Field Notes

Entries Tagged as 'Colors'


Candy-Coated Spring

March 9th, 2016 by Bryan Bedell


Our 30th limited edition, “Sweet Tooth,” is available now, featuring brightly-colored covers with perforated pages to match!

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FNC-29: The Snowblind Edition

January 10th, 2016 by Jim Coudal


You know how when you turn your face up into the bright sunlight, even on the coldest winter day, it can totally lift your mood? Well, that’s what our latest seasonal release is all about. Our 29th limited-edition is The Snowblind Edition. The Memo Books are coated with a nearly-magical “Photochromic” ink that changes color when exposed to direct sunlight. Indoors, they’re white, outdoors they’re blue! They’re available in 3-Packs and via a year-long subscription right now.

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Watch Us Fall: New COLORS

November 12th, 2015 by Bryan Bedell


Our 28th COLORS edition is now available! Shenandoah pays tribute to Virginia’s astounding national park. Three custom-duplexed green books; “Sweet Birch,” “Chestnut Oak,” and “Red Maple” open to reveal the trees’ fall vibrant fall colors inside, with 48 pages of graph paper, some tree facts, and a lovely birch bellyband. Find out more here, including our film tribute to Shenandoah National Park. Like all COLORS they’re limited, so order now, and consider subscribing to our COLORS series.

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Handy Around the House

August 15th, 2015 by Jim Coudal

Workshop Companion

Our Summer COLORS Edition, The Workshop Companion is going fast, these special limited-edition box sets are still available individually and by subscription. So you know, our Fall release is already in the works. For that one we’re employing a classic production process that we’ve never attempted before, to achieve a new, custom look.

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Colors · Field News:

Two Rivers: Sold Out

July 7th, 2015 by Bryan Bedell

Our Spring COLORS, edition, “Two Rivers,” sold out over the weekend. It was one of our favorites to put together, and we’re thrilled to have helped out our friends at Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, both with a share of the proceeds from “Two Rivers” and your generous donations (Keep ’em coming!).

Summer’s COLORS edition, “Workshop Companion,” is out now and selling well, grab a box before they’re gone!

We’re temporarily out of Ruled Kraft books and “Expedition” in our shop, but both are on press now, and should be back in stock within a couple weeks. Remember that some FIELD NOTES retailers have stock when we don’t, including recent COLORS editions like Two Rivers.

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Your Dad Called.
He Wants One.

June 3rd, 2015 by Bryan Bedell

summer 2015

Our 27th seasonal release for summer is the limited-edition WORKSHOP COMPANION. It’s a special boxed set and it’s available individually and by subscription right now. BTW: Father’s Day is June 21st.

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Colors · Partners:

A French Toast

June 2nd, 2015 by Bryan Bedell


Designers know and love French Paper. We love their range of colors and weights. We love their consistent quality. We love their website. We love their whole CSA-directed aesthetic, their 140-year history, and their long-time commitment to the environment and hydroelectric power.


Everyone has a job to do in this world, and some of our jobs are more glamorous than others. Paper manufacturing is not glamorous. It’s messy, dark, often smelly. It would have been easy for Big Ed, or Jerry, or Brian, or Kim French to say “Paper is boring. Paper is not for me,” and go off and try to make a fortune doing something more interesting, but they all threw themselves into their family business 100% and made it interesting, made it fun. They’ve brought more color, more creativity to paper, and bigger companies are still trying to catch up.

We’ve been using French’s 80-lb “Dur-O-Tone Packing Brown Wrap” covers for our kraft memo books since the beginning of FIELD NOTES. And the majority of our COLORS editions feature French paper covers. I ditched my family for a day while visiting Michigan to tour the French paper plant in Niles back in 2009, and it was the highlight of my summer. Brian told me a Notre Dame design student asked to hold her wedding there, and they actually looked into it, but health/safety issues ruled it out.

Do you get excited when a salesperson visits you at work? When Jerry, Brian, or Kim come to our office, it’s like Christmas. And once in a while, the unthinkable happens: they present you with an all-new swatch book. Except this time, it was even better than that. We’ve been lucky enough to get to know French pretty well over the years, and they were kind enough to give us an advance heads-up on their new Kraft-Tone line. We had a headstart on the design of the FIELD NOTES Workshop Companion and our memo books were on press before anyone had even seen the swatch books. When we used up their whole batch of “Standard White” body paper before it was even announced, Brian and Jerry put all hands on deck to make more and get it to us in time. Totally clutch. Thanks to everyone at French, from top to bottom, not only for this Workshop Companion edition, but also for helping our Great Lakes neighbors, the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, with Two Rivers, and for everything else they’ve done for us, all the way back.

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Colors · Field News · Field Trip:

Stacked Type

May 26th, 2015 by Bryan Bedell

spring 065

Graphic designers generally frown upon text that reads vertically from top to bottom, but here’s one example of ‘stacked type’ we could look at all day. Sadly, this 100-year-old smokestack in Two Rivers, WI is all that remains of the former Hamilton Manufacturing Co. wood type factory, and it will be blasted with dynamite at 1pm on Sunday, May 31, 2015.

The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum will be closed Sunday, but museum staff ask you to join them at the site to watch the demolition. If you can’t make it in person, show your support on Facebook, and be sure to pick up our Spring COLORS edition, “Two Rivers,” while supplies last (which won’t be long!). $2 from each 3-pack support the museum. If you love the museum as much as we do, please chip in a few more bucks at checkout, or donate directly to the museum.

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Sweet Tooth Set List

March 19th, 2015 by Bryan Bedell

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 9.22.30 AM

When we shot the ‘concert’ shot in the “Sweet Tooth” video, I had to come up with a setlist quickly, so I just wrote down a few songs I can sorta mangle my way through on guitar/bass. I’ve been playing guitar for about 25-30 years and I know about six chords and have no rhythm at all, so it’s not pretty. Field Nut Adam Webb was curious about the songs, so I just spent 100x the amount of time we spent shooting those five seconds of footage making this playlist, because I have this weird medical condition where I can’t ever stop yammering about music…

  1. Foggy Notion, Velvet Underground
    My second-favorite VU song after “What Goes On,” which is the only song I ever learned a solo from, although I learned the solo from the Feelies version.
  2. Box Elder, Pavement
    When I was in college, one of my favorite bands was The Wedding Present, and I loved their song “Box Elder,” a bonus track on the US issue of “Bizarro.” A couple years later I bought Pavement’s “Watery Domestic” on a whim because I loved the cover, and it was the greatest, so then I bought “Slanted and Enchanted” and decided Pavement was my favorite band ever. Then they re-released all their early singles as “Westing by Musket and Sextant” and it was only then that I realized “Box Elder” was a Pavement song and it was even better than the Weddoes’ version. Pavement turned a little jam-bandy for me and eventually lost their title to Guided by Voices. I’d trade this 7″ for a Butcher Extra Blue any day (if I had a Butcher Extra Blue to trade)
  3. Garbage Truck, Sex Bob-omb
    Scott Pilgrim is dating a high-schooler.
    Technically this is Beck, who is sometimes tiresome but when he strips it down (like on his K album “One Foot in the Grave”) he kills it.
  4. No Love Lost, Joy Division
    My daughter and I love playing the opening riff of this. I just recently discovered this weird synth-ier version of it with more lyrics and less reading from “House of Dolls” which is good because it’s weird playing a song about Nazi prostitutes with your daughter.
  5. Fa Cé La, The Feelies
    Another song I’ve loved forever where a few earlier versions have come to light lately. The Feelies are one of those bands you always forget to list as one of your favorite bands but then you realize you’ve worn out two copies of most of their records.
  6. Hungry Like the Wolf, Duran Duran
    I love this song, so unironically. I miss the world in which someone could make a video so expensive and ridiculous and actually pull it off. My life’s dream is to shoot a shot-for-shot remake of the Hungry Like the Wolf video with Steve Delahoyde who makes our Field Notes films. Love the chord progressions, it’s all easy chords but in a goofy arrangement, kinda like “Modern Love.” Both are fun to play faux-earnestly on an acoustic guitar.
  7. The Modern World, The Jam
    Bruce Foxton rules, OK? The bass part from “Start” is fun (and hard, for me,) to play, it’s one of the few songs I’ve bothered to practice. It’s also pretty much a total ripoff of “Taxman,” but as my daughter said when I showed her the video “So what, they’re cooler than the Beatles.” I’m not sure why I wrote “The Modern World” instead of “Start.” Maybe I was still thinking about “Modern Love.”
  8. Free Bird, Lynyrd Skynyrd
    I’m old and pathetic now but I used to go to see bands at least three nights a week, and at least back in the 90s, you’d still get idiots yelling “Free Bird” towards the end of shows. Once, I was at a show, can’t remember the band, for some reason Diskothi-Q comes to mind, but that’s probably wrong, in any case, it was *not* a “Free Bird” sort of band… Anyway, some idiot yelled “FREEEEE BIRD” and they all got huge grins on their faces and the singer looked out into the crowd and said “OK, who said “Free Bird” and idiots being idiots, the guy was like “WOOOO! MEEEE!” The band called him up to the stage and made him stand in the front of the stage as they flawlessly played all 9 minutes of “Free Bird” and everyone in the crowd booed at the guy who yelled it. You gotta love that kind of commitment, that a band would learn a song they and all their fans hated, just to maybe someday *really* embarrass a heckler.

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New COLORS: Spring in Two Rivers

March 11th, 2015 by Bryan Bedell

FNC26_tworivers24“Two Rivers” is our newest COLORS limited edition, and it’s available now! It was an absolute joy to work with the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum and we’re thrilled to support their important mission with this edition. We’ve randomly mixed four French Paper Co. covers, three inks, and a variety of hand-set wood type designs to create more than a thousand different covers.

Learn more about “Two Rivers” here, including lots more photos and three videos about the edition, and be sure to check out Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum director Jim Moran’s blog post about the production of the books.

Only 25,000 packs were made, with $2 per pack going to support the museum. Order now, these won’t be available for long, and if you love American history, printing, and design as much as we do, please consider an additional donation to the museum when you check out.

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