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 other things, we run two businesses:
Field Notes Brand and The Deck Network. Visit them please.

Coudal Partners

Bergman Face To Face

Silence in Heaven

Basically an excuse to post this seminal image from The Seventh Seal and a link to The Bergman Archive, a comprehensive collection of materials from the estate of Ingmar Bergman, including lots of videos, photos, posters, scripts and correspondence. All well organized and presented.

Let's Pretend You're Not You

Mr. Shortcake’s
Break Down

When it comes to the economic value of a subscription to Field Notes Quarterly Editions, this is the sum off all things. For the spiritual value, as proved through science, there's this.

New From Field Notes

On the Record

Our Summer release from Field Notes is The Byline Edition. It's a Reporters Notebook, reimagined with the help of John Dickerson of Face the Nation, the Whistlestop podcast, and a soon-to-be-published book on the most memorable moments in American presidential campaign history. Bylines are available in 2-Packs and as part of a year-long subscription now.

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.

From The DDC

Chock Full

Pretty Much Everything, the new book by our co-conspirator in Field Notes, and other things, Aaron James Draplin, is available now. You need this. Everybody needs this.

Faces Deserving of Props

The American Century

This is a new entry in our occasional series on type. The consistent beat of Century Schoolbook as it marches across the page is what makes it feel so sensible and familiar in both text and display situations. The vintage (but not old-timey) feel of it seems just about right for a new wave of popularity. Suggested pairing: Futura Std Book, all caps with extra letter-spacing. We used Century Schoolbook for A Drive into the Gap and here's what Bryan had to say in the end notes.

Century Schoolbook is one of 221 typefaces designed by American typography titan Morris Fuller Benton (1872-1948). Century Schoolbook is based on Benton's father Linn Boyd Benton's Century typeface, created for Century magazine in 1894. The younger Benton's version was created at the request of textbook publisher Ginn & Co., with the intent of improved legibility. Century and its variants were originally published by American Type Founders. Formed by a merger of 23 foundries in 1892, ATF quickly became the dominant force in American typography until the mid-20th-century, largely thanks to the Benton's typographical and technological innovations. Century is often cited as the first true typeface "family," a concept quickly embraced by type designers, foundries, and users.

Stuff About Stanley Kubrick

I am putting myself to
the fullest possible use which is all, I think, that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

As you probably have noticed over the last fifteen years, we're a bit of obsessed with the films of Stanley Kubrick. Check out 2001 in 569 GIFs and find tons more stuff in our big, messy archive of Kubrickian links.

Privacy and The Deck

We Know Nothing
and We’re Just Fine with That

Our take on privacy, reader tracking and ad blocking from the perspective of our advertising network, The Deck.

Anti Time Lapse

The Stars and
Their Courses

In conjunction with the 2013 summer release of the Field Notes "Night Sky" Limited-Edtion memo books (sold out long ago) we made a short movie... and a really, really, really long one.

The idea was fairly simple, though complex in the making: for those of us in big metropolitan, light-polluted areas like Chicago who can't see the night sky very clearly, we wanted to travel to this section of rural Nevada and bring the stars back with us, capturing a full night sky and playing it back in real time. Check all six hours and 20 minutes of The Stars and Their Courses, and here's some background and technical information too.

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.

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

Untitled Project: Still Life / Style Leaf, by artist Conrad Baker. Fantastic! Via Rob Walker. jc-today

Japanese Matchbox Labels from the 20s-40s. jc-today

Love Champagne? Thank a French widow ms-today

The world's oldest paycheck was cashed in beer. That's reassuring somehow. jc-today

Can The Can is a lovely collection of Portugeuse cans. Via MeFi ms-today

"I was once convinced that the diamond light of May could not be surpassed, but when I returned in winter, I found the short, golden days to be stunningly intense." Frederick Steiner watched the light in Rome, and brought his camera too. jc-today

"The Indians wore numbers on the sleeves of their baseball blouses which tallied with those opposite their names on the scorecard." 100 years ago. jc-today

Dr. Seuss' Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy. bb-yesterday

Cirrus over Paris. ms-yesterday

One more, a related hint. When in Chicago it's easy to figure out which side of any street has even-numbered addresses and which has odd. Just remember the phrase "Indiana is odd." From pretty much where ever you are in the city, Indiana is to the East and South of you, and those are the sides with odd-numbered addresses. You're welcome. jc-yesterday

Related to the last, Chicago Street Renumbering Document from 1909. jc-yesterday

"Subtle quirks in the Grid show another essential aspect of Chicago: our tendency to half-ass things." Edward Brennan's System of Street Naming and Numbering, by Bill Savage. jc-yesterday

I gotta go by my Ma's over by dat Nort Avenues Jewels dere. The Disappearing Chicago Accent, by Edward McClelland. jc-yesterday

The Pen Addict #210 features a nice conversation about our Field Notes Byline Edition. Thanks for that. jc-yesterday

"His reputation as an outstanding translator was built on his 1967 version of the novel Rayuela (Hopscotch) by Julio Cortazar. RIP Gregory Rabassa. jc-06.22

That guy you like is back. jc-06.22

"In a brand new video created by Vugar Efendi, the natural scenes of Terrence Malick's films have been compiled into one continuous and gorgeous stream of environmental consciousness..." jc-06.22

Hasselblad X1D. jc-06.22

Relink, from way back. Illustrator, animator and artist Rebecca Dart has fine sense for composition, a beautiful flowing use of line and a predilection for old-timey murder ballads. One of the most famous of those is "On the Banks of the Ohio" and Dart's retelling of the tale flows beautifully like the river of its title. Here is some more of Dart's work and here's the 19th century song, as performed by Bill Monroe & Doc Watson. jc-06.22

Let's get this straight for once and for all. Venn Diagrams: Read and Use Them the Right Way, by Nathan Yau. jc-06.22

On this day in 1964 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling that found Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer to be obscene. Also the "SLAPS" test. jc-06.22

Old Battery mini-gallery. jc-06.22

One Giant Leap, NASA is now on Apple TV, including live streaming of launches and other events. Woot! jc-06.22

The next film project by our pal and occasional co-conspirator Gary Hustwit is Rams, a feature documentary about designer Dieter Rams. Backed. jc-06.22

So you know, how they sharpen pencils at the factory. jc-06.22

Trouble in Paradise, the lost motels of New Jersey. A photo series by Mark Havens. Thanks Marshall. jc-06.22

Nike's ad for Cleveland. ms-06.21

So you know, how airplane black boxes work. jc-06.21

LEGO Loop. dw-06.21

Related to the last, fun lingo, The Argot of the Racetrack by David W. Maurer for The American Dialect Society, 1951. jc-06.21

"Good fortune is light as a feather, but nobody knows how to hold it up." Oil in the Can, Eric Banks on the history of handicapping. Great piece. jc-06.21

1965 film explaining Detroit's Pattern of Growth is full of cool minimalist graphics and data. jc-06.21

"...we are saddled with a culture that hasn't advanced as far as science. Scientific man is already on the moon, and yet we are still living with the moral concepts of Homer." —Michelangelo Antonioni. Great post at Cinephilia, The Importance and Influence of Blow-Up. jc-06.21

The man is 85 years old and still advocating for the river, Walt ms-06.20

Illustrated wooden jewelry by Kate Rowland. dw-06.20

Sound of Power is a company that makes speakers built into busts of world leaders. Now includes a limited-edition Trump: "A perfect use of an empty head!" sd-06.20

Promo for The Drive, a new book from Gestalten on custom cars and their builders. Rad. jc-06.20

Particular and fluid in-browser simultators. jc-06.20

Behind the Scenes Photos of NYC's Steinway Piano Factory ms-06.20

Nice film documenting Monotype's introduction of Johnston100, "a contemporary update to Transport for London's Johnston typeface, marking the centennial of its use across the London bus, rail and Underground systems." jc-06.20

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