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,
go there right now and spend lots of money. Thanks.

Coudal Partners

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.

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.

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.

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

Trailer for Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. August 4th can't come soon enough! mcj-yesterday

Making-of featurette for Blade Runner 2049 ms-yesterday

Typewriter art by Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt. jc-yesterday

When TV Logos Were Physical Objects. This gives me an idea... jc-yesterday

Apropos of nothing, Pepsi spots from the 1970's. Via Armin. jc-yesterday

"...not all social problems can be solved by design—even very good design." Broadacre City, a suburban plan by Frank Lloyd Wright. jc-yesterday

How Logos Became the Most Important Quarter-Inch in Business, by the always-observant Rob Walker. jc-06.21

"...I've been lucky enough to meet countless exceptionally talented and hard-working independent creators in many different fields. However, a lot of these artists are struggling with the same problem. Many are unable to break the cycle of burying their own goals below part-time or full-time work, living project to project without the benefit of breathing room to assess and develop their careers. This project aims to break that cycle." Right on Andy jc-06.21

Got a big garden? Bicycle Wall of Death for sale on eBay! by Simon MacMichael. Thanks Marshall. jc-06.21

So you know, how to start a fire with a sandwich bag and water. ms-06.21

Swell film on Typographic Terminology, nicely designed by The Futur. jc-06.21

"This Ken would like you to know that he is a graphic designer. He is the only person you know who uses a Chemex for his coffee every morning. Where does he find the time? Every time you go over he offers you a variety of green teas that he picked up "The last time I was in Okinawa."" ms-06.21

Related to the last, Zurich's 2001 production. ms-06.21

Georges Pansu titles and typography for Don Giovanni from 1979. jc-06.21

Forget other robot fights, Japanese robot fighting is where its at. Via kottke mcj-06.20

Chicago Flag Mosaic Project, congrats to the Lane kids and our pal Jeff Solin. Magnificent. jc-06.20

Seriously digging Exchange from Tobias Frere-Jones. jc-06.20

Password Rules Are Bullshit and Correct Horse Battery Staple. jc-06.20

15 Books to Read Around the Campfire. jc-06.20

The peacocks are out at Pitti Uomo 2017. ms-06.19

Gary Numan's 1981 "Teletour" final show at Wembley. (The highlight is "Down in the Park," used for the film "Urgh! A Music War.") bb-06.19

"Michigan's Upper Peninsula is like no other place on earth. Sandwiched between three of the greatest lakes in the world, it's filled with peaceful forests, magnificent waterfalls, ancient rock formations, quiet and cozy towns, and miles and miles of shoreline — making it the perfect setting for a one-of-a-kind road trip." dw-06.19

Trailer for the documentary My Journey Through French Cinema. ms-06.19

"Ocean City is not that kind of place, it's a family place!" bb-06.19

Trying not to hurl while watching the French spiderman climb Sky Melia Barcelona. ms-06.19

For SD, Where's Wallace. ms-06.19

"...if there's something I'm not qualified to do, you can be sure that I'll find my way into doing it." Liz Phair chats with Elizabeth Wurtzel, for Interview. jc-06.19

"Yes, some of my means are trivial, and some are quadrivial." Joyce at 100 by Richard Ellmann for the NYRB in 1982. jc-06.16

Quarto (259 x 202 mm). Contemporary purple sheep, dated 1922 in gilt at the foot of the front turn-in, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, others uncut; original printed wrappers bound in. $114,970. jc-06.16

So you know, the History of Punk Rock in 200 tracks: An 11-hour playlist takes you from 1965 to 2016. ms-06.16

1935 etchings by Henri Matisse for a special illustrated edition of Ulysses. jc-06.16

"The gole of spelling is to communikate." What Would Leopold Bloom Do? jc-06.16

Kate Bush paraphrasing, then 20 years later, finally with permission, quoting Molly's soliloquy from Ulysses. (backstory) bb-06.16

Not sure you could take this on a plane but it would definitely work at the beach, the portable BBQ suitcase. ms-06.16

From photographer Roberto Conte, Abandoned Places. ms-06.16

"Silence, exile and cunning." Djuna Barnes' interview with Joyce, Vanity Fair, March 1922. (pdf) jc-06.16

Joyce's wife Nora once asked, "I guess the man's a genius, but what a dirty mind he has, hasn't he?" She ought to know. jc-06.16

Terence Killeen on the difficult-to-navigate and not especially well scanned, treasure trove of James Joyce manuscripts placed online by the National Library of Ireland. Just dive in. Amazing. jc-06.16

Pitch 'n' Putt with Joyce 'n' Beckett. jc-06.16

"It's like stumbling into a field of diamonds — hard, brilliant flashes of light everywhere." Frank Delaney on seeing, rather than reading Joyce. jc-06.16

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

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