Field Notes Unexposed
The 4th book in my journey to the Butcher Orange is the Field Notes Brand Unexposed Edition. The 24th release in the Field Notes Colors Edition line released in the fall of 2014. FNC-24 was clouded in secrecy, hence the title unexposed. Even after they released it, people still had no idea what they were going to get. If you’ve not seen the video for it, go do it right now: on the Field Notes Site! Seriously, go! It’s brilliant.
Instead of the typical belly band, the back was completely enclosed for the first time in a paper case. It was printed on in the same spot a belly band would have been. Once again, the attention to detail, even on the packaging is over the top. The inside of the cover features a fun grid of FN goodness. (You will see something similar on the newer Workshop Companion cases.)
So, what did the books look like? Fluorescent! They are in direct contrast with the dark packaging and are by far the brightest edition released to date. So bright, that some are even a bit hard to look at and read! Jut keeping it real, there are certain color combos that make my eyes bug out. The purple/green combo is my favorite.
Six colors in total, with a contrasting color in titles, and the opposite print on the inside covers. So if it’s a pink book with yellow letters on the outside, it’s yellow book with pink letters on the inside. In keeping with the playfulness of Field Notes, they randomized the books in the packages, so you had no idea which ones you would get, and no idea how many packs you’d have to buy to get a complete set. It’s marketing genius. They promised that each set would have 3 different books in it, but with six colors, that leaves 20 possible combinations of colors. Here are some examples of the contrasting outsides and insides, along with the list of practical applications.
This was the first edition since Night Sky to feature the recital graph on the innards. The color is cool gray, and the paper quality is the usual 50#T bright white.
The cover is Sappi McCoy 100#C with Saphira ink coloring and soft-touch coating. They feels almost waxy, which in my opinion is great because it means they’ll crack nicely as they wear. However, I can understand why some people don’t enjoy that. Regardless, they feel pretty solid in your hand. And it may be just me, but I think I can smell the ink on these books. The printed 60,000 books, or 20,000 sets, and as happens to every edition, they are sold out on the FN website. However, if you search around, you can still find them at retail prices around the web. If you’re looking to pick up a pack, I’d suggest starting your search here.
Overall, the playfulness of the edition is fun, and I enjoy the way these books wear, but I do find some of the color combinations hard on the eyes. In my initial pre-journey rankings, I had them at #13, mostly because they remind me of the Drink Locals in how they wear.
More recently, Field Notes partnered with Starbucks to release a second round of notebooks through the Starbucks Roastery. The books are clearly modeled after the Unexposed edition, but with tamer colors and white staples. Check them out here.