Field Notes introduces a woodcased… notebook?

I hate to be that guy who fawns all over a product, but dang it, Field Notes makes it so easy.

Just when you don’t think they can top themselves, they release woodgrain notebook.

This this is beautiful:

Field Notes Shelterwood

Field Notes Shelterwood

From their website:

The “Shelterwood” edition features covers made from actual American Cherry wood, sliced ever-so-thin and bonded to a substrate of kraft paper for durability. We believe we’re the first notebook company to manufacture such a product at such a scale.

 

Droooool.

As with all of their quarterly releases, this includes a short video showcasing the production of it. It’s fascinating how they shave the wood off the log so thin:

Presumably the wood is extremely pliable, but as we discussed over at Field Nuts, this is not a back-pants-pocket notebook; it’s a front-shirt-pocket notebook for sure.

I feel like it was made especially for us wooden pencil fanatics. It’s a woodclinched notebook!

Once I get my hands on one, I’ll post some shots of the grain. (Why don’t I have the annual subscription again?)

The notebook is $9.95 for a three pack, available here. And once it’s gone, it’s gone!

Presenting: the Erasable podcast!

I’m a big, big fan of podcasts. Whether it’s the Pen Addict, any of the tech podcasts I listen to, or public radio shows presented in podcast format, I’m deeply entrenched in the medium.

I’ve been wanting the chance to do a podcast for a couple years now. Pencils seemed like a logical topic; trouble was, I didn’t think I could come up with enough content for a regular show. It’d hard enough keeping this blog up to date, and I didn’t want a podcast that was just an audio version. It should have something different.

Enter Tim Wasem of The Writing Arsenal. He’s a relatively new blogger of scribomechanica who jumped in head-first and is brimming with enthusiasm and ideas. So when he approached me about maybe collaborating on a pencil podcast, I was really excited.

We both knew that Johnny Gamber over at The Pencil Revolution needed to be involved, too, if he was willing. His experience and contacts in the pen and pencil community are unrivaled, and his mind and wit are sharper than a pencil fresh from a Classroom-Friendly Pencil Sharpener. Luckily, he was interested in joining us.

The trio was complete!

After some back-and-forth, and a trial run, we present: The Erasable Podcast!

erasable_temp_cover_largeWe’ve still got a lot to figure out, and as you can tell by the audio and the format, it’s still a little rough. But we’ve already caught the attention of a lot of listeners already (and the iTunes podcast directory hasn’t even approved our feed yet!

The description from this first episode:

So the audio’s a little rough, and we ramble about the philosophical implications of writing with wooden pencils, but Erasable is up and live with our inaugural episode! We’re starting off with some basics: our origin stories, why we started blogging about pencils, our top favorites, and the characteristics of a good pencil.

 

We’ll be back next time with a glossary episode: the terms we use when we talk about pencils.

 

Give us a listen, either by hitting up the website, or by subscribing directly to the feed with your favorite podcast-listening app. And we want to know what you think! Feel free to comment here, there, or via email if you have any questions or suggestions. Seriously, we’d love to hear from you.

I was on the Pen Addict podcast!

Exciting news, you guys — I was honored to be a guest on The Pen Addict podcast this week! Brad and Myke are great guys — I’ve been talking to Brad for a few years now, and I’m a big fan of Myke’s other podcasts from the mighty 5by5 network, like CMD+Space and Bionic, so listening to this one regularly is a no brainer.

I was a guest on The Pen Addict podcast this week! Click the graphic to check it out.

I was a guest on The Pen Addict podcast this week! Click the graphic to check it out.

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The Woodclinched Pencil Vector Pack

My friend Tony Headrick is a super talented designer. His studio, Neno Design, has won design awards and he’s created some of the coolest logos and websites around Fort Wayne (including my blog’s logo!).

We decided we wanted to work on something together. Trouble is, I’m not a designer, and he’s not a writer. Luckily, we figured it out.

Presenting: the Woodclinched Pencil Vector Pack!

Woodclinched Vector Pencil Pack

It contains 14 pencils from my collection, some vintage, and some new. I tried to include a variety — including an old bullet pencil and a fancy antique mechanical pencil — in addition to straight-up wood cased pencils.

Roughly, here’s what real-life pencils the designs were inspired by, from left to right:

  • Faber Castell Grip 2001
  • Yikes! triangular color pencil
  • Field Notes pencil
  • Goldfish Special Drawing 5002
  • iTO Premium
  • Golden Bear
  • Eagle Flash 66
  • Orange Palomino (the old-style — the announcement of the redesign was announced while Tony was designing!)
  • Antique brass mechanical pencil
  • Eberhard Faber Blackwing
  • Antique bullet pencil
  • Yikes! Gripz
  • Blue eraser-tipped Palomino
  • Draplin Design Company carpenter pencil

It was fun hearing Tony talk about creating these:

To me, pencils are one of the most accessible and basic art tools. Working with Andy Welfle, a professional pencil collector, made the experience so worthwhile. Andy provided some of his favorite pencils, the history behind the design and it was a real privilege to be trusted with such unique, vintage and storied pencils. It was a real challenge to try and keep the design minimal. The colors, materials and textures were what really stood out.

Just look at the detail between various lengths o points, and of the sharpening of the barrel between round and hex pencils.

Just look at the detail between various lengths o points, and of the sharpening of the barrel between round and hex pencils.

He did an amazing job, too. As someone who doesn’t normally spend a good portion of his day thinking about wooden pencils, he caught a lot of detail: how a hex pencil differs from a round pencil where the tip meets the paint; how the shape and tip of a carpenter pencil differs from, say, a regular round pencil; the shine pattern on a ferrule or a tipped end. From a design perspective, I love how he managed to keep the design pretty flat and basic, but was able to incorporate a lot of detail, still, like the woodgrain and that shine on the barrel.

What is a “Vector Pack”?

What does one do with a vector pack, all you non-designers may want to know? If you’re a designer, or find yourself in a situation where you may want to use a pencil like this in a design, then this might appeal to you. Rather than a raster like a JPEG or a PNG, a vector file allows you to scale an image up or down infinitely, keeping its shape and integrity all the while. Plus, you can easily change color, add text, or otherwise manipulate your image to fit the needs of your project.

This pack exists in a few different forms:

Free Vector Pack

Sample pencil pack on Dribbble.

Sample pencil pack on Dribbble. Click the image to view

Check out Tony’s Dribbble page for a sampler of six pencil vectors. Some of my favorites aren’t in this package, but if you want those, check out the…

Full Vector Pack

Click the image to go see the full vector pack at The Creative Market, and purchase for only $5!

Click the image to go see the full vector pack at The Creative Market, and purchase for only $5!

This includes all 14 pencils and is for sale for $5 on the Creative Market!

T-Shirt

Woodclinched Pencil Vector Pack on a t-shirtThis is coming soon. I’ll definitely have more information when we get this up and going. We’re going to submit it to The Cotton Bureau to crowd fund the printing of these t-shirts.