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

Coudal Partners

Field Notes Film

Several weeks ago we tweeted that we were starting a project that involved "...a ridiculous waste of money, resources, & energy in service of making an particularly unimportant and totally obvious observation." Mission accomplished.

The 14th Tournament of Books

A Literary
Cage Match

Once again, our Field Notes is the title sponsor of The Morning News Tournament of Books. If you're not familiar with the ToB, you'll want to read this Brief History of the Tournament of Books, by Angela Chen. "You can't kill the Rooster"

We've made a small batch of special manila-kraft Memo Books, with the ToB mascot on the cover and a checklist of the tournament books on the inside. Buy one of these for $3 and we'll add $3 of our own, and then donate $6 to 826 National, a seven-chapter network that provides under-resourced students, ages 6-18 with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. In 2017, we raised over $8600 for 826. Together let's do a lot better this year!

Ten Years of Field Notes

Origin Story

Thanks to Whet Moser and Chicago Magazine for this in-depth story on Field Notes 10th anniversary 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.

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.

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

Olive, meet Blue Cheese. Thanks Andrew. See also, Perfect. jc-yesterday

"A brief look at the earth from above, based on the shapes we make, the game of life, our playing ground." Arena, a film by Paraic McGloughlin. Yowza, this is amazing and lovely too. Full screen for sure. Thanks Marshall. jc-03.22

Stanley Kubrick memorabilia from the collection of his assistant Emilio D'Alessandro up for auction at Aste Bolaffi. Tons of interesting, and some odd, stuff in these lots. Thanks for the heads up Todd. jc-03.22

"I looked through all 14,227 Apollo photos, and made gifs." jc-03.22

"Before there was the Pantone Matching System, there was Werner's Nomenclature of Colours: Adapted to Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Mineralogy, Anatomy, and the Arts." jc-03.22

Cars Matching Homes. Like it says. Via P&C. jc-03.22

So you know, what your favorite website says about you, by Alex Baia. jc-03.22

Local Note: Happy Hour Launch Party today (Thursday) at HQ from 4-7. Beer from Half Acre, snacks from Big Delicious Planet and lots of Field Notes nerdery too. Come on by. jc-03.22

Hey Chicago, Third Coast Percussion wrote a new soundtrack for the 1966 Academy Award winning film Paddle to the Sea, and will be performing it live at Thalia Hall in May, along with other works that look "at our relationship to the bodies of water that connect our lives." I, for one, am very excited for this. mcj-03.21

James Campbell Taylor's gallery of imaginary soccer legend album covers. bb-03.21

Chicagohenge: Equinox in an Aligned City. ms-03.21

"For over thirty years, Fred Rogers, an unassuming minister, puppeteer, writer and producer was beamed daily into homes across America. There hadn't been anything like Mr. Rogers on television before and there hasn't been since." Trailer for Won't You Be My Neighbor? dw-03.21

Our pal Jonathan Eig doesn't hold back when discussing his book Ali: A Life with SD. GBOAT. jc-03.20

BarelyMaps' "Intersections of Boston" and other handsomely designed map prints. bb-03.20

Speaking of Coastlines... jc-03.20

"The more one zooms in on the coastline, the more these inconsistencies multiply. This means that the length of a coastline is completely dependent on what size of measurement unit you use to study it." The Coastline Paradox Explained . jc-03.20

Bell's Brewery has a countdown clock for the seasonal release of my favorite summer beer. ms-03.16

Curious Emperor penguins have been captured in Antarctica getting up close and personal on film. ms-03.16

So you know, 14 gorgeous islands in Europe that Americans always overlook. ms-03.16

"We took a telescope around the streets of Los Angeles to give passersby an up-close look at a familiar object: a new view of the moon." Via Kottke. jc-03.16

Fabien Barral is on a French Type Tour. I said, Fabien Barral is on a French Type Tour! jc-03.16

Dan's Book Covers of Note for March. I love Matt Avery's cover and dust jacket for Police: A Field Guide. jc-03.16

Two friends of the agency (going WAY back), Ann-Marie Greenberg and John Upchurch, have a pop-up art exhibition at Rare Nest Gallery opening Friday and closing Sunday. bb-03.15

"As it turns out there is an interesting story in the box—it just wasn't anything like the one I had imagined." The Box of Vacations, an epic, beautiful post from Jim Hughes at Codex99. jc-03.15

Trailer for the film Eighth Grade. ms-03.14

Sure you're a good photographer, but can you take photos like these in Grand Theft Auto? bb-03.13

"The left side of this page is narration: the right lets you poke around this dataset as you please." The Alperin-Sheriff/Wikipedia Population Dataset. Amazing work-in-progress by Benjamin Schmidt for the Creating Data project. Thanks Marshall. jc-03.13

100 Easy Ways to Make Women's Lives More Bearable bb-03.12

It's that time of year again folks, time for the 2018 Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair Team. mcj-03.12

Released in the USA as a single on today's date in 1970, "Let It Be." jc-03.12

El color de Robert Capa en Sevilla. Precioso. jc-03.12

PMDb, documenting cinema's most important pigeon footage. bb-03.09

For MCJ, SR Flat Plants. Via Swissmiss. dw-03.09

Michael Phillips asks, Does His Girl Friday truly belong to Chicago? jc-03.09

Judge Meaghan O'Connell lit a fire under this year's Morning News Tournament of Books this morning, with an excellent and surprising verdict. jc-03.08

Stanley Kubrick died on this day in 1999. jc-03.07

Images From Chicago's turn-of-the-century design bible, The Inland Printer, by Whet Moser. Great find. jc-03.07

Trailer for the film Tully. ms-03.07

Dead Country Stamps and Banknotes. Fantastic resource with tons of images and history. Highly recommended. jc-03.07

The Disconnect is an offline-only, digital magazine of commentary, fiction, and poetry. Each issue forces you to disconnect from the internet, giving you a break from constant distractions and relentless advertisements. dw-03.06

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

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