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]

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

Literary Cage Match

To the Brackets!

Once again, our Field Notes Brand is the title sponsor of The Morning News Tournament of Books which is now under way! 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.

Field Notes for Spring

Hardhat Only Area

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.

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.

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.

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.

Because it's There

A Winter’s Tale

"One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen." —Rene Daumal. Why did we do it? Because it is there. Or was anyhow. Presenting Above the Sun, a true story.

New from Field Notes

Eternal, Shiny
and Chrome

Just in time for gift giving, a metallic embossed cover, a new binding and orange spine, plus Drapln-designed wrapping paper and a "To/From" sticker. Our Field Notes winter limited-edition is Black Ice.

A Cautionary Tale

Heed This Well, Young Costumed Beggars

Our annual warning to trick-or-treaters, in the style of Hilaire Belloc.

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.

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

Trailer for the film A Quiet Passion ms-today

Gray on Pantone colors for Boba Fett. jc-today

Poster for Alien: Covenant. jc-today

Neighborwoods. dw-yesterday

"This is just the fucking start." Three Billboards trailer. jc-yesterday

Colorful art by SKWAK. dw-yesterday

Long read of the day, Murder in the Lucky Holiday Hotel ms-03.22

Trailer for the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. We are very excited for this. mcj-03.22

Someone finally melded Rogue One with A New Hope ms-03.22

"Spines for Senators (S4S) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that gives invertebrate lawmakers the transformational surgeries they so desperately need. For just the cost of a cup of coffee a day, you can sponsor a senator born without a backbone, by which we mean almost all of them." ms-03.22

A look back at Chicago's own (and long gone) Riverview Amusement Park. mcj-03.22

An interview with Caroline Weaver of CW Pencil Enterprise on the history of her favorite writing utensil. dw-03.22

"On the one hand, this is a serious time, during which we must measure the weight of our words and wield them only after careful consideration. On the other, judging this round is definitely the hardest thing a person has ever had to do in the history of human endeavour." We're in the Quarterfinals of the Morning News Tournament of Books, sponsored by our Field Notes. jc-03.22

So you know, the most unsatisfying video in the world ever made. Not for OCD types. ms-03.21

Very local note, my high-school daughter Grace organized this event to benefit Planned Parenthood at The Metro on May 12. You should come, and bring your kids. Voices For Choices. jc-03.21

"No cheating, faking, or posing. None of these films was chosen to impress the reader, or in an attempt to reflect a critical consensus, whether past or present. They're here because I love them, period." Great list. Sixty-One Years, Sixty-Eight Films, by Terry Teachout. jc-03.21

For MS and BB, Yuengling's butterbeer ice cream. dw-03.21

Hey Chicago, this Thursday ChiDM is hosting a screening of Between the Folds, a documentary that "chronicles 10 stories of fine artists and theoretical scientists who are abandoning more conventional career paths to forge lives as modern-day paper folders." Get your ticket here. mcj-03.21

Happy Tuesday. ms-03.21

"At its start, Chicago was a marshy outpost of hearty settlers who used the convergence of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River to their benefit." How It Grew, from Curious City. jc-03.21

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries have a unique trade catalog collection that includes about 10,000 seed and nursery catalogs dating from 1830 to the present. dw-03.20

This is wonderful, where Daft Punk get their samples. mcj-03.20

From FastCo Design, A Reading Guide for Designers Who Want to Write. mcj-03.20

"What makes gambling wrong but insurance right?" bb-03.20

Nina Keinrath explores the mountains of Morocco. dw-03.20

The Opening Round comes to a close today in the Morning News Tournament of Books. jc-03.20

Apropos of nothing, Miles Davis The Sorcerer, May 17, 1967. jc-03.20

Great Migrations, following genes around the world. From Lapham's Quarterly. jc-03.20

RC vehicles that fly at appropriately scaled speeds. Whoa, cool. jc-03.17

For St. Pat's, "I was very flattered when Joyce dropped the 'Mister.' Everybody was 'Mister.' There were no Christian names, no first names. The nearest you would get to friendly name was to drop the 'Mister.' I was never 'Sam.' I was always 'Beckett' at the best. We'd drink in any old pub or cafe." This Recording in which Samuel Beckett didn't intend to be a writer. jc-03.17

So you know, Vicemo shows you who's buying drugs, booze, and sex on Venmo. dw-03.17

Gorgeous wood art by Gordon Pembridge. dw-03.17

Let's be honest here, everyone is going to want to be the T-Rex. ms-03.17

So you know, how beer gets its color from PopSci. See also this sold out Field Notes limited edition. jc-03.17

Trailer for Dig Two Graves. ms-03.17

A classic reference that needs to be revisited periodically. Paul Brians' Commonly Made Suggestions about commonly made errors, and more importantly, Non-Errors, "those usages people keep telling you are wrong but which are actually standard in English." Which is exactly the sort of attitude up with which I will not put jc-03.17

Why Tea and Coffee Aren't Made the Same. mcj-03.16

Local note: Our pals at the Busy Beaver Button Museum are hosting My Button, My Choice, their inaugural fundraiser, on Monday at 5:30 PM at Lagunitas. You drink a few beers and make a custom button for your own personal cause, they get a few bucks, everyone wins! bb-03.16

Related to the last, the long take opening scene from Touch of Evil. ms-03.16

Netflix is helping to bring Orson Welles' last, unfinished film to the screen. ms-03.16

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

Grab our blended RSS feed here.

Find a Job

More @ We Work Remotely.


French | German | Italian
Japanese | Spanish | Portuguese

One Hundred Forty

Coudal on Twitter

The MoOM Board

One of the most popular parts of our site is The Museum of online Museums (MoOM) which is updated quarterly. Please consider joining the MoOM Board of Directors. A subscription comes with a handsome coffee mug but none of the snootiness so often associated with the patronage of old-school cultural institutions.

Elias Jones
Maura Statman
Fergus Wessel
D'Ortenzio Family
Johnson Hur
Kelly Leonard
Brigitte Martin
Brian Mohney
Unnikrishna Menon Damodaran
Rick Johnson
Leah Blum
Philip Birmingham
Andrew Dale
Patch Superstore
Haris Bacic
Ian McRoberts
Grettir Asmundarson
Vladimir Gendelman
Tom Shakow
Dallas Shelby
Blueberry Ln.
Michael Russem
James Sampson
Rod McGuinness
Jason Lankow
Nöel Jackson
DJ Edgerton
Carolyn Wood
Mark Powell
Chris Ebmeyer
Christen Carter
Chris Allison
Keith Krieger
Kathleen Devlin
Roger McLeish
Fred Beshid
Katie Harrar
Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran
Daniel Annereau
Dan Rubin
Barbara Ann Kipfer
Sunniva Geuer
Gareth Walters
Claire Zulkey
Sean Palmer
Jane Quigley
Edward Lifson
Witold Riedel
Brian Cook
Anne Herron
Abby Urban
Erik Ratcliffe
Michael Jenkins
Katie Carney
Mark Greenberg
John Boardley
Jon Tan
Robin Sherwood
William Dampier
Don Stillman
John Pojman
Werner Haker
Amy Hostler
Whet Moser
Debbie Millman
Matt Russell
Bill Keaggy
Adam Kruvand
Randy Hunt
David Demaree
Erik Vorhes
Dan Mabrey
Nalani McClendon
Mary Catlan
Anonymous (8)

Supporting the MoOM requires a simple annual non-tax-free contribution of $75. In exchange for your generosity, you'll receive one sweet, tall coffee mug and a permanent listing and link as a member of the Board of Directors. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

We actually do
stuff beside
updating this site.

Find out what.