I have been reviewing pen and paper products for almost four years now. I've reviewed notebooks from Asia, Europe, and mostly from the United States, but I have not had a glimpse of a Field Notes pocket notebook yet. Back then, I didn't like small notebooks, and Field Notes was not available here in the Philippines. Last December though, a local online shop announced that they are selling the Field Notes Brand, beginning with the Winter 2011 Colors Release, The Northerly. I knew I had to get my own set the moment I saw the bright white notebooks. Never mind that I don't like small notebooks.
The Northerly by Field Notes. Winter 2011 release.
Thirteenth in the Field Notes Colors Series, The Northerlies, like other Field Notes notebooks, measure 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches. Small by my standards, but large enough for my notes. My notebooks (each order comes in a pack of three) came before the New Year and it was definitely drool at first sight. The bright show-white Kromekote cover printed with "Icy Silver" soy-based ink on the embossed Field Notes logo is sooooo beautiful. Even the silver-coated band holding the notebooks together is beautiful.
The back cover of The Northerly bears Field Notes' logo, including the proud declaration of where the notebooks were made.
The inside cover of the notebook is for its owner's personal details. I haven't filled out this page yet because I'm still searching for a pen that will write permanently on the shiny, coated Kromekote. Perhaps I'll use a Sharpie here.
The inside back cover, on the other hand provides extensive information on Field Notes' story, the notebook's specs, and some suggestions on how to use the notebook. I like that. My favorites are 'Things Done Right', 'Resolutions, As Yet Unbroken', and 'More Reasonable Resolutions'. The specifications part is a marvel to read. As a publications designer, I'm in the printing and publishing business and I understand all the printing lingo written here. As I read on, I can see tall stacks of Kromekote and Finch paper and hear the mechanical noise of the press, the Heidelberg stitchmaster, and the round corner machine. I can even smell the 'smell' I get when I'm inside a printing press.
Another beautiful thing about the Northerlies: round page corners! All Field Notes notebooks have round page corners, including The Steno. I've always preferred round page corners for my notebooks, especially those with thick cardstock for cover. Square, non-round page corners can sometimes cut into my fingers and palm while I'm writing, or get caught in the fabric inside my bag.
Unlike other pocket notebooks with the usual two staples for binding, Field Notes notebooks are saddle stitched in three staples to provide extra durability.
The Northerlies have the usual Finch paper that Field Notes use in their notebooks, except for a nice 'twist': the inside pages have 4.5mm x 4.5mm white graph lines on a cool, blue-gray background. I like this graph lines, except that I wish they were a bit thicker. The thin lines can sometimes be hard to see, especially when lighting is not very good.
A new collection? This is all your fault, Field Notes.
This is my 'test page' for my first Field Notes notebook. Notice anything new? The Pilot G2. But of course! I've always tested notebook paper using my fountain pens, and I did that with my Northerlies too. Initially, I was disappointed when I saw the amount of feathering and bleed on the Finch paper (see photo below). I put away my notebooks, not knowing what else to do with them. Then I realized that I could still make use of them — using other pens that will not bleed. That's why this notebook review has a Pilot G2 instead of a colorful Lamy Safari.
The Northerlies are clearly not for fountain pen use. I don't care. It's still cool, hip, and fun!
So now I'm going to wait for the next limited edition Colors notebooks by Field Notes. I wonder what color they'll come in next. Purple? Black? Gold? I can't wait!
Now, who else can think of a really cool slogan like this one? Everybody, come on! Let's all write everything down to remember them now!