Today you were supposed to read a new installment of Free for All, my column wherein I find all sorts of great design freebies. We preempted Free for All in favor of this article because of the time-limited nature of the below subjects. Put simply, we didn’t want you to miss out helping to create the New Black.
Free for All will be back on April 1st… No, really; it will.
Crowd funding website Kickstarter.com made international news last week when a proposal to create a film adaptation of the television show “Veronica Mars” received full funding in only two days. The show, which ran from 2004–2007 and—pardon the pun—kickstarted the career of actress Kristen Bell, asked for $2 million to reunite the original cast and writer in a motion picture. Fans of the show pledged their money not only to watch the film but also to become part of it; each level of pledge, from $10 to $10,000, guaranteed supporters signed merchandise and, for some, even roles in the resulting “Veronica Mars” film. With more than 3 weeks to go (as of this writing), it’s likely the film will net at least 200% of its requested $2 million. The overage, promised by the cast in the project introduction video, will be used to increase the production value of the film.
“Veronica Mars” isn’t the only success story on Kickstarter. In the category of Photography projects the Fearless Project (LGBTQ Student Athletes) Photography Book received more than $50,000 from supporters. CST-01, billed as the world’s thinnest watch and featuring an e-ink display, blew away its requested $200,000 in launch money to receive more than $1 million. In publishing too there are great successes through crowd funding. From New York Times best-selling author Seth Godin receiving 718% of the funding he need for a book entitled The Icarus Deception: Why Make Art? to The Manual, a print-only, hardback journal discussing design as a concept and funded by 825 backers.
Projects seeking crowd funding are divided into a baker’s dozen categories ranging from Art to Theater. With an exceptionally large focus on technology and design-related projects, Kickstarter is helping everyone from the design school dropout to the most prolific inventors present, refine, fund, and produce their projects—all with the cooperation and participation of communities that go far beyond just pledging a few bucks or euros.
As a designer, several Kickstarter projects have recently captured my interest. I thought they might pique yours as well.
Several of the below projects are still asking for funding before they can become reality; others have already reached their goals but are still accepting pledges—and offering commensurate perks to backers. All are time-sensitive. All are about design of some kind, or for designers of some kind. Note that I’ve left out the gazillion iPhone cases seeking funding.
The New Black
Working with PANTONE, New Jersey-based graphic design student Nick Black wants to create a new black color formula for the 21st century, a new black that everyone can use. In Nick’s own words: “I’m a design student that wants to create the very first crowd-sourced custom color that’ll be used by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. The New Black will embody everything black stands for but also make it new again. I’m offering some pretty cool rewards to commemorate the color and I hope you’ll enjoy them.”
“Designing a Logo” Poster
For a pledge of $20 you too can get this poster the author describes as “A great poster for any designer’s office [that] lays out the process it takes to create a strong effective logo.”
Cable management systems and phone docks abound on Kickstarter and everywhere, but UnJungle is unique. It sticks to nearly any smooth surface, creating a tiny hanging shelf or basked that can hold up to eight cables or small items such as USB drives, paper clips, or your phone. It comes in six different colors and includes a detachable phone dock stand that doubles as a cable winder.
Littlest Lovecraft: The Call of Cthulhu
For nearly a century now every hardcore geek has known about H.P. Lovecraft’s masterpiece of gothic horror, The Call of Cthulhu. The book has inspired so many different interpretations in dozens of books, films, and role-playing games. One adaptation that’s always been noticeably absent is a children’s book. Writer Tro Rex and illustrator Eyo Bella want your help (and funding) to repair that glaring oversight in their full-color, illustrated, children’s book-style faithful retelling of The Call of Cthulhu.
The Future of Comic Strips
Print newspapers are falling like leaves. Where then do the Sunday comic strips go? What do the cartoonists do now? STRIPPED is a documentary film featuring over 90 cartoonists talking about their art, the history of their profession, and where… whether… the medium has a future.
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