A Cover Song of a Cover Song
I spent a lot of last winter wandering around with this in my pocket.
It's one of the Winter 2011 Northerly edition from Field Notes, who are the main inspiration for doing these limited edition seasons with the Artefact Cards.
When you're starting out doing something new, you look around to see who does it brilliantly. And Field Notes do seasons brilliantly. They do a lot of things brilliantly. I point you, for instance, to their story:
"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 Co., Portland, Ore - in conjunction with Coudal Partners, Chicago, Ill. - brings you "Field Notes" in hopes of offering "An honest memo book worth fillin' up with GOOD INFORMATION."
On trains and planes, in coffee shops and waiting rooms, I mapped out across the pages of that Northerly notebook the first few sketches of what the Artefact boxes would look like.
How they'd be packaged, how to do a trial pack, refills and so on. Components, material costs, seasonal ideas.
It began to bring structure to the idea of Artefact Cards - what it looked like as a product, rather than a project.
(There's that word again, structure.)
That Northerly book became the original repository for all of the ideas that Artefact Cards would become.
I turn back through the pages every so often, and find some great ideas we haven't done yet, and some rubbish ideas we have. And vice versa, thankfully.
I now use Artefact Cards offers to keep projects alive within. Bad ideas are thrown away, good ideas replace them, new shapes and strategies are found by reorganising and rearranging.
But I am still never, never found without a Field Notes book, for moments when I finds me some of that GOOD INFORMATION.
In tribute, I'm covering my favourite Field Notes song.
But like all cover songs, you've got to bring enough of your own thing to make it worth listening to.
Graph paper, the drums of the song. It screams structure at the subconscious, gently guiding you to find order, precision. Rather than a perfectly repeating square, I prefer a weightier margin every five lines… a bass drum for ideas, keeping them in line.
I wanted the bass blue to be punchier. The lead guitar of a black sharpie needs to sit on a bass line that balances it out.
And balance really is important. When you're dealing with such a specifically sized object, you want it to be even. None of that weird Graph paper overhang you used to get at the edge of school books. If in doubt, cut out a chorus, shorten the guitar solo.
I hope that whether this is a song you've heard before, or a song you're hearing for the first time, you find it says something to you.
The Winter 2013 Edition is out now - head here to see it in all its icy glory.