What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Monday Edition

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

Ten Years of Field Notes

Origin Story

Thanks to Whet Moser and Chicago Magazine for this in-depth story on Field Notes 10th anniversary and how we got here.

An Adventure of a 2-Pack

Meet Haxley

During October, Chicago Illustrator and poster-maker Jay Ryan set himself a goal of creating one small ink illustration each day. These drawings revealed a story about a bear and his squirrel neighbors. We followed Jay's progress and found the drawings irresistible. We knew that they'd look great in a special Field Notes edition. We hope you agree.

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.

New From Field Notes


We're proud of the short film (spot?) we made for a product partnership with the unstoppable Bellroy from Australia. Check out the new Everyday Inspiration, custom, compact leather cover.

Thanks to Big Delicious Planet for inviting us into their Canteen for the location, and to Spencer Tweedy for letting us use his song "Temple State" on the track. It's in heavy rotation at HQ currently.

One From Way Way Back

How Do You Spell Courage?

A lot has changed around here since 2005: waistlines, hairlines, fashions, a big new studio, and new businesses to fill it with. Here's a Throwback for Thursday, in beautiful standard definition. The production values might leave a little to be desired, and the "new Canadian restaurant" in the neighborhood may have closed, but the film itself actually holds up. Sort of. Presenting Copy Goes Here.

You Can Count On Change

That’s a Wrap

After a long, successful run, we're shutting down our advertising network, The Deck. Jim posted about the decision and the details at the Deck site. John Gruber was one of the network's very first affiliates. John published a way-too-generous piece about The Deck at Daring Fireball. Thanks for that, and to all the affiliates, advertisers and readers who supported the network over the years.

Last year we moved into a new studio in Chicago, and in the back, near where we do screen-printing and other messy stuff, there's a shelf for projects we made, operated and eventually, shut down. We'll make some room for The Deck there, right next to Jewelboxing, The Seed Conference and The Show. We haven't stashed away Layer Tennis just yet, but who knows? Anyhow, as always, we're scheming about the future. And, of course, we're making these notebooks.

2017 Tournament of Books

Literary Cage Match

Once again, our Field Notes Brand was the title sponsor of The Morning News Tournament of Books which is now complete! If you're not familiar with the ToB, Angela Chen has written this excellent Brief History of the Tournament to get you up to speed.

We need your help. We created a special Memo Book for the tourney and are raising funds for 826 National, an amazing seven-chapter network that provides under-resourced students, ages 6-18 with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. Dig deep people.

Choose to Go to the Moon

Over the Moon

It's not quite like faking the moon landing, but the film we made for the release of our Field Notes Quarterly Edition 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. BTW: The Lunacy Edition is now sold out.

Moco Fun at the new HQ

We Go Round in Circles

Steve bought a cool motion-control rig. We wanted to make some sort of recap the Field Notes Quarterly Editions from 2016. So we made this film. Added bonus, it provides a nice view of the new HQ.

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.

Because it's There

A Winter’s Tale

"One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen." —Rene Daumal. Why did we do it? Because it is there. Or was anyhow. Presenting Above the Sun, a true story.

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

10K movie posters online at the Harry Ransom Center at UT-Austin. Here's the story from Open Culture. jc-01.19

Happy Friday. "I need help here with this feather." ms-01.19

"Q: Some people have cited different Droste-effect packages, encountered at a young age, as their introduction to infinity. Was that your experience? A: Yes, I was very intrigued by the Royal baking powder label or the infinity effect of parallel mirrors at a young age." jc-01.19

Dunes of Sand by ionnalee. dw-01.19

Interactive map showing the difference between the City of London Morgan Map of 1682 and today. ms-01.19

So you know, 12 great beers for winter hibernation. ms-01.19

RIP Dean Cameron Allen. A true hero of the early web. jc-01.19

Choir!Choir!Choir! and David Byrne sing Heroes. Goosebumps. ms-01.18

With the weather being dastardly, the Charlotte Checkers (AHL affiliate of the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes) sent home all non-essential personnel, told fans to stay home, and played a home game in an empty arena. mcj-01.18

Happy Thursday. ms-01.18

"The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison--beyond description: absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world..Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children, and all those who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see." Thanks Teddy. ms-01.18

So you know the real life sci-fi of vertical take-off planes ms-01.18

So you know, how to speak gibberish. jc-01.18

Vintage Computer Graphics is great, especially The Xerox Star User Interface: Parts One and Two, from 1982. jc-01.17

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein- in charts. ms-01.17

A visual representation of Dr. Sam Beckett's entire Quantum Leap journey. dw-01.17

"Perched on an idyllic hilltop site, the Foothills Modern residence is composed of four structures--the main house, guest house, pool house, and caretaker's residence--each with striking horizontal lines, flat roofs, and bold overhanging eaves." ms-01.17

A fight scene from Bruce Lee's Fists of Fury, with light sabers. ms-01.17

Trailer for the AMC series The Terror ms-01.17

Image search, just because. Olivetti Form and Function. jc-01.17

Vestaboard. Great idea, will do my best to resist. jc-01.17

The total seasonal snowfall in the continental US for 2017-2018 so far, shown as a relief map. dw-01.16

Trailer for the film Nostalgia ms-01.16

"An art print that seems like it came from a forgotten civilization; a document of impossible architecture, forgotten art, and never before seen constellations." dw-01.16

Women Farmers of Appalachia is a photography and interview series whose purpose is to give an honest representation of the daily lives of Appalachian women in agriculture. Through their narratives and our photographs, we weave history with the now to examine the present day female farmer, weathered in her ways, but abundant in her knowledge and stories." ms-01.16

Inside the World's Only Button Museum. Yay! Christen and Co. on Chicago Tonight. jc-01.16

Paul Scheer live-tweeted while reading "Score," a hockey-themed romance novel. bb-01.16

Why Field Notes Have Remained Curiously Addictive for a Decade, by Whet Moser for Chicago Magazine. Thanks for that. jc-01.16

SlideShare Gems. Woah. jc-01.12

The true history of Luke Skywalker's Monastic retreat. ms-01.12

A look inside one of America's last pencil factories. ms-01.12

Trailer for The Vanishing of Sydney Hall ms-01.12

We've reached peak nerd: the Cantina Theme Equation. bb-01.12

Trailer for Before We Vanish. dw-01.11

For BB, The Life Aquatic with Seu Jorge and David Bowie. dw-01.11

"Tokyo Snake Center in the trendy district of Harajuku has 35 snakes or 'attendants' to choose from – all non-venomous – and customers can pick one to enjoy as a table companion. Waiters are on hand to outline the café rules and snake handling etiquette." dw-01.11

Paintings on mirror-polished stainless steel spheres by Martin C Herbst. dw-01.11

Feed Sacks: The Colourful History of a Frugal Fabric. dw-01.11

Page Turner woodcut print by Tugboat Printshop. dw-01.11

"We eat cheese every day, and twice on Sundays." Postcards from the Past. dw-01.11

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

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