POSSIBLE SPOILERS: Field Notes Unexposed Edition Unboxing Video

Warning, if you don’t want the new, mysterious Field Notes edition spoiled for you, don’t want this video. If you do, then, ONWARD!

There are a few more observations I’ve had, after looking at the Field Notes for a bit longer.

The first is that I think this is the first time Field Notes has had a registered trademark symbol (®) next to the Futura’d “FIELD NOTES” mark on the front. That bums me out a bit, partly because, well, it means that some lawyers got ahold of it, but also because it’s moving one more step away from the original intent of a pocket notebook like this. It’s more of a brand now.

I completely understand why they did it, and if this was my product, I’d probably do it too.

The notebook comes in six varieties:

  • Purple with green words,
  • Green with orange words,
  • Orange with blue words,
  • Blue with pink words,
  • Pink with yellow words, and
  • Yellow with purple words.

Here’s a photo. SPOILERS:

Field Notes Unexposed complete set. Photo by Mike Finneran, posted to the Field Nuts group on Facebok

Field Notes Unexposed complete set. Photo by Mike Finneran, posted to the Field Nuts group on Facebok

They’re all very bright, made from flourescent soy-based inks printed on a white 100# silky paper. The inside color is the inverse of the outside.

One of my favorite things about it is that it resurrects the paper used in the “Night Sky” edition — a 50# bright white paper with a light grey application of their “reticle” graph — basically, it’s a dot grid, but instead of dots, they’re little “+”s.

Here's a Night Sky Field Notes I'm in the middle of, and its "reticle graph" paper. This paper is identical to what the Unexposed edition uses.

Here’s a Night Sky Field Notes I’m in the middle of, and its “reticle graph” paper. This paper is identical to what the Unexposed edition uses.

What I was expecting

When Field Notes sent the email teasing the edition, they included this image:

Field Notes teasing email

And then when they announced the name of the edition, “Unexposed,” I naturally thought about photography. After all, this is a very “art school” photograph, and it’s almost like a pinhole camera. They said the edition was sealed in an opaque paper, so I was hoping that the cover was photosensitive — maybe they changed color when opened and exposed to light.

That would have been so cool, wouldn’t it?

Schrödinger’s Notebook

Schrödinger's NotebookOkay, bear with me here, because I’m going to wayy overthink something.

A friend and I had an interesting discussion about this edition on Facebook. When Field Notes announced it earlier this week, they didn’t give away any details of each notebook. But they did say that each three-pack will be sealed with an opaque paper, and the colors in each three-pack will be chosen at random.

That’s right: no one will know which three of the six colors are contained therein — only by opening it (and thus devaluing the set), will they know if they have all the colors.

This sets up a conundrum: Do collectors keep them sealed, maintaining maximum value, or do they open them, and trade until they have all the colors?

I theorized that this is an anti-collector’s edition: that Coudal and Draplin are trolling the collectors by introducing this conflict into their acquiring.

My friend brought up an interesting counterpoint, however, and rightfully so — that in fact, this is the ultimate collector’s edition, and because collectors will be tempted to open the sealed packs, the number of the sealed pack will seriously lessen over time.

This would create a meta-collectability — that eventually, those who don’t care about the colors, but care only about the sealed notebook packs, would pay top-dollar.

For those collectors, the unknown factor of what colors are inside is a bit thrilling — the colors are unknown, for as long as they are in that meta-collection, they cannot be known.

Erwin Schrödinger might say that the colors on the notebook both exist and do not exist.

Regardless, these notebooks are a joy to look at, to touch, and eventually, to use (I have a Night Sky to work through, first).

Rad and Hungry launches pencil sharing program

Have I mentioned how much I love Rad and Hungry? Yes, I think I have.

ROCO pencils, bought in Saudi Arabia. The first 10 people to sign up for the Pencil Pals program gets one of these!

They’re at it again, with a new pencil sharing program just announced a few minutes ago, called Pencil Pals. Hen, one of the driving forces behind RAH, filled me in on some details. It was inspired by writing to her long-time pen pal:

I got my first pen pal when I was in the 1st grade and believe it or not but we’re still in touch despite me growing up in Seattle and her in Rochester, NY. I love the concept of pen pals and basically, I wanna be the best pen pal in the world! I include a personal note with each kit and I really look forward to writing the letters. It’s fun for me to really connect with our customers/fans. I hate when I get a package from a friend with no note. It feels so empty. Like something is missing.

Basically, this is how the program works. You sign up at the Rad and Hungry website (check back here for a link), and you get a pencil or two in the mail. They ask that you share some love on your blog, or post a pic of it to their Facebook wall, or tweet it out. Also, send them an email to let them know you recieved it.

RAH will email you the mailing address of another pencil pal, and you’ll have the option of sending along the pencil you received, or a different one from your collection. They strongly encourage you to send a note as well, perhaps telling about yourself or about the pencil you’re sending them. It’s a great way to make a human connection.

As soon as you mail it out, you’re entered back into the queue to receive another pencil.

This sounds like a lot of fun. It reminds me a bit of the “member pencils” that members of the American Pencil Collector’s Society trade (Note to self: You’ve been a member since last summer! Go get yourself some member pencils!)

Hen isn’t just hawking office supplies, they’re selling a way of life, and fostering connections between cultures. Like I mentioned before, what is your boring, old big-box mart office supplies may be a treasure for someone else who doesn’t get that variety otherwise.

This program is just eliminating the purchasing needed for that connection. It’s a way for you to meet your fellow pencileers without spending more than a postage stamp or two.

Visit Rad and Hungry for more details. And if you’re among the first ten to sign up, you’ll receive one of these awesome pencils bought in Saudi Arabia pictured above!