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

Coudal Partners

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.

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

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.

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.

We Choose to Go to the Moon

The Moon in
a Sandbox

It's not quite like faking the moon landing, but the film we made for the release of our new Field Notes Quarterly Edition for Fall, 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.

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.

Verse by Voice

Poetry, After the Beep

Several years ago, on a whim, we asked people to read their favorite short poems into our voice mail for a project we called Verse By Voice. And lots of people did, creating a poetry meme!. To get the idea, here's novelist Zadie Smith reading Frank O'Hara's Animals.

Selling Space

Making it Real

"In 1966 Norman Rockwell really needed a spacesuit and NASA didn't want to give him one." Now, that is a lede. An excellent, illustrated article by Darren Garret, The Improbable, Bold History of Space Concept Art.

Museum of Online Museums

The MoOM

There's something for everyone in our Museum of Online Museums. For example, Voices of East Anglia's groovy Japanese print ads from the 60s and 70s collection. Like most cultural institutions, The MoOM needs the support of the community to survive. Well, not really, since we don't have a building or a staff or even those cheap little round colored badges that you hook on your collar when you attend... We do however have a new version of The MoOM Mug, which is available exclusively to benefactors.

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.

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

A look inside Chicago's historic (and currently shuttered) Congress Theater. bb-yesterday

Shopping for vintage star finders. dw-yesterday

Appropriate for today. Bad Day at Black Rock titles from 1955. jc-yesterday

From photographer Lois Bielefeld, Weeknight Dinners. Fab. ms-01.19

Learn how to make Kevin's Famous Chili. Who is Kevin? This is Kevin. ms-01.19

"Epoch is best experienced with a full screen, no artificial light intrusion, ample sound speakers, and an open mind free of predictions or expectations in order to allow the film to guide you on its expedition and take you to another place entirely." dw-01.19

Giving new meaning to Sweatin' To The Oldies. eg-01.19

Architecture geek alert, The Brutalist Coloring Book. ms-01.19

Great photos of the 1970s Teddy Boy revival in the UK. bb-01.19

Best comedy bit of 2016? Gary Gulman explains how they came up with two-letter state abbreviations. bb-01.18

The Chart of Cosmic Exploration. dw-01.18

How a font once rejected by the German Post Office defined the digital age, Herman Miller, and type titan Erik Spiekermann. That's So Meta. dw-01.18

"Norman Wilkinson, a marine painter who was in the Royal Navy, is credited with being the first to develop dazzle camouflage for ships." Lots of sweet drawings can be found in the RISD Fleet Library. Via the always observant Present & Correct. jc-01.18

2016 In memoriam, and in movie posters. jc-01.18

One of those rare "wish I lived in L.A." moments: Dr. Katz live on stage this Sunday! bb-01.17

Ben Terret flips through Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design, and has a few things to say about it too. jc-01.17

"There were some things that were just accepted in the 80s and Barbara Cartland's cookbook was one of them." The Romance of Food. dw-01.17

Watching popcorn pop in ultra slow motion. ms-01.17

So you know, a listing of all the days in 2017 when you can visit National Parks for free. ms-01.17

Pogo is back with a new remix from Robin Hood ms-01.17

123 years of Financial Times banners. jc-01.17

"Of course they weren't the only ink company around and in the mid-1890s they began running full-color poster advertisements in trade publications such as The Inland Printer, The Printer and Bookmaker and The American Bookmaker. In a novel twist the posters were lithographed with the very inks they were advertising." Fantastic post from Jim Hughes on the Ault & Wiborg Company. jc-01.17

"I cut the holes by hand. I should mention that I have no idea what I'm doing." Oh man, I totally love this. The making of a DIY Overhead Control Panel. See it in action too. jc-01.17

"I set out to create a visual reaction to the hardships and wagers of wheat harvest in the rural highlands of Northeast Colorado." The Reckoning Days, a photo series by Elliot Ross. Fab. jc-01.17

"Instagram (n.): A persistent reminder that people you know can afford more expensive restaurants and better vacations than you." The Verge has updated Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary. jc-01.17

History of Recorded Sound by David Miles Huber. Great resource. jc-01.17

If you need to say something nice, Say it With Beef. ms-01.16

You don't need MIT research to prove that 2016 wasn't a particularly bad year for celebrity mortality but it helps. bb-01.16

The New Yorker Cartoons at Random. dw-01.16

"Ian Andersen spent months as a travelling hockey coach among ancient buddhist temples, Shia Muslim villages and semi nomadic yak herders." ms-01.16

The best (and weirdest) charts 538 made In 2016. jc-01.16

Covers for Der Orchideengarten which "ran for 51 issues from 1919 to 1921; the editors were Hans Strobl and Alfons von Czibulka, and the contents comprised original fiction, book reviews and reprints in German of notable works of weird literature." —John Coulthart. jc-01.16

Seventeen Space Dawns (1963). jc-01.16

Wonder Woman Comic-Con Trailer. jc-01.13

Now's a good time to check in with good ol' reliable John. He enjoyed a pint of KickStart Breakfast Stout at the Vibrant Forest in Lymington, Hampshire the other night. That's 15,146 pints since May of 1995, but who's counting? jc-01.13

After this week we could all probably use a drink. What are you having? jc-01.13

Women's March on Washington. Use button labeled "donate". jc-01.13

"...he was a First Amendment absolutist who lived to see free speech under siege in his native land, which explains why his impassioned writings about it should now loom so large in memory." Terry Teachout on Nat Hentoff (1925-2017). jc-01.13

Pop surrealism paintings by Camilla d'Errico. dw-01.13

24 New national historic landmarks that "depict different threads of the American story that have been told through activism, architecture, music, and religious observance." dw-01.13


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

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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.

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Anonymous (8)

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