Like kids in the proverbial candy store, the mad scientists over at Field Notes seem to take special pleasure in dreaming up new printing, finishing and binding combinations for their quarterly editions. (Think of Aaron Draplin, Jim Coudal and co. as the Mythbusters if the Mythbusters only put things together rather than also blowing things up.) Last time it was the Lunacy edition with those intriguing die-cut moon covers; this time they’re easing us into winter with the disturbingly titled “Black Ice” trio.
The first detail that jumps out at you and gives you a good smack across the face is, of course, the liberal use of Crown “Black Ice” foil across every inch of that Sappi McCoy cover.Every inch, that is, except for a bold application of “Draplin Design Co. Orange” soy-based Saphira ink with a soft-touch varnish down the spine. (This is echoed on the Finch Paper Fine Smooth 70 lb. Text Bright White inside, along with another color: “Frost Gray.”) Brrr, baby.
The fine embossing of the Field Notes name and notebook info on the cover is all in keeping with what we expect from this brand. Be warned, though – the more nervously-inclined of you may gradually wear those letters away with a thumbnail over the course of several meetings.
As sleek as this notebook is, it’s the binding that really got our attention. The Black Ice offerings do away with Field Notes’ usual staples in favor of Polyurethane Reactive (PUR) adhesive – a surprising choice for a pocket notebook. PUR is the most expensive of the three adhesives generally used – the other two being Hot Melt EVA and Cold PVA – and is used for projects printed on coated papers and in the lay-flat binding process because it is a more flexible glue. PUR’s advantage is its flexibility and its clear appearance once dried, though you pay for that with a 24-hour curing process.
“We’ve been wanting to try out PUR binding for a while,” chirps the Field Notes website, “and this paper/color combination seemed like a perfect fit.” Here’s a peek at that binding process: