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Your first point of reference should be the 13-digit number at the bottom of the notebook. That is a National Stock Number, or NSN. This identifies this item within the military logistics systems.
This website indicates the NSN was created in 1963. Since the NSN system replaced the FSN system in 1974, that probably indicates the specification was issued in 1963? I couldn't really say for sure. This item is so common and mundane that researching it is not easy.
It can be and is manufactured by a wide variety of suppliers, such as https://www.ibsupply.com/i/book-memorandum-5-1-2-x-8-quot-green-log-book/6XB6B
You can even buy them off of Amazon.com if you want, or in bulk orders of dozens or hundreds if you really want a lot of them.
On a personal note, these green notebooks are nearly ubiquitous within the Army, and I probably own a half dozen myself. I would be quite surprised to hear there were anything like a "graphic design" conducted, it's just a standard typeface on a green fabric cover.
John M. Atkinson
Thank you very much for this detailed response. I do agree that these are ubiquitous and I have purchased examples on Amazon as you say. It is also very helpful to know they were created in 1963 via the NSN.
That said, designs, even if ubiquitous can be copyrighted. I believe it is looking like the design is in the public domain based on the two responses I received from the GPO. I responded to Mr. Hays with a follow up question.
I clarified to Mr. Hays that I am not inquiring about the 'content' of any journal as is discussed below, just the design. I would be interested to know if it is your interpretation is also that the design is in the public domain.
Thank you so much,
---------Response Via Email(Jaime Hays) - 02/19/2020 09:35 AM
Thank you for contacting the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) for permission to republish content from Government Publications. While GPO serves as the printer for the U.S. Government, the originating agency remains the owner of the content.
Title 17, Section 105, United States Code, provides that: Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise. The intent of this section is to place works of the Government in the public domain. However, Government publications may contain copyrighted material which was used with permission of the copyright owner.
Here is the link to GPO's Public Domain & Copyright Notice: http://www.gpo.gov/help/public_domain_copyright_notice.htm (http://www.gpo.gov/help/public_domain_copyright_notice.htm) . (http://www.gpo.gov/help/public_domain_copyright_notice.htm.) Please apply the notice as appropriate.
We appreciate your interest in and need for Government information. Thank you for contacting GPO and please contact us again if you need assistance with GPO's services or products.
GPO | OFFICIAL | DIGITAL | SECURE | 732 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC 20401--------
The GPO notebooks are still in production, and have been for decades. The designer is not known, and this most likely would have been done in a plant production office years ago.
The Public Relations Office may be able to help with additional information: email@example.com.
Thank you for contacting us.
Ronald Keeney | Manager | Creative and Digital Media Services | ph 202.512.2010 ext. 31489
GPO | OFFICIAL | DIGITAL | SECURE | 732 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC 20401
I wanted to post that based on conversations with GPO yesterday I was able to resolve that it is ok to re-use the design for the purpose in question. Thank you so much John for your very helpful research.