Field Notes

Field Notes In Action · Idea File:

Sharing an Uncommon Wealth of Sketches

November 8th, 2013 by Bryan Bedell

We love seeing how FIELD NOTES are used, and luckily we get a lot of scans and photos from customers via email, our facebook page, and our flickr group. But rarely do we get to see and hold a well-worn, completed notebook full of ideas and sweat and love. Christopher Versackas was kind enough to send us a yellow Massachusetts “County Fair” full of drawings of noted Bay Staters. Titled “A Collection of Portraits of the Historic and Influential from or Involved with the Greate State Commonwealth* of Massachusetts XOXO,” the book includes a couple dozen drawings (in a variety of mediums) including historical figures (Anne Hutchison, John Adams); authors (Jack Kerouac, Henry David Thoreau); artists (John Singer Sargent, Chris Burden); musicians (“State Luminary” J. Mascis, Jonathan Richman); and anarchists (Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Nicola Sacco). We wrote to thank Christopher and confirm his address so we could mail it back. He replied “Please feel free to keep the physical copy. Sharing the final result with others has always been my favorite part of the sketchbook process.”

In the spirit of Chris’ kind act of sharing, we’ve scanned the whole book using our nifty new Doxie Flip. Here’s the entire book, (compiled in the Doxie software) both as a full resolution PDF book (14.3MB) and a scaled-down web-resolution PDF (1.7MB). Chris says “I hope it encourages others to pick up a pen and start doodling too”, and we ask that you respect Christopher’s intellectual property and use the book only for your personal perusal/inspiration. (If we see Robert Lowell t-shirts on Etsy, there will be trouble.) Thanks, Christopher!

* A more cynical observer could argue that Christopher’s act of kindness was essentially a passive-agressive reminder that Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky describe themselves as “Commonwealths,” not states. During our extensive “County Fair” research, this was considered, but it was decided that we didn’t have time for their persnicketiness (never mind that we opted to spell Hawai’i with an apostrophe). Perhaps with future reprints, we’ll reconsider our decision, though residents of those four states will need to step up their FIELD NOTES consumption to clear out existing inventory.

Field Notes Brand Books · Products:


November 7th, 2013 by Bryan Bedell


Halloween seems like as good a day as any to announce a new addition to the FIELD NOTES line-up, so please welcome “Pitch Black.”

You’ve been asking for an open-edition black notebook.

You’ve been asking for a open-edition dot-grid notebook.


Well, here are both, in one! “Pitch Black” features French 100-lb “Blacktop” covers with “Stealth Gray” text. Inside is our 50-lb Finch Opaque Smooth text paper, with a light-gray dot grid. It’s bound with shiny black staples and features an all-new list of Practical Applications. And best of all, it’s not a limited edition, we made plenty for everyone and we’ll keep it in stock until black goes out of style. (Like that’ll happen.)

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Whatever they’re calling the “new black,” forget about it. Only black is black, and nothing’s blacker than black, and black goes with everything. This book will look great in a tux or a greasy leather jacket. It can record performance notes atop a grand piano, or take note of f-stops rubber banded to a thrift-store camera.

We’ve added it to our shop page, or you can order a 3-Pack or a couple 3-Packs, or as many as you’d like, right here:

Speaking of infinite darkness, the release of “Pitch Black” marks the retirement of our Red Blooded edition. We kept good ol’ Red in stock for a couple years and three printings and it was a favorite, but we figured it was time to move on. Maybe we’ll see “Red Blooded” make a comeback someday, but for now, (as of November 4, 2013) “Red Blooded” is sold out.

Just to be super-clear: “Pitch Black” is a new standard offering and not part of the limited-edition COLORS subscription series. Don’t confuse it with the Summer 2013 COLORS edition, “Night Sky,” which sold out months ago, or the Winter 2013 COLORS edition, which will be announced in November.

Field News · Partners:

Field Notes meets the new Doxie Flip

November 6th, 2013 by Bryan Bedell


Today marks the release of the innovative new Doxie Flip, a small portable scanner that’s perfect for scanning your receipts, photos, notebooks (NOTEBOOKS!), and other ephemera.

doxieflip_flipnotebookSince it’s battery-powered and cordless, you can scan anywhere. The lid is removable and the bottom is transparent, so you scan anything that’s relatively flat. Scanning is as easy as pushing the big green button on the side. Everything’s saved to an SD card, and can be easily copied to your computer when it’s convenient. Larger items can be scanned in sections and automatically ‘stitched’ back together. Even better, Doxie software allows you to scan a whole notebook, then ‘staple’ the pages back into a PDF ‘book’ to archive or share online. If you’ve got a big box full of completed FIELD NOTES, that’s probably sounding pretty sweet right now.


But it gets better… Order a Doxie Flip direct from Doxie and you’ll get a limited-edition FIELD NOTES pocket notebook, made in the U.S.A. with a French Paper Speckletone 80# Cream Cordtone cover (while supplies last). The “Cordtone” paper has a beautiful, deep texture and the inside pages are plain Finch 50# text.

We’ll post a complete walk-through soon, with a very special notebook a FIELD NOTES user just sent us as a gift.


This Edition is Long Gone, But Not the View from the Top of the Tower

October 17th, 2013 by Jim Coudal


Just because it’s really starting to feel like fall, here’s another look at a film we made a couple years ago in north central Wisconsin.

Colors · Field News:

A Toast: Let’s Post About Coasters!

October 3rd, 2013 by Bryan Bedell


Can we tell you more about the letterpress-printed coasters you’ll find in our “Drink Local” Ales and Lager 3-Packs? We didn’t clutter ‘em up with the usual paragraph of production notes, so we’ll share some details here:

FIELD NOTES fans know we’ve been working for years with the amazing Dan Barron at Flywheel Letterpress in Freeport, IL for years. He was all set to do the coasters, until his girlfriend got a teaching job a couple hours from Freeport. Dan had to pack up and move quickly, and decided to sell his printing business and all his equipment.
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Field News:

Field Nuts Update

October 1st, 2013 by Bryan Bedell


Speaking of FIELD NOTES’ unofficial appreciation society, the Field Nuts have been growing quickly in number, and recently unveiled a new and improved Facebook page, Twitter page, and web forum. They even have a spiffy new logo. We thank them all for all their support, love, enthusiasm, and evangelism.

We do remind you that if you need to contact us about anything at all, we’re here at, emailable at, on twitter at @fieldnotesbrand, or at our official Facebook page. We dig Field Nuts and lurk there occasionally but we’d need to hire additional staff to keep up with their flood of posts!

Field Notes In Action · Idea File:

FN iPhone UI Hack

October 1st, 2013 by Bryan Bedell


Dan Provost is a UI designer and he’s come up with a nifty hack to sketch up iPhone interface ideas in his FIELD NOTES. His write-up includes downloadable artwork to order your own stamp, but other possibilities are, as they say, endless. Thanks to Enon on Field Nuts for the link!

(btw, Dan’s site name “The Russians Used a Pencil” is a reference to a not-entirely-true story about the development of the Fisher Space Pen, which we just happen to have for sale. Synergy!

Field News:

“Drink Local” Video: Behind the Scenes

September 27th, 2013 by Bryan Bedell

We were happy to see so many positive comments about our 30-second spot promoting our new FIELD NOTES COLORS “Drink Local” Edition. You can see the finished version of the ad here.

Most viewers noticed that the colors of surrounding objects (and the bar) change throughout the video to match the books, and a few commenters seemed to think we’d done it practically (“Practical” is what film people call special effects done with props and camera tricks, rather than in editing and post-production). We are big fans of practical effects, but this time, we went full-on Michael Bay (call us, Mike!) and utilized a healthy dose of FX magic (albeit still pretty subtle). Here’s the unedited original footage:

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The XX

September 24th, 2013 by Jim Coudal

Our handy graphic is updated to show all twenty (!) of the the seasonal limited editions we’ve released so far. How many of them do you have?

FIELD NOTES COLORS seasonal 3-Packs are sold in limited quantities and they have a tendency to sell out almost immediately after they’re announced on our email list (sign up at the top of the left column!). Our newest release for fall, The “Drink Local” edition is selling like, beer to a thirsty crowd. Keep in mind, we also offer a yearly subscription, giving those who want first crack at each of our releases (and who didn’t want to camp out in front of a browser, hitting refresh) a simple method to guarantee delivery of four season’s worth of new COLORS. And trust us, you are going to want what we’re working on for the winter, it’s going to be very cool

Field News:

Billy Crystal meets Mickey Mantle (and Bill Guilfoile)

September 24th, 2013 by Bryan Bedell

FIELD NOTES BOOKS’ first release, Kevin Guilfoile’s “A Drive into the Gap,” is a story about baseball, memory, baseball executive (and Kevin’s father) Bill Guilfoile, and Roberto Clemente’s 3000th hit-bat.

Kevin came across a great story featuring his dad and Mickey Mantle in Billy Crystal’s new memoir, “Still Foolin’ ‘Em”

“A Drive into the Gap” is still available in our shop.