In the spirit of Independence Day, I’m sharing an archive that is a tribute to hard working farmers who are an important part of American heritage. The Memo Book Archive from Field Notes is a gorgeous array of farmer’s notebooks collected by Aaron Draplin. Draplin is a designer and the creator of Field Notes memo books. In the video From Seed, Draplin jumps from book to book describing each more enthusiastically than the last. Draplin is fascinated by the people behind the chicken scratch writing. To him, he says, “[the books] mean regular people working really hard.” The memo books were advertisements for new farming products and technology and included agricultural tips and measurement charts. The value of one notebook on its own might be hard to see, but together the collection of pocket sized books provides insights into the lives of American farmers.
These pieces of Americana are a meeting of tremendous graphic design and function. Here are a couple of my favorites from the gallery.