What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Tuesday Edition

This is our studio site. Among lots of other things, we run Field Notes Brand,
go there right now and spend lots of money. Thanks.

Coudal Partners

Event at HQ Thursday

Field Notes
Zine Night

An evening of zines, prints, and self-published art from a selection of local vendors. This Thursday, April 27th from 6 to 10. Free. Check the roster and all the details here.

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.

Field Notes for Spring

Get to Work

No crew members were seriously injured in the production of the film we made to accompany our latest Field Notes release, The Utility Edition. Please don't report us to OSHA.

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.

Archival Materials

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.

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.

The Work of CP Labs


Yep, it's another year of being ignored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and another snub in the category of Technical Achievement for us. Sure the Steadicam was a pretty big deal, and drone-mounted gimbals have their uses, but where is the respect for our camera-system innovations?

Since its creation in 2008, our RinseCam9000 (left) has set the standard for Operating Dishwasher Interior Perspective (ODI-POV) shots. And now, after years of development, we recently unveiled a light-weight, comfortable and protective system (right) for shooting First-Person Construction (FPOV-C) footage. I guess being outside of the Hollywood system really makes it hard to get recognition. Maybe next year.

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.

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

"It is the greatest pan-out in the history of verse. We draw away from a man alone in the woods and see man, alone in the woods. As the scale expands, the world diminishes, becomes a snow globe, shaken. And right then, just as we are grasping the nature of our situation — we're fine; we're exhilarated; we're terrified — Frost has the balls to vanish. But he brought us here in the first place!" Brilliant essay on the Terrors and Pleasures of Robert Frost by Kathryn Schulz. Via Clive Thompson. jc-today

So you know, Perceptions of Probability and Numbers. Almost certainly awesome. jc-today

Periodic Stats. dw-today

A history of Michigan's license plates. dw-today

Newspapers from around the world with nothing in them. dw-today

"Since the 1960s, spacecraft and astronauts have been able to 'step back' far enough to capture combined portraits of the Earth and its moon, separated by some 240,000 miles. Gathered below are some of the best of these portraits, some from as far away as 100 million miles." jc-today

So you know, how to get pandas in the mood. jc-today

James Curran's 30 day #TokyoGifathon. dw-yesterday

"For a bit of balance, a solitary Asian face stares forlornly out from one of the building's goldfish-bowl windows, trapped in her hermetically sealed investment unit." The property billboards that reveal the truth about Britain's luxury housing market. By Oliver Wainwright. jc-yesterday

"I travel in search of places which used to have great importance for the technical progress - and which are now deserted." Restricted Areas, by Danila Tkachenko. Via Tiberio. jc-yesterday

Nothing in the News, by Joesph Ernst. jc-04.21

Darren Aronofsky has directed two ads for the New York Times showing the struggle photojournalists go through to show us the truth: The Truth is Hard to Find: Tyler Hicks and The Truth is Hard to Find: Bryan Denton ms-04.21

Utterly delightful The Moth tale of a Valentine's day in 1933 from 93 year-old Tom Sitter. ms-04.21

Baseballers, sweet, dot-screen watercolors by Nathan Manire. Via Quipsologies. jc-04.21

Survivorship Bias. jc-04.21

Introduction of Swedish gymnastics for women, 1905-1910. Dig this photo series, especially this one. jc-04.21

Mario Bellini, I would love to see this new career retrospective at the Milan Triennale. jc-04.21

Kulum Eispavilion, St. Moritz, Foster + Partners. jc-04.21

Tom Whalen's design process behind the creation of a poster image for ReCore, an Xbox action-adventure game. jc-04.21

So you know, how to design a record cover in 1977. jc-04.21

30 Rockefeller Plaza and St. Patrick's Cathedral, circa 1939, photo by Herbert Matter. jc-04.21

B-A-R-B-R-A Barbra, Vancouver, 1980. bb-04.20

What became of America's drive-thru Fotomat? dw-04.20

Qi And Za. jc-04.19

We need to get some Field Notes to this guy right away: Dumb Birds of North America. bb-04.19

It's a few years old, and totally juvenile, but Pointer Pointer can still enrapture my entire family for a good half hour. bb-04.19

Gorgeous conversion of a Victorian school building. ms-04.18

Night Glows ms-04.18

"'Goddamn it,' he said. 'Well, goddamn it.' And he hung up." Kogan on Royko who died 20 years ago today. jc-04.17

Cal Henderson's talk from Webstock on the history of emoji. is great. jc-04.17

"Drawing your objects gives you time for reflection and you start to think deeply about your relationship to your stuff and other human relationships that might surround that object." A Grain Edit interview with Kate Bingaman-Burt. jc-04.17

"What working as a waterfowl taught me about gender" bb-04.17

Trailer for The Last Jedi ms-04.14

The Last Jedi poster. jc-04.14

Earth Shadow over Damavand. ms-04.14

If you're in D.C., you still have a couple nights left to check out the Super Mario pop-up bar. dw-04.14

"As Bernini's peer and first biographer Filippo Baldinucci reported, the sculptor would rebuff people who criticized his long work hours with the retort: 'Let me be, for I am in love.'" Alexxa Gotthardt on The Power of Human Sexuality in Stone. jc-04.14

"Designer and part-time photographer Mantas Baciuska uses aerial photography to capture the frozen lakes of Lithuania." —Colossal. jc-04.14

If you thought it would be a good idea to hire the firm that designs Apple Stores to design your house, you'd be right. jc-04.14

"I just gave a $4 million apartment complex for homeless women and kids to the YWCA. Let me explain why." Way to go Rick. jc-04.14

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

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