What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Sunday 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

Get In Here

Thursday night we hosted our first FNZN, Field Notes Zine Night, at our new HQ in Chicago. People seemed to like the idea. On Saturday, May 6th, our partner in Field Notes, Aaron Draplin, is rolling into town for a meet-up and Pop Up Shop. Join us won't you?

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.

Field Notes for Spring

Get to Work

No crew members were seriously injured in the production of the film we made to accompany our latest Field Notes release, The Utility Edition. Please don't report us to OSHA.

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.

Archival Materials

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.

2017 Tournament of Books

Literary Cage Match

Once again, our Field Notes Brand was the title sponsor of The Morning News Tournament of Books which is now complete! If you're not familiar with the ToB, Angela Chen has written this excellent Brief History of the Tournament to get you up to speed.

We need your help. We created a special Memo Book for the tourney and are raising funds for 826 National, an amazing seven-chapter network that provides under-resourced students, ages 6-18 with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. Dig deep people.

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.

The Work of CP Labs


Yep, it's another year of being ignored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and another snub in the category of Technical Achievement for us. Sure the Steadicam was a pretty big deal, and drone-mounted gimbals have their uses, but where is the respect for our camera-system innovations?

Since its creation in 2008, our RinseCam9000 (left) has set the standard for Operating Dishwasher Interior Perspective (ODI-POV) shots. And now, after years of development, we recently unveiled a light-weight, comfortable and protective system (right) for shooting First-Person Construction (FPOV-C) footage. I guess being outside of the Hollywood system really makes it hard to get recognition. Maybe next year.

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

Inside the Insane Feud between the Vegan Strip Club and the Steak House Next Door. Where? Portland of course. ms-04.28

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games. Via P&C. jc-04.28

Adorable and creepy, right up our alley: Little Nightmares for PS4/XB/PC. bb-04.28

The consequences of too much butterbeer. dw-04.28

"Here, do something with these four letters." Jenna, "OK." Jay, "Sure thing." Phineas, "You got it." Matthew, "Hold my beer." Come meet these folks and lots of others this evening at FNZN, a free event at our studio in Chicago. jc-04.27

Brilliant stupidity from Clickhole: A Master At Work: George Saunders Orders One Mousetrap Over The Phone. sd-04.27

Ikea Catalog Covers from 1951 to 2015. jc-04.27

"The creative abyss is a snowy field. Not an abyss you tiptoe above but the one you must navigate. It is at once an infinity and a vacuum, total noise and total silence, everything and nothing. Your foot hovers; your head swims. To take even a single step into blankness is to enter a maze with boundless options and no clues." Robert Moor on How to Cross a Field of Snow, for Lapham's Quarterly. jc-04.27

Colorful illustrations and animations by Karan Singh. dw-04.27

Local note. See you tonight for FNZN? Field Notes Zine Night with tons of talented people, cold beer and more. jc-04.27

Cassini dives between Saturn and Its rings, Nice job nerds. jc-04.27

Vashi Nedomansky's Raiders of the Lost Ark 1-Page Film School. See you in a couple hours. jc-04.26

Trust no one, support Illuminati Youth Baseball. "When the kids were asked what they wanted to name their squad, they unanimously picked The Illuminati. After the uniforms arrived one of the team dads thought they were so hilarious and awesome that he posted a photo of his son wearing his jersey on Twitter." jc-04.26

Carlos Kaiser: football's soccer's greatest conman. bb-04.26

Like the Frost piece linked yesterday, this is by Kathryn Schulz, and is excellent. The Five Best Punctuation Marks in Literature. "Nabokov is a daredevil writer, and often a florid one, but what he shows off here is unbestable economy." jc-04.26

"...might be a recipe for a happier life." The Dollar Store For Danish Design. jc-04.26

Those of us who use "pretty" as an adverb are in pretty good company. jc-04.26

Gruntled, Kempt, and Whelmed, from the American Heritage Dictionary Blog, a mandatory bookmark btw. jc-04.26

I performed quite poorly in this, in need of a brush up. Chicago Style Workout 14: Editing Tables. jc-04.26

"It is the greatest pan-out in the history of verse. We draw away from a man alone in the woods and see man, alone in the woods. As the scale expands, the world diminishes, becomes a snow globe, shaken. And right then, just as we are grasping the nature of our situation — we're fine; we're exhilarated; we're terrified — Frost has the balls to vanish. But he brought us here in the first place!" Brilliant essay on the Terrors and Pleasures of Robert Frost by Kathryn Schulz. Via Clive Thompson. jc-04.25

So you know, Perceptions of Probability and Numbers. Almost certainly awesome. jc-04.25

Periodic Stats. dw-04.25

A history of Michigan's license plates. dw-04.25

Newspapers from around the world with nothing in them. dw-04.25

"Since the 1960s, spacecraft and astronauts have been able to 'step back' far enough to capture combined portraits of the Earth and its moon, separated by some 240,000 miles. Gathered below are some of the best of these portraits, some from as far away as 100 million miles." jc-04.25

So you know, how to get pandas in the mood. jc-04.25

James Curran's 30 day #TokyoGifathon. dw-04.24

"For a bit of balance, a solitary Asian face stares forlornly out from one of the building's goldfish-bowl windows, trapped in her hermetically sealed investment unit." The property billboards that reveal the truth about Britain's luxury housing market. By Oliver Wainwright. jc-04.24

"I travel in search of places which used to have great importance for the technical progress - and which are now deserted." Restricted Areas, by Danila Tkachenko. Via Tiberio. jc-04.24

Nothing in the News, by Joesph Ernst. jc-04.21

Darren Aronofsky has directed two ads for the New York Times showing the struggle photojournalists go through to show us the truth: The Truth is Hard to Find: Tyler Hicks and The Truth is Hard to Find: Bryan Denton ms-04.21

Utterly delightful The Moth tale of a Valentine's day in 1933 from 93 year-old Tom Sitter. ms-04.21

Baseballers, sweet, dot-screen watercolors by Nathan Manire. Via Quipsologies. jc-04.21

Survivorship Bias. jc-04.21

Introduction of Swedish gymnastics for women, 1905-1910. Dig this photo series, especially this one. jc-04.21

Mario Bellini, I would love to see this new career retrospective at the Milan Triennale. jc-04.21

Kulum Eispavilion, St. Moritz, Foster + Partners. jc-04.21

Tom Whalen's design process behind the creation of a poster image for ReCore, an Xbox action-adventure game. jc-04.21

So you know, how to design a record cover in 1977. jc-04.21

30 Rockefeller Plaza and St. Patrick's Cathedral, circa 1939, photo by Herbert Matter. jc-04.21

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

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