What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Saturday Edition

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

A Field Notes Collab

Box Full of Letters

We paired each member of Wilco with an exceptional artist, handed them all the same limited palette of colors, and let them improvise. This "Wilco x Field Notes" Box Set is the result. The box contains six Memo Books reflecting the craft and talent of the artists and the passions and personalities of the musicians.

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

HQ

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.

A Cautionary Tale

Heed This Well, Young, Costumed Beggars

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

Ten Years of Field Notes

Origin Stories

Ten years ago we started Field Notes. Here's some background. Aaron talking about where the original idea came from and the history of American agricultural design. Jim on the mechanics of moving from working for clients to inventing one. Whet Moser's recent piece for Chicago Magazine 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.

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 the film Motherless Brooklyn ms-yesterday

Atlas at Dawn. ms-08.16

Trailer for the Bong Joon Ho film Parasite. ms-08.16

Trailer for Malick's A Hidden Life. jc-08.16

Now That the Secret Job Search Is Over, My First Act as President of Your University Is to Be Completely Honest About My Questionable Qualifications For This Important Position, by Andrew Berish. jc-08.15

Designer Jordan Vincent takes a look at overnight stays in National Parks. via kottke mcj-08.15

A One-Shot Music Video Filmed From the Perspective of a Toy Train. Thanks Colossal. jc-08.14

So you know. A design guide for the flags of the United States, by Lynn Fisher. Fab. jc-08.14

"INJUSTICE ALERT! The other jurors think the doc is innocent since the other kidney works fine. They say I haven't paid attention. Um, I've been paying the MOST attention!?! What do you guys think? Also, what are your favorite true crime podcasts? I may have some time to kill. #deadlock #juryfury." ms-08.13

"Football manager Bill Shankly famously said: 'Some people believe football is a matter of life and death... I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.' The same could be said of punctuation -- or indeed typography. And though I don't share that particular passion, typography fans may savour Watson's vivid descriptions." Stan Carey on Semicolon, by Cecelia Watson. jc-08.12

David Hudson on D. A. Pennebaker, Observation as Action. jc-08.12

The Best of Movie Poster of the Day: Part 21, great selections. jc-08.09

Rakotzbrucke Devil's Bridge in Gablenz, Germany. jc-08.09

The Long and Surprising History of Roller Derby. Great pictures. ms-08.07

Road Trip! bb-08.07

God Has Heard Your Thoughts and Prayers and He Thinks They Are Fucking Bullsh*t. ms-08.07

Trails of Wind, the architecture of airport runways. dw-08.06

Embroidery tattoos. dw-08.02

Trailer for the film 1917. ms-08.01

Tokyo Subway's Humble Duct-Tape Typographer, by Chris Gaul. jc-07.31

A special collaboration, via Chicago. Wilco x Field Notes. jc-07.30

Whether your prefer period pieces, musicals, or tales of haunted dolls, there's something here for cinephiles of every sort. The Fill-In Filmography. dw-07.25

Ancient ruins, reconstructed. jc-07.25

Lego Shining. jc-07.24

Trailer for the film A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. ms-07.23

Symbolikon is a comprehensive library of symbols throughout ages and cultures. dw-07.22

Right on Jason. jc-07.22

"Explore five iconic spacesuits in 3-D and more than 50 years of spaceflight in a dialogue between The Washington Post's space industry reporter Christian Davenport and fashion critic Robin Givhan. How to Dress for Space. ms-07.22

The Guardian digital design style guide. Fabulous. jc-07.19

Wonderful documentary covering the 1973 Giro d'Italia: The Stars and The Water Carriers bb-07.18

Sotheby's Sneaker Auction has sold out with the exception of one lot, the 1972 Nike Moon Shoe. The Nike "Moon Shoe" is one of the most significant artifacts in the history of the multi-billion dollar athletic brand. One of only a handful of pairs known to exist, this Moon Shoe is a handmade running shoe designed by Nike co-founder and legendary Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman. Bidding starts at $80,000.00. ms-07.17

Gorgeous, St. Stephen's Yard. ms-07.17

"So, when she came in to meet Terry, she looked at him and said, 'I liked your script.' He hired her on the spot! Just like that! Immediately!" Names and Days of Heaven. jc-07.17

The Space Station Crosses a Spotless Sun. ms-07.16

Trailer for the film Rosie ms-07.16

CBS currently has the full stream of the Apollo 11 launch up on YouTube. mcj-07.16

New Wilco single from their upcoming 11th studio album, "Love Is Everywhere (Beware)." jc-07.16

"It was the wee hours of Monday morning some months back when my computer died while I was designing a brochure that had to be finished later that day. Without a computer what could I do? Dependency is a horrible thing. But rather than self-indulgently wallow in misfortune, I walked over to a flat file where I stored dozens of old press type sheets." -Steven Heller. jc-07.12

A letter from one of my heroes to another. jc-07.12

The Downtown Collective, Kelli Ercolano draws her fave NYC restaurants. Via Kottke. jc-07.12


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

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