It's been a long time since I've offered my impressions of a Field Notes Colors edition. I skipped several editions because they didn't speak to me enough (Workshop Companion, Sweet Tooth, and Snowblind), but started picking the notebooks up again with Byline and pulled the trigger on a subscription once I saw Lunacy. I'm glad I did, because so far I'm 2/2, with Lunacy and the current Black Ice edition both justifying the purchase. So here goes for Lunacy:
The first thing I want to say about these notebooks is that I absolutely love the cover. The material is a heavy textured stock ("Neenah Classic Crest 'Epic Black Stipple' 100#C") which almost feels like plastic. It's somewhat reminiscent of the covers on the Drink Local edition, only textured. I've not made it to "staple day" yet, but other than some slight wear on the edges, the cover on this notebook still looks almost new despite heavy pocket carry over the past two weeks.
I initially worried that the glossy "moon" peeking through the die-cut covers would be a bit much and make the notebook too "busy" looking for professional use (i.e., in meetings for my stodgy office job, where silly things like "individualism" and "creativity" are frowned upon). Having these notebooks in hand, I'm not too worried. The end result is much more understated than you'd first expect, probably because the rest of the notebook is blacked out, from the embossed "Field Notes" logo and moon on the front and back covers, to the black staples, to the gray reticle-grid paper. That said, I probably will use the all-black subscriber-exclusive notebooks first, then the crescent moon notebooks, then the quarter moon, and finally the full moon, mainly because I worry the cutouts will snag on things in my pocket and my bag and end up not lasting as long as they should.
Lunacy is one of the most fountain-pen friendly Field Notes editions I have used. Honestly, the paper may handle fountain pen ink better than any other edition I've tried. (Take that with a grain of salt - I like my Field Notes, but I'm not an addict to the point where I can say I own or have tried them all.)
Even though this paper handles the ink well, for some reason I still don't find this paper particularly pleasant for fountain pens. While there's minimal feathering and absolutely no bleeding, I've experienced a scratchy "draggy" sensation when writing on this paper with fountain pens, likely caused by the fibers. I suspect using a more lubricated ink might help, but lately I've been perfectly content to use my Baron Fig Squire and Steel and Flint pens for most of my pocket notebook writing, both kitted out with the Schmidt Easyflow 9000 refill.
Takeaways and Where to Buy
The only way you can get the all-black notebook pictured here is by starting a Field Notes Colors subscription beginning with Lunacy. Lunacy subscriptions seem to still be available as of the time of writing, but I imagine they may close out soon since Black Ice has been released. Act quick!
If you're interested in picking up a regular Lunacy three-pack, Pen Chalet has them in stock, and you can use the current HOLIDAY discount code to snag them at 10% off the $12.95 sticker price. (It's also a good opportunity to pick up the Black Ice edition!)
Thoughts on the Field Notes Colors Subscription Service
Since I offered my thoughts on the Baron Fig subscription service(s) last week, I thought I'd take a moment to discuss my impressions of the Field Notes Colors subscription. To my knowledge, Field Notes was the first pocket notebook company to offer a subscription service, and they continue to surprise everybody with the sheer breadth of their creativity and ingenuity in developing and executing new ideas. Most of their limited editions have earned rave reviews, some were a little out-there and off the beaten track (Sweet Tooth, anyone?), but I haven't spoken with many people who consider their Field Notes subscription a "bad investment." Why? Because by any measure it represents good value for someone who is a fan of Field Notes products and/or uses a lot of pocket notebooks.
When you subscribe to Field Notes Colors, your first package contains not only two packs of the latest Field Notes Colors limited edition (currently the awesome-looking "Black Ice"), but you also receive two packs of the classic Kraft paper original Field Notes, and some "extras" like Field Notes pencils or pens. Going forward, you receive two three-packs of each new Field Notes Colors release, along with more "extras", some of which are subscriber exclusives (like buttons, etc.). This year, subscribers also received a special surprise in the form of a personalized reprint of the first two Field Notes Colors editions: Butcher Orange and Butcher Blue. Since Field Notes has used this "special shipment" as a selling point to attract new subscribers, I expect they will do something similar in the future.
The cost of a subscription is $97, shipping included. By purchasing all of items listed above separately (not including subscriber-exclusive "extras"), the cost would easily exceed $115. If you like Field Notes, and buy all of the special editions anyway, it makes financial sense to subscribe. That said, you do bear the risk that you'll get one or more editions you aren't crazy about. If that happens to me, I plan to do what I do every year to clear out my stationery overstock: Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers for the rest of my family!
Disclaimer: I paid for my Field Notes subscription with my own money, for my own enjoyment, and have not been compensated for this review. This post contains affiliate links.