What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Monday Edition

This is our studio site. Among other things, we run two businesses:
Field Notes Brand and The Deck Network. Visit them please.

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Take Five

Is it Wrong to Fall in Love with a Woman Photographed Sipping Juice in a Robot Suit 90 Years Ago?

The image above, from the set of Fritz Lang's classic Metropolis, might just be the best motion picture production still ever, "There can be no understanding between the hands and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator." Here's the trailer for the restored masterpiece. Tons more on the 1927 film here.

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.

Elemental Corporate Design

Noyes Maker

From the pebbly matte steel skin to the zippery feel of the margin controls and the interchangeable "golfball" element, the Selectric stands as an icon of industrial design and a shape that still defines an era of modern business. Check how it fits in the timeline history of the IBM Typewriter. The man responsible for the Selectric, and in many ways for corporate America embracing Modernism and design driven communications, is Eliot Noyes. Maybe you don't know him? Maybe you should.

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.

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.

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.

The Art of Josh Keyes

A Personal Mythology

I've just spent a long while staring at the artwork of Josh Keyes and I now expect you will do the same. It's an over-simplification to say that Keyes' work is a metaphor for the conflict between nature and the modern world but that's as good a place as any to start thinking about it. Oh, and it's beautiful and constantly surprising too.

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.

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

Switzerland is the imaginary building of this new hotel. dw-today

"All this Lego analysis had me eager to build something, so I recreated the above chart with Legos." Statistical analysis of 67 Years of Lego Sets, by Joel Carron. Fab. jc-today

A bit of excitement on the Blue Line last night. Thanks JD. jc-today

The man who beat Pac-Man. dw-07.22

Zulkey's interview with Graham Garfield, the General Manager of Customer Information at the Chicago Transit Authority and the ever amazing Chicago-L archive. sd-07.22

On an undesirable lot in Mexico City, architect Yuri Zagorin Alazraki created a stacked home and lush garden. dw-07.22

Star Trek Planetary Glassware. dw-07.22

The true size of countries on a globe. dw-07.22

A fantastic addition to our Museum of Online Museums, The Vault of VHS, dedicated to the design of retail VHS packaging, for both home & pre-recorded tapes. Via P&C. jc-07.22

"My father's artistic works are his unimpeachable defense!" Stanley Kubrick's daughter writes open letter to moon landing conspiracy theorists. kg-07.21

A very interesting painting technique by Haris Lithos. Very. jc-07.21

Industrial handmade lamps by WO & WÉ. dw-07.21

Slovakian photographer Maria Svarbova "stages atmospheric shots of pastel-hued swimming pools, full of pristine waters and blood-red bathing caps." Fantastic stuff, lots more here. Thanks Marshall. jc-07.21

Tobias Zimmer an experiment with sound, water, and light-waves. Sweet. see also his fantastic Database, a public installation on the subject of surveillance. jc-07.20

Photographer/curator Alfred Stieglitz's 291 predated and informed Dadaism, and is absolutely a work of art in its own right. The University of Iowa has made the entire 19-issue series available for download. bb-07.20

"A City of Dust by Lewis Bush taps into this ongoing decay as he explores London's streets, looking for signs of that never-ending transformation, whether through wear or redevelopment. New layers standing on the foundations of the old." jc-07.20

Keven McAlester's short film compares what the same streets in downtown Los Angeles looked like in the nineteen-forties and today via split-screen. jc-07.20

So you know, all about Chekhov's Gun. jc-07.19

Lovely ad for Heathrow airport, The First Flight. ms-07.19

So you know, how a tennis ball is created. dw-07.18

New feature short for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ms-07.18

Mercury on the Horizon. ms-07.18

So you know, How to Be a Kiwi Dad. Via LikeCool. ms-07.18

"As detail-obsessed designers and fierce protectors of the Field Notes brand, voice and identity, we figured we would be a royal pain for the One Design crew. Turns out they totally got the whole Field Notes thing right away. I'm happy to say that we were only a regular-sized pain for them." One Design's case study on building the Field Notes site with us. It's been an excellent partnership and a lot of fun. I'd recommend the One team to anyone. jc-07.16

Some Kind Of Quest, a short film on Northlandz, a 52,000-square-foot model train installation. Yowza. Via Kottke jc-07.15

A look at the new logo for MasterCard ms-07.15

New trailer for A Monster Calls. ms-07.15

Octopus tentacle whiskey glasses for MCJ. dw-07.15

This week's Duly Noted for Field Notes definitely does not have small hands. jc-07.15

"My first simplification was to stop looking for the perfect notebook. It turns out that the perfect notebook was sitting in front of me all along." Thanks for that Doug. jc-07.15

The trailer for Neil Breen's latest masterpiece: Pass Thru. With a special screening next week at the Music Box. sd-07.14

A great, well written set of filmmaking lectures/tutorials from David Monahan: "Looking at Movies." sd-07.14

Modulok by Fernando Rivas. dw-07.14

Interesting story from KCET about how the small California island somehow avoided mass plunder over the centuries: "How Catalina Evaded the Conquest." sd-07.14

"Look at me, how important I must be, with all the... busy." A Precious Hour, by Michael Lopp. Amen. jc-07.12

Palettable. dw-07.12

Dan's Book Covers of Note for July. Dig the Street Furniture Design, by Gray. jc-07.12

So you know, how to design a great city. jc-07.12

Our favorite Chicago-history photo site, Calumet 412, celebrates their 7000th entry. "This post is dedicated to the patron saints of Calumet 412, the Everleigh Sisters of the Everleigh Club in Chicago's Levee Red-Light District. As a reminder, CAlumet-412 was the phone number at the infamous, yet elegant and upscale brothel, located at 2131-2133 S Dearborn." jc-07.12

The Penguin Random House Design Award Winners for 2016. The three first-place students designs are excellent, especially Zack Crook's take on Clockwork. jc-07.11


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