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

Field Notes By You

What Will You Make?

Our Quarterly Field Notes release for the Spring of 2020 is the "Vignette" Edition. The Graph Paper Memo Books in these 3-Packs feature a clever die-cut pocket that allows you to include your own image as an integrated part of the cover design. We've noticed how people customize their Field Notes covers with a sticker, title, sketch, or stamp, so the "Vignette" Edition makes that sort of personalization quick and easy, resulting in a very slick finished product.

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

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.

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

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

"The recent developments at Google have thrown that egalitarian story into doubt, showing that even in the most rarefied corners of Silicon Valley, the bosses are willing to close ranks and shut down debate when the stakes are high enough. The fate of these activists, meanwhile, forces America's white-collar professionals to grapple with an uncomfortable thought: If the nation's most sought-after workers can't stop their employer from behaving in ways that they deplore, where does that leave the rest of us?" ms-02.20

Trailer for Wes Anderson's newest, The French Dispatch. ms-02.17

RIP Barbara Remington. I studied her most famous work endlessly. jc-02.17

I did take English Saddle riding lessons growing up so think this place is perfect for me. ms-02.17

Two Mice Photographed in a Comically Dramatic Struggle in the London Underground. jc-02.17

Printing Money. Depressing. jc-02.14

DIY Chicago Transit Authority schedule kiosk instructions. We might need to make one for the studio! bb-02.13

Af if we all don't have enough to worry about: The Vinyl Pause of 2020, a FAQ in progress. bb-02.12

Solar Eclipse over the UAE. ms-02.10

Trailer for the documentary The Booksellers. ms-02.10

Oscar Winners 2020: See the Full List. ms-02.10

Horde, an animated action motorcycle short by Brvtvs Collective. bb-02.06

What Happens When You Upscale a 120-Year-Old Silent Film For 4K. jc-02.04

2019's greatest basketball-related musical performance set an impossibly high bar, but Har Mar Superstar is leading the race for the 2020 title. bb-01.29

American Type Founders archive. Woah, this is full of great stuff. Check the manual for the ATF High-Speed Photographic Typesetter Model B. Via Daniel Benneworth-Gray's Meanwhile. jc-01.27

What color is your name? Thanks Marshall. ms-01.23

Trailer for the film The Truth. ms-01.17

"Hi comma So-and-So period" jc-01.17

"The policeman isn't there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder." The Chicago Political Quote Hall of Fame, by Edward McClelland. jc-01.14

Oscar nominations came out today. In the words of actress Issa Rae, congratulations to those men. ms-01.13

Well, that's one way to do it. jc-01.10

First Cow. ms-01.10

"When Wilson Bentley died in 1931, his hometown newspaper eulogized him thus: 'Longfellow said that genius is infinite painstaking. John Ruskin declared that genius is only a superior power of seeing. Wilson Bentley was a living example of this type of genius.'"Snow Crystals, Wilson Bentley. jc-01.09

Do not start this if you have anything to get done in the next little while. IsoCity. jc-01.09

The Troubadours of Drink. Thanks Kevin! ms-01.09


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

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