Field Notes Two Rivers Preview
For the 2nd book in my journey to the butcher orange, I’ll be using the 26th release of the Field Notes Colors Editions: The Two Rivers edition. This was a special release in that Field Notes payed tribute to the craft of printing and more specifically wood type. With the help of French Paper who donated the cover stock, Field Notes partnered with the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin to create these truly unique covers. Hamilton is a working museum, one of the largest fully functional wood type workshops in the world. Who wouldn’t love a museum where you can actually be hands-on with the exhibits?
Field Notes donated $2 from every pack sold back to the museum! Mark that down as one more reason to love the Field Notes Brand. And they provided an opportunity for donations at checkout as well. If you have never visited their site, be sure to check out the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum.
First Impressions: When I look at the image above, it’s surprising. The cover is so busy that it’s hard to make out the Field Notes title. Fortunately they don’t all look like that. There are so many variations! The completists totally freaked out! This edition pretty much ended the chance that one person could collect every variation of Field Notes ever printed. I love the fact that there thousands of different versions. While I don’t love every combination, there are a few I absolutely love! The Farm & USA variations are really nice! The Coast to Coast editions were quite popular as well a version with the profile of a pig on it. The Farm below might be my favorite of all that I’ve seen.
The Two Rivers Editions used four different cover stocks from French Paper. Pop-Tone 100#C Lemon Drop and Sno Cone, Specletone 100#C True White, and Dur-O-Tone 80#C Packing Brown Wrap. The designs on each cover were printed in two random colors using 2 random designs (of 7). To create thousands of versions, Hamilton randomized the paper, colors, and design. The innards feature Finch Opaque Smooth 50#T with a “Double Knee Duck Canvas graph grid. (I love grids!) And they were bound with copper staples.
One of my favorite things about this edition that makes them unique is the way they feel, and that goes back to the printing process. With wood type being inked and pressed into the paper, especially such a heavy stock, you can literally feel the impressions on some of them. I haven’t found it to be consistent based on design. Some appear to be a little more textured than others that I’ve held, but they all feel great. There’s a softness to them, even fresh out of the plastic. Below is the notebook I’m using for my journey to the butcher orange. And having started it on July 3rd, you can’t ask for much better. A made in the US of A Red, White, and Blue USA notebook with a big #4 on it. Go America!
As you may have noticed in my list of practical applications, the Two Rivers edition is one of the few editions that doesn’t actually have them. Night Sky was the first set that omitted them, followed by Arts and Science, which is kinda funny given all the space on that back cover. Instead you’ll find an “about” section that tells you about the Hamilton Museum and encouraging users to stop by for a visit. Well done once again, Field Notes.
The Two Rivers Edition belly band is unique in that it features the Hamilton Museum Logo on both sides, (which can be seen above) as well as featuring the French Paper logo on the back. You’ll notice the Lemon Drop cover on this unopened pack…for a while it seemed as though they were hard to come by. I believe my subscriber packs only had 1 yellow cover. The others I’ve had were ones I picked up from a conference or at retail stores in person. However I think enough made it out in the wild that the demand for yellow on the trade market has cooled. I was lucky enough to snag this gorgeous green on yellow USA print from my brother:
Not only are the colors beautiful, but because the second print is so light the grains and imperfection of the wood type really shines through without a ton of business going on.
When this edition first came out, I fell in love with the idea of them. It’s a great cause to preserve history, and there are some really cool designs! But honestly, there are only a few covers that I’m in love with. I wish I had more pictures to show, but I’ve traded away most of the packs I had for a few packs of older editions that I wanted some extras on. The reason I have them so low on my pre-journey rankings list is because most of the covers are so busy that they don’t wear super well, which is one of the things I love most about Field Notes. But what matters most is the story of the Hamilton Museum and the preservation of history. That alone would is enough to make this a worthy addition to the Field Notes Colors Edition series.
Since I don’t have a ton of pictures of this edition to share, I’d highly recommend that you check out the Three Staples post about the Two Rivers Edition.