Its the latest Field Notes edition, Cold Horizon and everyone in the stationery-o-verse is talking about it. How do you feel about the shiny covers? Too shiny? Gritty? How do you like the gradient effect? Love it? Hate it? What about the graph paper in tints of wintery whites_ light grey, light green and light blue?
My husband, the printer, insisted on lining the books up to show where each gradient intersected with each other. The spine of one book aligns its gradient to the front cover and back cover of the other two books.
The shine of the covers is quite reminiscent of wet ice along with the crystal blue colors of the covers — the theme is beautifully harmonized in the final product. The covers are a little pebbly from the gloss aqueous coating. Overall, the books show lots of fingerprints and smudges just like a stainless steel refrigerator — for better or worse.
Its hard to get a good photograph of the slight color shift between the books. The paper is lightly tinted in a pale blue, green and grey. The grid marks are the same color grey on all three versions. The minor color shift is pleasant but not dramatic enough to have warranted the trouble and expense to do them each differently.
I did my pen test in the light grey paper book. As others have noted, I suspect that tinting the paper made it a little less receptive to fountain pen inks. Field Notes really are best paired with a non-fountain pen pen. I got good results with all the other tools I used but I did get a bit of line railroading (when the edges of the strokes are visible but the ink sort of drops out in the middle like a miniature railroad track) with the Pilot Juice and the Pentel Hybrid Technica pens, both of which are hybrid ballpoint/gel inks. Pilot Hi-Tec Cs and UniBall Signo RTs performed the cleanest with no show through on the reverse of the page. I used all cool blues, black, blue-blacks and graphite as it seemed like a good chance to pair my tool color to the notebooks.
I wanted to provide a close-up to show the feathering with the two fountain pens I tried. It didn’t seem worth the trouble to try even wider nibs or a Sharpie marker. I know they are going to bleed or bead up a little. There’s a reason why we collect so many tools — so we can pair just the write pens with just the right papers for the optimal writing experience.
I will enjoy using these notebooks. They are completely functional and will certainly brighten up the dreary winter days ahead but these are not books I’ll necessarily covet like I do the Traveling Salesman which is my FAVORITE to date. (I wish I had purchased an extra set of those!)
The Field Notes Cold Horizon Color Edition is available in limited supply. A three-pack of the variegated cover and mixed tint paper are available for $9.99.
The Write Notepads & Co. is a Baltimore-based notebook manufacturer. Their notebooks feature a heavy kraft card stock cover that it letterpress printed with their logo on the standard edition or with their own creation, the Paul South figure on the specially made left-handed edition that features the spiral rings on the right-hand side.
Letterpress, locally-made, fountain pen friendly and lefty-centric? What’s not to love?
Both versions of the notebook are available in a small, 3.5×5.5″ pocket size and a larger 5.5×8.5″ A5-ish size. All versions come with either lined or plain paper. Prices are $8 for a small and $16 for a large and include a Write Notepads-printed, oversized rubber band to hold the book closed.
(tip o’ the hat to Inkdependence. Check out their post for a detailed review as well.)
I work in Adobe Illustrator a lot and the pen tool which allows me to work with bezier curves uses a fountain pen nib as its icon. WHAM! Both of my worlds collide. When I saw the Vector Scouts Field Kit from Vector Mill, its seemed like an obvious match. The set includes a Moleskine Cahier printed with the Vector Scout logo — bezier curve lines and the iconic, graphic pen nib — and wrapped with a decorative, paper band. There is also a matching sticker and embroidered patch in the kit, all for $20. Most of the products sold by Vector Mill are icons, patterns and brushes to be used in Illustrator but anyone who wields a vector pen tool might appreciate the “Field Kit.”
(via Vector Mill)
Letter Writing and Postal Follies:
Pen & Ink:
Notebooks & Paper:
HI, Love your site. I am looking for a semipermanent notebook approx 3×5 size, not hung up on this size but cannot be big. I need it to keep some things I will look at several times a day, in and out of a bag every day. I was trying a small Rhodia unlimited but the perforations are a problem. Any recommendations? I need it to last about a year. I love what you put on your site and that I can jump to others from here after looking @yours. Happy Holidays.
The first thing I thought of was the Paperblanks journals. They are hardbound with a nice quality ivory stock. I’ve been using their planner this year which has endured the same sort of abuses and holding up quite well. They have a “mini” version which is 3.75×5.5″ which is a tiny bit bigger than you wanted but they are available with an assortment of cover options including a wrap cover and a clasp version. Most books are lined but some are available with blank paper as well. They also sell an even smaller version called the “micro” at a mere 2.75″ x 3.625″.
Rhodia also makes a small Webnotebook that is 3.5×5.5″ and the Rhodiarama. Both are hardbound, vertical elastic closures and 3.5×5.5″ The Rhodiarama is available with an array of colored covers and lined 90 gsm paper ($17) and the webnotebooks are available in orange or black covers with dot grid, lined or plain paper ($15.25).
If you need paper durability and are more inclined to use ballpoint or pencil, one of the weatherproof notebooks might appeal to you like the Field Notes Expedition Edition, Rite in the Rain or the Alwych. They are all soft cover books but use durable materials to create books that can stand up to inclement weather. Both the Rite in the Rain and the Alwych have over 100 pages each, the Expedition Edition is a thinner volume at 48 pages per book but are sold in sets of three. All Field notes are 3.5×5.5″, the Alwych is 3.25×5.25″ and the Rite in the Rain Memo Book is 3.5×5″.
With this pocket-sized notebook, there are options for leather covers that could turn any notebook into something durable as well as refillable. This would allow the use of any of the pocket-sized notebooks from Field Notes, Word, Doane, Scout Books, Moleskine Cahiers and so forth.
Does anyone else have any other recommendations for Sandy?
There were lots of hard-to-categorize bits of wonderfulness on the pen-blogospere this week including the epic link list from the Pen Addict Podcast Gift Guide Episode (#81) which is a link list onto itself.
Letter Writing and Post:
Pardon my repeated turns to digital recently. As computers, cell phones and tablet devices are as much a part of our working life as pens, paper and staplers, I feel its worthwhile to include references occasionally.
In case you missed the news last week, Field Notes announced the Winter Edition of the Colors Series called Cold Horizon. It is a another departure from the traditional Kraft cover version. This time the covers are a gradient blue and each of the three books are a slightly different gradient but they can be lined up to transition in color from one book to the next. The covers are a glossy coated stock this time to enhance the icy cold look. Inside is the standard Finch paper stock printed with grid marks and tinted in light blue, light green and cool gray — each book a different colored stock inside.
I think this edition is distinctively different from previous incarnations. I’ll be curious how people react to the new Field Notes Cold Horizon once they have it in hand. I need to renew my subscription ASAP to make sure I get at least one set to review and compare.
A set of three Cold Horizon Field Notes sell for $9.95. A year’s subscription is $97 and includes four quarterly editions, starting with the Cold Horizon, and a bonus 3-pack of Kraft mixed and a 3-pack of Kraft Grid.
The Circa system. Its been around for awhile and I’ve even made a foray into the “disc world” myself in the past but the Circa system had sort of fallen off my radar as of late so I thought I’d reconsider it.
If you’ve not familiar with it, its a series of plastic discs and a customized die cut or hole punch that creates divots in the edge of the paper to accommodate adding or removing sheets easily to the disc binding system. While Levenger’s Circa system is the most well-known, there are other options available like the Rollabind and the Arc system from Staples. They all look interchangeable which is appealing if you want to customize a system to your specific tastes and budget.
The Circa system has relationships with popular notebook companies like Rhodia and Behance while Staples’ Arc system beats out in the pricing and convenience arena. Pre-printed and punched sheets are available for meeting notes, recipes, agendas and planners and many other task specific activities. All three bands offer a range of paper but the real appeal to me is being able to select my own paper and then use the custom hole punch to fit it into a notebook. While I like Rhodia paper, I’d prefer dot grid or blank sheets rather than the customized meeting notes style available at Leveneger. Because of the way the disc system works, smaller sheets of paper can be inserted into a larger system and they stay in place. So, other pieces of paper, from 3x5s to photocopies, can be punched and inserted into the right spot in your notebook.
Lots of cover options are available from simple poly-plastic to leather zip cases. And of course, there are some unique discs that make the possibility of sitting in a long meeting, a little more tolerable.
Does anyone use a Circa-style disc notebook? How do you like it?
Field Notes heard us. They announced last week that they are now offering an open-stock (non-limited) black edition of their classic Field Notes pocket notebook. Its called Pitch Black and features French Paper Company 100lb “Blacktop” covers with grey text on the cover. On the inside is the same white 50lb Finch Opaque paper but with a light-grey dot grid. They added a little zing with black staples. A 3-pack is the same price as the Kraft and Red-Blooded editions, $9.95.
I’m pretty sure this was made-to-order for Brad over at Pen Addict. Wouldn’t you agree?