What's All This Then?

This site is edited by Coudal Partners, a design, advertising and interactive studio in Chicago, as an ongoing experiment in web publishing, design and commerce. [Next]

What's All This Then?

Thanks for visiting. If browsing around here while at work has had a negative effect on your productivity we're sorry but imagine what it's done to ours. [Hide]

Saturday Edition

This is our studio site. Among other things, we run two businesses:
Field Notes Brand and The Deck Network. Visit them please.

Coudal Partners

True to the Blobbiness

A Wall in
the Studio

We've long-admired the dynamism of a mural that is hangs on the north side of the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, on Ashland Avenue. Once we renovated and moved into our new studio space, we decided to track down who was responsible, with the idea of doing something similar for our main work space. The artists, Gwendolyn Zabicki and Kent Smith, were up for the idea, and also for us filming them painting the 12' x 8', 3-panel artwork. Thanks a million to them.

New from Field Notes

Eternal, Shiny
and Chrome

Just in time for gift giving, a metallic embossed cover, a new binding and orange spine, plus Drapln-designed wrapping paper and a "To/From" sticker. Our Field Notes winter limited-edition is Black Ice.

Factory Showroom-ish

Get in Here

The Field Notes Midwest Headquarters is open for business. Plan on stopping by our shop, warehouse and studio in the Chicago's Fulton Market District, at 401 North Racine Avenue for holiday shopping, or just to say hello. Check our holiday hours and a list of special events here including a Happy Hour (thanks to Half Acre Beer Company) on Friday, and pie and coffee (thanks to Big Delicious Planet).

Einstein's Puzzle

Who Owns the Fish?

Since 2004, we have been doing our part to encourage acrimony and hard feelings at family gatherings. Face it, you'll probably fight about something at your holiday get-together, it might as well be something important, like whether or not you're in the two percent of the world's population that Albert Einstein purportedly claimed could solve this puzzle. So... Who Owns The Fish?

JC at Creative Mornings

What Are You
Afraid Of?

Here's Jim's presentation from the inaugural edition of Chicago Creative Mornings. Thanks to Tina, Mig, Gravity Tank and everyone who showed up.

We Choose to Go to the Moon

The Moon in
a Sandbox

It's not quite like faking the moon landing, but the film we made for the release of our new Field Notes Quarterly Edition for Fall, Lunacy, was made entirely using the same sort of practical, analog effects that you'd need to employ if you were going to stage that event, back in the day. So fun. So messy.

A Cautionary Tale

Heed This Well, Young Costumed Beggars

Our annual warning to trick-or-treaters, in the style of Hilaire Belloc.

Faces Deserving of Props

Tight, in All-Caps with Almost No Line Spacing

Chauncey H. Griffith's Bodoni Poster Black was developed for Mergenthaler in 1929 and features strong verticals and shallow descenders. It's regularly employed for era-specific "Appearing Nightly at the Copacabana" lobby-card-ish announcements and by and large it's serviceable, if not particularly interesting. But, just in case you find yourself in need of a two skinny chicks whispering near the coke mirror, late 70's, Los Angeles sort of vibe, set it tight in all-caps with almost no line spacing. Suggested pairing: Univers Light Extra Condensed.

Verse by Voice

Poetry, After the Beep

Several years ago, on a whim, we asked people to read their favorite short poems into our voice mail for a project we called Verse By Voice. And lots of people did, creating a poetry meme!. To get the idea, here's novelist Zadie Smith reading Frank O'Hara's Animals.

Selling Space

Making it Real

"In 1966 Norman Rockwell really needed a spacesuit and NASA didn't want to give him one." Now, that is a lede. An excellent, illustrated article by Darren Garret, The Improbable, Bold History of Space Concept Art.

Museum of Online Museums

The MoOM

There's something for everyone in our Museum of Online Museums. For example, Voices of East Anglia's groovy Japanese print ads from the 60s and 70s collection. Like most cultural institutions, The MoOM needs the support of the community to survive. Well, not really, since we don't have a building or a staff or even those cheap little round colored badges that you hook on your collar when you attend... We do however have a new version of The MoOM Mug, which is available exclusively to benefactors.

Guest Editors

Helpful and
Mostly Polite

A list of all the brilliant people who have helped us by guest editing Fresh Signals can be found here.

Other recent features are listed on Page Two.

Fresh Signals

Totally weird but the type of thing you should know, you can taste garlic with your feet. Look at the big brain on you now. ms-yesterday

De La Soul's new wedding video for "Memory Of," plus a lot of other great DLS clips (incl. a "Scenario" Demo and an incomprehensible interview with Damon Albarn). bb-yesterday

Interesting article. Fab headline. Barns Are Painted Red Because of the Physics of Dying Stars, by Rose Eveleth. jc-yesterday

25 Cool Liquor Bottles Worth Buying For the Bottle Alone. They say "Kalshnikov Vodka" is a rare collector's item, but i've seen cheaper knockoffs at Polish grocery stores in Chicago, and let me tell you, a glass AK-47 full of vodka makes a great housewarming gift. bb-yesterday

So you know, 10 types of beer glasses to compliment your beer. ms-yesterday

The 2017 Tournament of Books Long List is out and it's really long and reminds us that we don't read enough. Not nearly enough. Field Notes is, once again, the title sponsor of the ToB and we have something special planned this year. Stand by. Get reading. jc-yesterday

Greatest poster ever? Certainly in the top 50. ms-yesterday

Hey! This looks like a fool-proof team-building exercise for the team! BRB, going to buy propane, goggles, and a lighter...... ms-yesterday

Marshall writes, "Just in case you ever wanted to know what it's like captaining a freighter through the Welland Canal — or "The Ditch" as they call it." jc-yesterday

Pantone's color for 2017 is 15-0343. Hmmm, we were pretty darn close to that back in 2015. ms-yesterday

Sweet tv spot for Super Mario Run. Can't wait. Via Daring Fireball. jc-yesterday

Meet the machinists who keep the New York Times running. ms-yesterday

DIY Booze Dispensers. jc-yesterday

"...and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop!" A Victorian Toast, by Rosie Schaap. jc-yesterday

Declan Taaffe's great visual essay on Steven Soderbergh, with lots of talk about The Limey. sd-yesterday

Sweet film on Busy Beaver moving. jc-12.08

This is wonderful, Prince's Closest Friends Share Their Best Prince Stories. ms-12.08

Very nice recent run of selects at Movie Poster of the Day. jc-12.08

"...which led me to the number of bachelor's degrees conferred by field of study, going back to 1970. I ranked them over time." —Nathan Yau. jc-12.08

A history of seven homes, now for rent on Airbnb from the new Lapham's Quarterly. Home. jc-12.08

1915 film of Claude Monet painting "en plein air" in his garden in Giverny. ms-12.07

Not terribly practical for feeding your family, and I don't even really care for pancakes much, but PancakeBot is pretty tempting. bb-12.07

Don't know why but I'm a sucker for all these kids-trying-new-foods videos, here's a bunch of kids trying 100 years of Christmas desserts. ms-12.07

The 2016 Good Gift Games, an annual tradition from Matthew Baldwin. Best recs on board games anywhere. jc-12.07

Valid only while today lasts. jc-12.07

So you know, Harvey Balls. jc-12.06

"At this natural boundary, chunks of light cyan ice bathe in chilled waters. Icicles pierce downwards like shafts of light, tethered to the roofs of cold blue caverns." Matanuska Glacier. dw-12.06

Helping out a great band, support production of a new record from Head of Femur. Check the new single, "Stoned Soul." jc-12.06

The Fifty-Nine Parks Series "is a celebration of our National Parks" with individual screen-printed posters by a raft of prominent designers. There are some real beauties in there, for example, check Daniel Danger's for Olympic National Park. Produced by National Poster Retrospecticus. jc-12.06

A Taxonomy of London Coffee-Shop Names. jc-12.05

So you know, how much it costs to power the Death Star. jc-12.05

Hubert Roguski reimagines modern cities with retro maps. dw-12.05

"Conway, 77, claims never to have worked a day in his life. Instead, he purports to have frittered away reams and reams of time playing. Yet he is Princeton's John von Neumann Professor in Applied and Computational Mathematics..." John Conway's Life in Games, by Siobhan Roberts. jc-12.05

"Have you ever done a puzzle that has no beginning or end? Where you don't know up from down? Get lost in the Infinite Galaxy Puzzle." dw-12.05

Lightning over Colorado. ms-12.05

So you know, how tires work. Via CarType. jc-12.05

So you know, the 52 things Tom Whitwell learned in 2016 included the fact that "Google's advertising tools can track real-world shop visits. If a customer sees an ad then visits the relevant store a few days later, that conversion will appear in Google Adwords. Customers are tracked via (anonymised) Google Maps data." Via Kottke. jc-12.03

RIP Salvador "Buddy" Ganir. Legendary. jc-12.03

When Cars Ruled the Night: New York City, 1974-1976, written by Luc Sante, photos by Langdon Clay. jc-12.03

"This was supposed to be the joke entry, but it was f**king fantastic." It's cold out, why not try a Hot Beer? bb-12.02

Page Two contains the previous 40 Fresh Signals, recent features, a key to the icons and the categorical archives.

Grab our blended RSS feed here.

Find a Job

More @ We Work Remotely.


French | German | Italian
Japanese | Spanish | Portuguese

One Hundred Forty

Coudal on Twitter

The MoOM Board

One of the most popular parts of our site is The Museum of online Museums (MoOM) which is updated quarterly. Please consider joining the MoOM Board of Directors. A subscription comes with a handsome coffee mug but none of the snootiness so often associated with the patronage of old-school cultural institutions.

Elias Jones
Maura Statman
Fergus Wessel
D'Ortenzio Family
Johnson Hur
Kelly Leonard
Brigitte Martin
Brian Mohney
Unnikrishna Menon Damodaran
Rick Johnson
Leah Blum
Philip Birmingham
Andrew Dale
Patch Superstore
Haris Bacic
Ian McRoberts
Grettir Asmundarson
Vladimir Gendelman
Tom Shakow
Dallas Shelby
Blueberry Ln.
Michael Russem
James Sampson
Rod McGuinness
Jason Lankow
Nöel Jackson
DJ Edgerton
Carolyn Wood
Mark Powell
Chris Ebmeyer
Christen Carter
Chris Allison
Keith Krieger
Kathleen Devlin
Roger McLeish
Fred Beshid
Katie Harrar
Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran
Daniel Annereau
Dan Rubin
Barbara Ann Kipfer
Sunniva Geuer
Gareth Walters
Claire Zulkey
Sean Palmer
Jane Quigley
Edward Lifson
Witold Riedel
Brian Cook
Anne Herron
Abby Urban
Erik Ratcliffe
Michael Jenkins
Katie Carney
Mark Greenberg
John Boardley
Jon Tan
Robin Sherwood
William Dampier
Don Stillman
John Pojman
Werner Haker
Amy Hostler
Whet Moser
Debbie Millman
Matt Russell
Bill Keaggy
Adam Kruvand
Randy Hunt
David Demaree
Erik Vorhes
Dan Mabrey
Nalani McClendon
Mary Catlan
Anonymous (8)

Supporting the MoOM requires a simple annual non-tax-free contribution of $75. In exchange for your generosity, you'll receive one sweet, tall coffee mug and a permanent listing and link as a member of the Board of Directors. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

We actually do
stuff beside
updating this site.

Find out what.