Inspired by the vanishing sub-genre of agricultural memo books, ornate pocket ledgers, and the simple, unassuming beauty of a well-crafted grocery list, the Draplin Design Company of Portland and Coudal Partners, a Chicago creative firm, have created Field Notes Brand, a collection of smartly-designed, vintage-styled pocket notebooks, calendars, and various office accoutrements.
In 2006, Aaron Draplin, a designer and collector of American ephemera, decided to create an homage to the utilitarian pocket notebooks found in the first half of the 20th century at full-service gas stations, midwestern feed stores, and all points in between. (Lots more on the products that inspire us here.) He called the hundred or so books he’d printed, “Field Notes,” and sent them out to friends, including Jim Coudal. The day that first book arrived in Chicago, Jim called Aaron. In less than a week, a company was born.
Beginning with packages of three graph-ruled booklets wrapped with a thick “kraft” brown cover, Field Notes has since printed dozens of variations and introduced wildly popular limited editions, exploring new colors, papers, printing processes, and special packaging.
From the very beginning, every Field Notes paper product has been manufactured in the U.S.A. From the paper, sourced from some of the finest mills in the Midwest, to even the inks used, the production of Field Notes has never required travel on a cargo ship or plane; just the roads crisscrossing the country.