Field Notes

Entries Tagged as 'Field Notes In Action'

Field Notes In Action · Field Trip · Partners:


November 10th, 2015 by Bryan Bedell


Our dear friends at Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum invited us up for their annual Wayzgoose Type Conference last weekend. We worked with the museum to produce our Spring 2015 “Two Rivers” edition and we couldn’t love them more, so we took advantage of the chance to visit again. It was sad to see the now-empty space where a large share of America’s wood type was manufactured, but it was great to see the museum packed to the gills with hundreds of printers, designers, historians, and typographers in town for the festivities. We had a great time catching up with old friends, making new ones, enjoying great presentations from the likes of Steven Heller, Marian Bantjes, and Dan Rhatigan, and eating all the fried cheese curds we could find. Thanks again to Jim, Stephanie, Bill, Mari, and Tootsie, can’t wait to see you all again soon! The Two Rivers edition is gone, but we still encourage you to visit and support the Museum whenever you can, they’re amazing people doing important work.

(above, left to right: Matt Jorgensen, Bryan Bedell, and Shea Cahill of Field Notes Brand with Jim Moran and Stephanie Carpenter of Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum at Wayzgoose 2015)

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Field Notes In Action:

Gibbons, Pottos, Gorillas, and Orangutans

October 22nd, 2015 by Dawson


Earlier this summer, twenty folks from the Primate Conservation MSc Cohort at Oxford Brookes University trekked through damp jungles around the world to conduct original research projects with an aim of preserving wild populations of primates. Naturally, our waterproof FIELD NOTES Expedition Edition went along for the ride.


The group’s research includes analyzing gibbon vocalizations, surveying wild populations of pottos in East Africa, and observing play behaviors of young orphaned orangutans in rehab centers in Indonesia.


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Field Trip:

Park Life

September 15th, 2015 by Bryan Bedell

As if it’s not fun and rewarding enough to design and print notebooks, we also have a lot of fun photographing them and making the films that accompany each release. Sometimes it involves some ‘location work,’ and in the best cases that means getting to spend some quality time in the great outdoors. The film for Fire Spotter required a night camping in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin. Night Sky was two full all-nighters wide awake staring at stars in Great Basin National Park in Nevada. For the current Shenandoah edition, we spent three days and two nights at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

If it sounds like a lot of fun, it is! But filming on location is also a lot of hard work. We’re up and on location before sunrise, and head home after sunset. We must load and unload all our heavy gear and sometimes lug it all along through miles of trails. We’re always on the lookout for mountain lions, scorpions, and bears. And, ugh, the driving.

Luckily, this time, the drive was part of the appeal, and as usual, we shot way, WAY more footage than we used in the final film, so here’s a bonus clip. Shenandoah’s Skyline Drive is one of the most scenic roads in America, and while this short Hyperlapse from our dashboard really doesn’t do it justice (the view to the side is pretty majestic and it helps to stop and soak it in once in a while), it’ll give you the idea why it’s worth a visit.

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Field Notes In Action:

Fighting Fires With Field Notes

August 11th, 2015 by Dawson


Jean Pierre sent in some photos from his recent trip as part of a 20 man wildland firefighting crew sent to battle fires near Ruby, Alaska. With our Expedition Edition by his side, Jean Pierre met up with the rest of his team in Denver. From there the group flew up to Seattle, picked up their line gear, then continued on to Anchorage where they boarded smaller prop planes for the final leg into Ruby.

In Ruby, we were tasked with maintaining and improving a “hand line” that was setup to protect native allotments, as well as cabins that were situated South-East of the town itself. We also laid 3,000 yards of trunkline hose and 1,200 yards of nozzle hose, to aid in our mopup operations. The inventory for the equipment used on this line was taken on yours-truly’s FIELD NOTES. When the time came to relinquish the list, it proved to be a challenge since the Yupo paper was tear proof. Eventually we had to use a knife and now, I’m missing a leaf (and it’s counterpart in my memo book!)


On the 5th day working the Bruno Creek fires, we were dispatched to help secure another line. This one was laid down hastily to protect the Atchley homestead / cabin, some 200 miles east of the town of Ruby, in what is considered Alaskan wilderness. Meaning the only way for us to get there, was by helicopter!

We were ferried in four groups of 5 with only part of our gear as the plan was to have us stay there 24 hours. On the third day, the rest of our gear was dropped in, along with various supplies, as it was clear we were staying there for the remainder of our assignment.

We ended up putting in close to a mile of handline that was sixty feet wide in some spots. Our sawyers were working from one full tank to another, only stopping to fill their chainsaws with premixed gasoline and bar oil. Meanwhile, we were swamping all the wood they were cutting into the “green,” also know as the other side of the handline, in relation to where the fire is coming from.

Heading out to the 64.67890 / -154.43654 – you can see the smoke plum from the fire-head in the background.

I took copious notes relating to my squad’s daily schedule… Inventorying gear, keeping count of break time vs work time, but more importantly, information about the fire weather (relative humidity, dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures, wind speed, etc.) – the latter are an indicator of the expected fire behavior in our vicinity as we had our lookout “sling weather” – a term referring to the act of rotating both the dry and wet bulb thermometers.

At one point, one of my colleagues got curious and wanted to know what kind of notebook I was writing on. When I handed him the note book, he turned to the last page and started reading from it. For some reason, we were so tired and sore from our 16 hour work day that we started laughing like a bunch of crazies. He read it out loud, with a hint of British nobility in his tone and that made it even funnier.


Much appreciation and admiration goes out to Jean Pierre and his comrades for all that they do. From photos and 60 second news clips it’s hard to grasp how much hard work, blood, and sweat goes into fighting these dangerous flames. After a brief and well-deserved break Jean Pierre is heading back out this week to take on some of the wildfires raging through Northern California.

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Field News · Field Notes In Action:

Two Great Field Notes Fansites

July 23rd, 2015 by Bryan Bedell

We admit, we haven’t been the most diligent bloggers lately, we’ve been busy “makin’ the doughnuts” (and by “doughnuts” we mean “pocket memo books,” but hmm maybe we do need a doughnut edition?). But if you’re itching to read more about FIELD NOTES, and especially our COLORS editions, you might want to check out these two great fan sites:


Jinnie’s great Three Staples features great stationery-related links along with excellent photos and reviews of her FIELD NOTES collection.


Andy at Field Notes Colors has managed to collect all the COLORS editions, and is blogging about each as he uses them. He’s also compiled a complete list of the Practical Applications listed in each book.

If that’s still not enough hot FIELD NOTES action, don’t forget about the Field Nuts group on Facebook (celebrating their two-year anniversary today!), and the Field Notes in the Field tumblr. There are other good independent third-party sites, but we’ll save some for another post. Gotta keep the blog fresh, right?

And remember, you can always get your officially-sanctioned FIELD NOTES info straight from the horse’s mouth via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, or pretty much anywhere, using the hashtag #fieldnotesbrand. We can’t express how great it is to see so many customers going out of their way to share their love for FIELD NOTES!

And there’s only one way to be the first to learn about new releases and specials: Join our mailing list! Enter your email in the top-left corner here at!

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Field News · Field Notes In Action:

We’ll Drink to… Anything, Really.

July 7th, 2015 by Bryan Bedell

FNglassess-smAs you know, most of our best ideas here at FIELD NOTES are conceived over a stiff drink in our luxe, smoke-filled mahogany-paneled conference room. Everything must be just-so to get the creative juices flowing properly, but something was missing… until our pal Justin Atkinson set us up with some FIELD NOTES logo-etched glassware. Now our afternoon Old Overholt-and-Diet Barq’s tastes better than ever. Nope, they’re not for sale, you can’t have one, and we’re not teasing a new product/edition. They’ll probably be smuggled out of the office by the end of the week by our kleptomaniac staff, but we’ll enjoy them while we can, Thanks, Justin! Now we just need to befriend a distillery…

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Field News · Field Notes In Action:

Incidental Entomology

July 6th, 2015 by Bryan Bedell


This guy snuck into FIELD NOTES’ Midwest HQ today on Michele’s back. After a brief photo shoot, we released him back into Chicago’s verdant West Side. Anyone with fewer than eight legs is welcome to stop by anytime!

Update: FIELD NOTES fan Kelly R. wrote in to let us know that our little friend is a Red Milkweed Beetle.

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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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Field Notes In Action:

Support Your Local Weirdo!

May 21st, 2015 by Bryan Bedell

anotherweirdoOur old friend Mr. Walters over at Nerfect carries FIELD NOTES with him to all of Berwyn, Illinois’ finest thrift stores and coffee shops. He’s always sketching and collecting ideas for his paintings and “Artistic Novelties” featuring Diabolical Hot Dog, the “Pug Pack,” and such. After filling more than 40 FIELD NOTES, Mr. W decided to compile a few dozen of his favorite spreads into a limited-edition book; Support Your Local Weirdo!. He only made 40 books and there are only a few left, but if you miss out, be sure to follow Nerfect on Instagram to see what he’s up to, including lots of works in progress and more FIELD NOTES than you can shake a stick at. (Please never shake a stick at FIELD NOTES.)

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Field Notes In Action:

Avalanche Notes at Everest Base Camp

May 20th, 2015 by Bryan Bedell

An email from journalist Svati Kirsten Narula:


I took these pictures of my memo book while at Everest Base Camp several weeks ago, thinking they’d be good to send you guys since the back of the memo book actually has a note saying “Tell us how you use your Field Notes”!

I’m happy to report that this memo book survived the awful avalanche that swept through camp on April 25… And that it’s now an invaluable resource for me as I recollect my experiences. It was invaluable always, actually; I’m a journalist and was taking a bunch of notes in this and other notebooks every day while in Nepal. Thanks for making a fantastic product!

Thanks, Svati, we look forward to your report on the avalanche! We love hearing how folks use FIELD NOTES, whether they’re at the Earth’s extremes, or at the local grocery store. Please send stories and photos to

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