Field Notes

Field Notes Notebooks - Limited Edition Autumn Trilogy (3 Pack)

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Field Notes' Fall 2019 quarterly limited edition (the 44th Edition) features a 3-Pack of lined journals with beautiful autumn leaf embossed and debossed covers. 

From Field Notes:

Field Notes’ Fall 2019 “Autumn Trilogy” Edition is perfectly simple, but the process that made it that way was anything but. First, we selected three beautiful cover papers from Mohawk’s Via line: “Warm Red,” “Safety Yellow” and “Scarlet,” all with a vellum finish. These roughly approximate the fall leaf colors of the North American Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), the American Elm (Ulmus americana), and the Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea).

Using high-resolution photographs for reference, we carefully traced the shape, contours and vein patterns of each leaf into a scaleable vector file, then created a “lock-up” of each cover layout with our Field Notes logo and other type. At this point, a sculptor at the diemaker converted our flat vector files into a three-dimensional computer model to evaluate the maximum and minimum tolerances for embossing and debossing, and to simulate how they’d look under various lighting conditions before the expensive and time-consuming process of physical diemaking began.

After reworking the files a bit, a master sculpted die was carved into a brass plate in precise detail on a CNC-machine, a ten-hour process for each design. Each master die was then painstakingly polished and inspected, and imperfections were cleaned up by hand.

When the masters were finished, “counters” were made by pressing the master into hot resin. The counter and master can be used to make all the duplicates that are necessary to stamp the artwork on multiple locations on the press sheet.

While the dies were being made, we ordered some ink “drawdowns” on our cover papers to determine exactly how much tinted varnish we should add to the leaf shapes on the covers before embossing and debossing. The varnish adds some contrast and brings out the subtleties of the 3-D shapes, but too much of a tint can overwhelm the feeling of the virtually “blind” emboss that we were after. Even after seeing the tests, once we got on press, we felt the tint was too strong, our pressman suggested using the varnish without a tint, and he was right, it was perfect. Pressmen know their stuff!

The first paper tests were very good but not quite perfect; we made a second set of master dies and tested varying amounts of pressure to get the maximum imprint without over-straining the fibers of the paper. When the final dies were ready, the varnish-printed cover stock was delivered to the embosser, the dies were carefully aligned to the varnished areas, and the sheets were stamped. Meanwhile ruled body pages were printed on Finch Fine 70#T “Soft White” in gray with double top rule matched to the cover colors. Finally the books were bound with gold staples. The final result is wonderfully subtle at first glance, but a close look reveals a deeper complexity. That sounds like a pretty over-the-top way to describe a pocket memo book, but we bet you’ll agree when it’s in your hands.


  • Proudly printed by the good people of eDOC Communications, Mount Prospect, Ill.
  • Cover: Mohawk Via 80#C vellum “Warm Red,” “Safety Yellow,” and “Scarlet” with a tinted varnish and embossing by Nu Wave Die Cutting & Finishing, Chicago, Ill. using sculpted dies from E.C. Schultz and Co., Elk Grove Village, Ill.
  • Innards: Finch Paper Fine Ultra Smooth 70#T “Soft White,” with a fine, 2-color application of “Double Knee Duck Canvas and “Warm Red,” “Safety Yellow,” or “Scarlet” soy-based Toyo inks.
  • Cover printed on a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 40" 6-color printing press.
  • Bound with a Heidelberg Stitchmaster ST 270 5-pocket saddle stitcher with cover feeder/scorer & Rima RS 10S in-line stacker, with appreciation to Samuel Slocum, George W. McGill, and William J. Brown, the “Founding Fathers of the Staple.”
  • Corners precisely rounded to a 3/8" (9.5mm) radius with a Challenge DCM double round-corner machine.
  • Ruled lines: 1/4" (6.4mm).
  • Memo book dimensions are 3-1/2" × 5-1/2" (89mm × 140mm).
  • FIELD NOTES uses only the Futura typeface family (Paul Renner, 1927) in its materials.
  • All FIELD NOTES memo books are printed and manufactured in the U.S.A.

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