What's All This Then?

This site is edited by Coudal Partners, a design, advertising and interactive studio in Chicago, as an ongoing experiment in web publishing, design and commerce. [Next]

What's All This Then?

Thanks for visiting. If browsing around here while at work has had a negative effect on your productivity we're sorry but imagine what it's done to ours. [Hide]

Thursday 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

For No Reason

Concept Album
Album Concept

We started demolition on our new space recently. One of the first things that had to go was a huge infinity wall (a white background used for photography) that was left by a previous tenant. So right before we said "Tear Down This Wall," Bryan and Jim spent a few minutes shooting in front of it. And Bryan, being Bryan, couldn't leave it at that, and turned one of the shots into this album cover from our Prog Rock period.

A Street in Logan Square

All Hallows’

It's often lost in the candy-coated, super-styled proceedings of the holiday, but Halloween is really all about departed souls and dealing with loss.

From The CP Labs

Shift Option Rinse

Can you really clean your computer keyboard in the dishwasher? With the help of the RinseCam 9000, Michele created a short film to find out, Shift Option Rinse.

a short film that seems longer

Long Day’s Journey Out of Iowa

Our Steve Delahoyde is a man with an iron will. An iron will, a subcompact, a girlfriend and an idea on how to make a regular drive more, er, interesting. Note: All the driving worked. Claire and Steve are now Mr. and Mrs..

Making of Field Notes Ravens Wing

Press Check

A quick trip back to Freeport, Illinois and one of our most popular films. Think of it as "How It's Made" with much cooler music, awesome people and hot, nasty, metal-on-paper printing action. The making of Field Notes, Wings. We're working on the brand-spanking new Fall Edition right now. Sign up for a COLORS subscription so you don't miss a single seasonal release.

A CP Film In Five Parts

Laboratory Conditions

RIP Ed Grothus who we met while we were in Los Alamos, New Mexico. We were looking for locations for one film project and on the way we discovered a lot more about the town and its people than we bargained for. So we made a different film and called it Laboratory Conditions. We're showing it in five episodes.

From Field Notes Brand


This film documents our latest project from the workshop. More on our newest limited release, "The Northerly Edition" at Field Notes. 3packs of this bright white and silver release are now sold out but there are still a few available as part of a COLORS subscription.

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.

Oh This Old Thing?

Button Button

So you know. We've seen a little pick-up in Pinsetter orders lately so we thought we'd let you know that Pinsetter is still, um, setting pins.

In Fast Company, Good Company

Modern Americana

A lovely photo by Chris Mueller with prop styling by Elise McMahon for the "Modern Americana" section of Fast Company's just-released United States of Design issue, which is also available as an innovative iPad app. We're more than a little excited to have our Field Notes Brand products included in this curated collection of Made in the USA products. Thanks for that.

Film & Video Archives

Reach For the Stars

We're not a network an it's not the 1980s but why should that stop us from making a schmaltzy omnibus promo? We've reorganized and re-rendered most of the films and videos we have made over the past dozen years and posted them in a new archive. Enjoy.

Not Quite so
Fresh Signals

Sure to start fistfights in offices everywhere, the official fast food french fry power rankings. ms-02.18

Plane Crossing a Crescent Moon. ms-02.15

"I'll be one of the last ones to board and I'll look through all the closed overhead bins and attempt to shove my large suitcase into a crevice. Spoiler alert: I have no concept of time or space so I'll shake my head and curse until one of the ladies comes by and offers to check my bag for free." ms-02.15

Trailer for the film Diane. ms-02.15

i09 has a (mostly) great list of weird and/or geeky "romantic" movies to stream on Valentine's Day. mcj-02.14

So long little buddy. jc-02.13

Soviet radio logos. Via P&C. jc-02.13

Somewhat related to the last. ms-02.13

Photos From the 2019 Westminster Dog Show. ms-02.13

Rowan Mersh uses thousands of seashells to create mesmerizing contemporary sculptures. dw-02.12

For JC, kubrick.life. dw-02.12

"Congratulations. You are now an Assistant Designer at another firm. The salary cut leads you to move in with your boyfriend, an aspiring magician. You and another Assistant, Emilio, were hired on the same day, and yet, for some reason, only you were asked to help out with the phones. Cool. ms-02.11

Science is cool, y'all. ms-02.11

Long read of the day, The Heroes of the Thai Cave Rescue. ms-02.11

Beer before wine not fine. ms-02.08

Reporter Kashmir Hill spent six weeks blocking Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple from getting her money, data, and attention, using a custom-built VPN. Here's what happened. dw-02.08

Francesco Bongiorni illustrates the mysteries of Italy. dw-02.07

Trailer for the documentary A Tuba To Cuba. ms-02.07

Matterhorn, Moon, and Meteor. ms-02.07

Super-tall, super-skinny, super-expensive. jc-02.06

The Atlas of Endangered Alphabets. Via Kottke. dw-02.06

Snøhetta unveils the S-1500 chair made from discarded fish nets. dw-02.06

Steven Heller: Letterhead. jc-02.06

Trailer for the documentary The Biggest Little Farm. ms-02.06

Local note. Big Delicious Planet and The Roof Crop are hosting an Indoor Urban Farm Dinner on Friday, March 1. Get your tix now and we'll see you there. jc-02.06

"Frida Kahlo's exhaustively documented crossover from artist to pop culture icon isn't happenstance. The painter meticulously crafted her own image on a par with Cleopatra. If she were alive today, she'd probably be teaching a branding class at Harvard." ms-02.06

Nice set of new Questions and Answers from The Chicago Manual of Style. jc-02.05

Clint Howard's "Eaglebauer" jacket in Rock and Roll High School sent me down a Watkins Sportswear rabbit hole. bb-02.05

So you know. What's with the "H" in "Jesus H. Christ?" jc-02.05

Five additions to the U.S. Postal Service's 2019 Stamp Program including Star Ribbon by our pal Aaron Draplin. dw-02.04

The nerdy charm of artisanal, hand-drawn infographics. dw-02.01

A primer on why every Chicago mayor since 1979 makes damn sure our streets are plowed asap after a snowstorm. ms-01.28

"Something in the new Oscar de la Renta boutique in Paris was not what it seemed." I love this so much. ms-01.28

UNESCO names Rio de Janeiro the first World Capital of Architecture. dw-01.28

"Once I saw a woman apologize profusely to a table she bumped into before laughing (almost maniacally) when she saw that it was, in fact, just a table. I no longer run outside with headphones because once you've been followed home it's hard to really let yourself get into the new Ariana Grande album." ms-01.28

Trailer for the film Dogman. ms-01.28

So you know, Mathematical and Puzzle Typefaces. jc-01.24

Bill Bailey tries out the Star Spangled Banner in a minor key. bb-01.24

If you are a local, this article on the Hideout and the dreaded Sterling Bay Lincoln Yards project is a great read. Save the Hideout! ms-01.24

FN TBT: June 13, 2013. "The Stars and Their Courses." jc-01.24

Back to the Cover Page.

Grab our blended RSS feed here.

Icon Key

What all those little square icons in Fresh Signals mean.

A post from our monthly guest editor. The complete listing af all the people we owe favors can be found here.

We love these products so much we even paid for them.

A post with this icon may well end up in our Museum of Online Museums.

Not to be missed.

A Friday Drink Link. Hic.

Film feed. Short attention span video theater.

Having to do with our Field Notes Brand.

What we just talked about at lunch.

Some Things We Made:

Field Notes Brand memo Books and more. "I'm not writing it down to remember it later. I'm writing it down to remember it now." A CP/DDC joint.

The Deck Network. Interested in getting your product or service in front of millions of savvy, curious remarkably good-looking people? Give a shout.