The Field Notes 25th Anniversary edition was named the Ambition edition. My initial impression based on the name of the edition was an eye roll and a huff. I find the name of this edition a bit meh and it makes me do this. It sounds like corporate bollox and one of those empty words that gets thrown around. Despite the name of this edition it is lovely.
The Ambition edition seems to be throw back to Field Notes early editions where the design is simple and the quality is high. The colours are rich, deep tones that are lovely and give the notebooks a traditional feel. The different grid designs in each of the books works well. There is a ledger grid, a weekly datebook and a graph grid. Its a bit of a something-for-everyone, which as you would expect doesn't fit with a lot of peoples expectations, but I think it works well. A bit of creativity and the grid shouldn't be an issue.
The distinctive aspect of this release are the gilded pages which they are truly lovely. They give the notebooks an already worn feel and create a great sound when you flick through the pages for the first time.
The paper is slightly different this time round. The paper weight is the same as you normally get from a Field Notes however the paper has an almost creamy colour that adds to the aged, traditional feel of this release. The official paper colour is Cougar Opaque 50# “Natural White”. Strangely this stock also appears to be more fountain pen friendly. Perhaps the paper is a bit more absorbent and takes the ink better than other Field Notes books, but I have managed to use my TWSBI Diamond RB EF nib without any feathering and only a bit of bleed through. Huge bonus!
The Ambition edition, despite its name, has quickly become one of my favourites. They are a classic and elegant pocket notebook and show the versatility of Field Notes as a brand and product as well as the openness of its user base. To go from the clever and fun Unexposed to the classy Ambition is not something a lot of brands could pull off. So as ever there is something to be admired in not only Field Notes memo books, but also the way in which they use the brand and their products to be experimental and continue to please their customers.
This edition is a great introduction to Field Notes for anyone who has not used these notebooks before. They have an almost nostalgic and festive feel making a great stocking filler for anyone.