Our Quarterly Editions aren’t necessarily tied thematically to the season in which they’re released, but every few years we feel compelled to head back into the woods for Autumn. “Mackinaw Autumn” (2009) and “Shenandoah” (2015) were beloved editions that made great use of the warm colors of fall foliage, but it felt like time to try a different twist.
At a glance, Field Notes’ Fall 2019 “Autumn Trilogy” edition seems perfectly simple, but the subtly debossed leaves and embossed logo are the result of a very complicated process. First, we selected three beautiful cover papers from Mohawk’s Via line: “Warm Red,” “Safety Yellow,” and “Scarlet,” all with a vellum finish. These roughly approximate the Fall leaf colors of the North American Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), the American Elm (Ulmus americana), and the Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea).
Using photographs for reference, we carefully traced the shape, contours and vein patterns of each leaf into a scaleable vector file, then created a “lock-up” of each cover layout with our logo and cover text. A sculptor at our diemaker converted the flat vector files into a three-dimensional computer model to evaluate the tolerances for embossing and debossing, and to simulate how the covers would look under various lighting conditions before the expensive and time-consuming process of physical diemaking began.
The final result is wonderfully subtle at first glance, but a close look reveals a deeper complexity. That sounds like a pretty over-the-top way to describe pocket memo books, but we bet you’ll agree when they’re in your hands.