What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Friday Edition

This is our studio site. Among lots of other things, we run Field Notes Brand,
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Coudal Partners

Field Notes Fall

United States of Letterpress

Our 48th Quarterly Limited Edition for the Fall of 2020 is the "United States of Letterpress," which features the work of nine independent letterpress shops from across America. This series demonstrates a wide array of craftsmanship, ingenuity, and love for the age-old and tactile process of letterpress printing.

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.

Field Notes For Fall

Stamp and Die

Our Field Notes Quarterly Editions aren't necessarily tied thematically to the season in which they're released, but every few years we feel compelled to head back into the woods for Autumn. This year we present the "Autumn Trilogy" Edition.It seems perfectly simple, but the subtly debossed leaves and embossed logo are the result of a very complicated process.

A Cautionary Tale

Heed This Well, Young, Costumed Beggars

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

America's Best Idea

National Treasure

Since the early days of Field Notes we have been searching for just the right way create an edition celebrating America's National Parks. When we saw the work of the artists of The Fifty-Nine Parks Print Series, we knew exactly what to do. We are proud to present The "National Parks" Series this and invite you to check out three 3-Packs and 52 million acres of American treasure. We're donating five percent of retail and wholesale purchases to the National Parks Service.

Love’s Labor Lost

One from the Heart

Check this film for a one-day Field Notes special Valentine's Day promotion. The offer is over, but the sentiment keeps going endures.

Props Face Time

Classic Display Faces That Deserve Love

Herb Lubalin and Tony DiSpigna's 1974 release for ITC, Serif Gothic doesn't get the kind of attention that sparked a recent (and overdone) Avant Garde revival but it speaks for itself when set tight, in all-caps for a short declarative headline, especially one that needs a sort of non whiz-bangy science-fiction feel. Suggested pairing: Univers 65 Bold.

A Six Tone Scale

True to the Blobbiness

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.

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.

Decipher This

The Whole
Mysterious Story

The 41st design in our series of Field Notes Quarterly Editions has a sleek, mysterious look, fitting for an edition all about secret codes and ciphers. It features a three-part history of cryptography, and the 3-Packs themselves are puzzles, very difficult puzzles, to be solved. This is the Clandestine Edition.

FNHQ In Good Company


Our studio on North Racine Avenue in Chicago was selected as one of the "Coolest Offices" in the city. Thanks to Crain's for that. And thanks also to Sarah Crowley for taking the photos, our contractor and furniture-maker, Peter Moorman, and to Phillip Schmidt for his advice and architectural expertise. Come by and see it yourself. Bring money.

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

Instant Lettering, A Letraset Database. From Hoosier Type Co. bb-08.11

Field Notes Fiftieth Quarterly Edition jc-05.18

Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum's new poster gallery features amazing letterpress posters with an interactive feature showing how the original printing blocks are printed in different colors to create the final poster. bb-02.17

Radio Garden. ms-02.15

Daniël Maarleveld's Impossible Grid Typeface, one of the Best Illusions of 2020. bb-12.22

Our bestie Christen Carter and her bestie Ted Hake have just published Button Power : 125 Years of Saying It with Buttons, it's an essential cornerstone of any library and makes a great gift. If you're still not sold, maybe the promo video will help. bb-10.22

An annual tradition for Fresh Signals, It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherf*ckers . ms-10.08

See Beautiful Illinois via Twiiter bb-09.03

Trailer for The Batman ms-08.24

Caveman Robot Teach You Draw! bb-08.23

Dark Sky Reflections. ms-07.06

Trailer for the documentary "Creem: America's Only Rock 'N' Roll Magazine." ms-07.06

Madness sadly rescheduled their first US tour in years, but Suggs and Mike with a string quartet helps with the wait. bb-06.16

I am in love. ms-05.20

Escape the real world, and take a little trip to Poolside FM. bb-05.07

Since actual travel has basically come to a halt, take virtual world tour with live webcams of famous places around the world. ms-04.27

"We're waiting on specs for the San Francisco installation. Can you parallel-path two versions?" Garbage Language, by Molly Young. jc-04.27

A.N. Lucas's 88x31 Button Collection. jc-04.27

Planet Earth at Twilight. ms-04.25

Living In A Ghost Town from the Stones. "If I want to party, it's a party of one." Right on. jc-04.24

"...we often forget that Planet of the Apes is based on a novel, and The Folio Society's new edition of that novel is filled with beautiful illustrations, which portray the planet of the apes in a whole new way." jc-04.20

Sony World Photography Awards 2020: Architecture. jc-04.17

What Are Pin Marks? "A 'pin mark' is a distinctive, usually circular, depression which appears on the side of some (but not all) metal printing types." jc-04.06

Dreaming of self-isolating here at the Home Farm Cottage. ms-04.03

"I've always had an obsession with straight lines and perspectives." Bucharest's crumbling modernist heritage. jc-04.01

Here's a little paper model of my jukebox you can build to stave off boredom, and a playlist to listen to while you build it. bb-03.25

Gardens You Can Virtually Tour Right Now. ms-03.24

OMG. 11,700 photos from John Margolies' Archive of Americana Architecture. Download, Use & Re-Mix. jc-03.10

Dress David Rose ms-03.10

Pic du Midi Panorama ms-03.10

Gorgeous. ms-03.10

Since we are all washing our hands all the time now, find a song that works for you,Wash Your Lyrics. ms-03.09

How to program a computer, before there were computers, or programs: The Computer-free Automation of a Jukebox. bb-03.09

The History of the URL. jc-03.09

For decades, cartographers have been hiding covert illustrations inside Switzerland's official maps. Via Meanwhile. jc-03.09

"I illustrated National Parks in America based on their worst review and I hope they will make you laugh." ms-03.06

Curiosity's 1.8-Billion-Pixel Panorama of Mars. jc-03.04

James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake, spell-checked. Thanks Paul L. jc-02.27

Mars occult, by Andrew McCarthy. jc-02.27

A deep dive into something very dumb: discovering the original 3D model for the Dancing Baby meme and converting it for modern use. sd-02.21

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

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The MoOM Board

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