. There are just too many of those instances and most people, besides the craziest Nut, don't see these books. Hell, I even made my own in my printer.
I have a wish list for what I'd like to see in 2017 coming soon!
I was doing a little bit of Field Notes hacking today, trying to put some Kraft graph paper into an Expedition cover, because I hate the paper that comes with it. But I got a wild hair and decided to throw the cover in the printer and put my logo on it. Turned out pretty good! It's a laser printer, so we'll see if the toner flakes off during use...