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Highlights from Bold Type, Our Celebration of French Typography

Nov 27 2018

Version française ci-dessous.

This fall, Kickstarter and the French graphic design and visual culture magazine étapes: teamed up to launch Bold Type, a celebration of typography in France. From September 1 to October 31, we invited artists, designers, and type enthusiasts of all stripes to launch typography projects on Kickstarter.

Twenty creators took part, creating inventive new typefaces, playful typographic illustrations, new design publications, and more. To date, they’ve found support from over 1,200 backers, who have pledged more than $75,000 to help bring these projects to life. (There’s still time to support a few of them!)

Read on for a selection of standout live and successful projects from the Bold Type initiative, and to hear from a few of the creators who joined in.

Home stretch

Just a few days left to support these projects.

Pierre di Sciullo: The Book 

Discover the work of famed French typeface designer Pierre di Sciullo through 256 pages of sketchbooks, collages, and research, some of which has never been published before.

Blaze Type Specimen N°1

Type designer Matthieu Salvaggio is celebrating the first anniversary of his design studio with this limited-edition book. It’s part comic, part design volume, and part type specimen.

Typographic Experimentation with Hebrew and Latin 

Art director and type designer Sylvie Chokroun has created a set of seven Hebrew fonts and four matching Latin fonts, letting you create sleek design materials in both Hebrew and Roman-alphabet languages.

“What I’ve learned from launching this campaign is how my work is actually perceived by other people, and that’s very valuable information,” Chokroun says.

Mimikus 

There are infinite ways to customize this free modular font. How will you use it?

Loufoquerie 

Designers Cássia D'Elia and Tassiana Nuñez Costa became fascinated with language and colloquialisms after moving to Paris from their native Brazil. Their new book compares idiomatic expressions in French and Brazilian Portuguese through playful typographic illustrations. 

More to explore

A few of our favorite successful Bold Type projects.

2019 Mr. Cup Letterpress Calendar 

“Kickstarter has its very own way of working,” says Mr. Cup creator Fabien Barral. “Connecting with your backers, involving them in the creative process and along the campaign are indispensable elements for its success.” His seventh successful Kickstarter campaign, for a limited-edition letterpress calendar featuring inspirational quotes, was supported by over 300 people from all over the world.

RADDAR: Design Annual Review 

RADDAR is a multidisciplinary journal for people who are fascinated by how design touches every aspect of our lives. Over 120 people pledged more than €6,000 to help launch the publication.

Naoko 

On her project page, designer Emilie Rigaud shares how a few quick sketches developed into this spacey sans-serif typeface. It's a delightful behind-the-scenes look at the creative process.

Diorama Digital 

The print magazine Diorama, which got its start on Kickstarter, launched a second campaign to make the publication available online. “Launching this Kickstarter campaign allowed us to maintain regular touch points with our community and gain visibility,” say creators Marie-Mam Sai Bellier and Guillaume Sbalchiero. “We see that our community is expanding and getting more and more involved. We are very grateful!”

The Bold Type initiative may be over, but you're welcome to launch a typography project any time. Start your project here—we can't wait to see it!

Le meilleur de Bold Type, notre éloge de la typographie française

Traduit de l’anglais par Angela Benoit.

Cet automne, Kickstarter et étapes:, une revue française sur les thèmes du graphisme et de la culture visuelle, se sont associés pour lancer Bold Type, un éloge de la typographie française. Du 1er septembre au 31 octobre, nous avons invité les artistes, les graphistes et les amateurs de caractères de tous les horizons à lancer leurs projets typographiques sur Kickstarter.

Vingt créateurs y ont participé et donné vie à une police de caractères inventive, des illustrations typographiques ludiques, une revue sur le thème du design et plus. À ce jour, ils ont reçu le soutien de plus de 1 200 contributeurs qui ont engagé plus de 75 000 $. (Il reste quelques campagnes en cours !)

Ci-dessous, vous retrouverez une sélection de projets en cours et intégralement financés de Bold Type, commentés par quelques créateurs qui ont répondu présents.

La dernière ligne droite

Des campagnes qui sont sur le point de se terminer.

Pierre di Sciullo : le livre

Découvrez l’œuvre du célèbre créateur de caractères français Pierre di Sciullo dans les 256 pages de ce livre qui réunit des croquis, des collages et des recherches, dont certains sont à ce jour inédits.

Blaze Type Specimen N°1 

Matthieu Salvaggio, créateur de caractères, fête le premier anniversaire de son studio avec ce livre en édition limitée au carrefour entre bande dessinée, volume sur le design et spécimens typographiques.

Typographic Experimentation with Hebrew and Latin 

Directrice artistique et dessinatrice de caractères, Sylvie Chokroun a créé un ensemble de onze fontes hébreu et quatre fontes latines correspondantes qui vous permettent de réunir ces deux alphabets dans une même œuvre typographique.

« Lancer cette campagne m’a permis de découvrir comment les autres perçoivent mon travail et cette information a une grande valeur », affirme-t-elle.

Mimikus 

Cette fonte modulaire gratuite se transforme avec une multitude de styles. Quelle utilisation en ferez-vous ?

Loufoquerie 

Cássia D’Elia et Tassiana Nuñez Costa sont designers. Elles se sont découvert une passion pour les langues et les expressions familières après avoir quitté le Brésil pour s’installer à Paris. Leur livre compare des idiomes français et portugais (brésilien) sur fond d’illustrations typographiques joueuses.  

Plus de projets à découvrir 

Une sélection de projets Bold Type intégralement financés qui nous ont plu.

2019 Mr. Cup Letterpress Calendar 

« Kickstarter a un mode de fonctionnement unique, raconte Fabien Barral, créateur de M. Cup. Échanger avec les contributeurs, les inviter à participer à la campagne et au processus créatif sont des éléments indispensables d’un projet réussi. » Ce calendrier typographique en édition limitée – sa septième campagne Kickstarter intégralement financée, soutenue par plus de 300 personnes à travers le monde – contient des citations qui ne manqueront pas d’inspirer.

RADDAR : Revue annuelle de design 

RADDAR est une revue pluridisciplinaire qui s’adresse à ceux qui s’interrogent sur comment le design irrigue tous les pans de l’activité humaine. Soutenue par plus de 120 personnes, la campagne destinée à lancer la publication s’est terminée à plus de 6 000 €.

Naoko 

Sur sa page de projet, Emilie Rigaud, créatrice de caractères, présente quelques croquis préliminaires de cette police de caractères sans-sérif aux airs spatiaux. Il s’agit non seulement d’une fonte magnifique, mais aussi d’une illustration merveilleuse du processus créatif.

Diorama Digital 

La revue imprimée Diorama a vu le jour sur Kickstarter. Cette deuxième campagne a pour but de financer la version numérique de la publication. « Cette campagne Kickstarter nous permet de garder contact régulièrement avec notre communauté et de gagner en visibilité, affirme Marie-Mam Sai Bellier et Guillaume Sbalchiero, ses créateurs. Nous savons que notre public s’agrandit et souhaite participer de plus en plus. Nous leurs sommes très reconnaissants ! »

L’initiative Bold Type est terminée, mais vos projets typographiques sont les bienvenus à tout moment. Si vous souhaitez démarrer un projet, c’est par ici. Nous vous attendons avec impatience !

What $4 Billion Pledged to Creative Projects Looks Like

Nov 20 2018

Last week, the Kickstarter campaign for Street Masters: Aftershock received a pledge of $209. For the creator, the independent game studio Blacklist Games, that represented another step toward bringing their board game expansion to life. For Kickstarter as a whole, it represented a thrilling milestone: $4 billion pledged to creative ideas on our platform.

Over 154,000 projects have been funded on Kickstarter with the support of over 15 million backers, more than 5 million of whom have supported more than one project. That’s 15 million people who have helped over 123,000 creators make hip-hop anthologies, DIY microscopes, animated documentaries, intersectional feminist zines, kinetic artworks, card games featuring combustible cats, and so much more.

But $4 billion is such a massive, abstract figure. What is $4 billion, really?

Well: 

That $4 billion has enabled thousands of projects from independent creators working in every conceivable discipline. It means a history-making public art campaign can spark civic engagement across the U.S. It means a team of unknown filmmakers in France can share their passion project with the world. It means a historic concert series can continue to elevate independent musicians. It means that over 123,000 people have been able to bring new, exciting, ambitious work into the world with the help of their communities.

And it’s why we want to take a moment to thank all of the creators and backers who have brought us to this milestone. Kickstarter exists for you, and we are honored to be a part of your process. We can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish next.

Make 100 with Kickstarter in 2019

Nov 14 2018

You’re invited to launch a limited-edition project in January as part of Make 100.

In January 2017, over 470 creators launched projects as part of Kickstarter’s first year of Make 100, a creative initiative focused on limited editions of 100. Since then, we’ve seen creators take the idea in directions we never expected.

To kick off 2019, we invite you to join the Kickstarter community and launch a Make 100 project of your own. Whether you’re a curious first-timer or an experienced creator, there’s no time like a new year to take a creative risk, explore a new direction, and make good on your creative ambitions.

A few inventive Make 100 projects by creators Sara V. Ramirez, Jenny Odell, Mike Ambs, Derrick Schultz, Thierry Blancpain, and Jenn de la Vega
A few inventive Make 100 projects by creators Sara V. Ramirez, Jenny Odell, Mike Ambs, Derrick Schultz, Thierry Blancpain, and Jenn de la Vega
 

To date, over 780 creators have launched Make 100 projects—387 of them as their first-ever Kickstarter project—and over 80,967 backers have rallied to support to them. We’ve seen creators experiment with new disciplines and fulfill nascent creative passions. We’ve seen them branch out beyond their creative comfort zones.

The creators and backers who take part in Make 100 remind us that Kickstarter can be used to support creative projects of all shapes and sizes—not only large-scale ideas, but fun, silly ones, too. What an encouraging sentiment to have in mind as we round the corner to the start of a new year, a time of resolutions and personal goal-setting.

To take part in Make 100, launch a Kickstarter project between January 1 and January 31, featuring a limited-edition reward capped at 100 backers. As long as your project follows Kickstarter’s rules, the only limit is your imagination.

We’ll be celebrating Make 100 projects throughout January in our newsletters and on social media. Until then, stay tuned for advice and inspiration for those planning their projects along the way.

Learn more, start your project now, or get inspired by exploring previous Make 100 projects.

P.S. Did you launch your first-ever Kickstarter project as part of Make 100 in 2017 or 2018? We want to hear your story! Send an email to make100@kickstarter.com and let us know how the experience changed your year.

Announcing Zine Quest, a Tribute to RPG Zines in February 2019

Nov 1 2018

This winter, let us summon the ancient forms and blazon our sigils on portentous parchments!

Emerging in the early 1970s, RPG zines were hugely influential in the early days of role-playing game fandom and publishing. Inspired by classic titles like Judges Guild and Alarums & Excursions, Kickstarter is inviting creators to launch their own RPG-inspired zine projects in February 2019 as part of Zine Quest, a celebration of these influential documents.

“It's hard to imagine how role-playing games could have come along without zines,” RPG historian Jon Peterson recently told us. “Zines were the primordial soup where the ideas that became RPGs bounced around, combined with each other, and eventually merged into something amazing.”

Early RPG zines, 'Alarums & Excursions' and 'Domesday Book'
Early RPG zines, 'Alarums & Excursions' and 'Domesday Book'

To be considered for Zine Quest, projects must be RPG-related and they must be zines—they can contain complete RPGs, supplements, adventures, articles, interviews, art or even comics about RPGs. Read the complete guidelines.

Throughout February 2019, we’ll feature Zine Quest projects on a special collections page, in our Games newsletter, and beyond.

Learn more about Zine Quest.

A New Approach to Our Work on Drip

Oct 24 2018
Andy McMillan and Andy Baio of XOXO. Photo by Searle Video.
Andy McMillan and Andy Baio of XOXO. Photo by Searle Video.

A year ago we launched Drip, a tool for people to fund their creative work on an ongoing basis. We saw this as another way to fulfill our mission — to help creative projects come to life — outside of the project-based funding we’ve pioneered with Kickstarter, and creator resources like The Creative Independent.

Since its launch, Drip has operated as an invitation-only service with about 100 creators. Recently we began talking with our friends at XOXO, Andy Baio and Andy McMillan, about the best future for Drip, and the best way to support creators and creative work through such a tool. These discussions opened up a new direction that we want to share today.

A New Project With XOXO

We are partnering with XOXO on a new project that will ultimately replace Drip, one in which Kickstarter will be taking more of a supporting role. The project, which will build on the work of the Drip team, will help independent artists and creators get discovered, find a community to support their work, and build a long-term, sustainable career.

To date, subscription-based funding has proven to be a viable source of support for YouTubers, podcasters, and other serial digital-content creators — but it is still a challenging model for artists and other creators whose output is less episodic. With Drip, we endeavored to build a method for ongoing funding to support creators who didn't see subscriptions as fitting their creative practices. Andy and Andy are in an excellent position to pursue that goal, as well as to better serve creators who are already finding traction with this model.

XOXO has formed a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) for the new project, which will be led and driven wholly by the vision and experience of Andy and Andy. Kickstarter is contributing seed funding, making the Drip code available to them, and providing other support. Andy and Andy’s work in developing XOXO, the premier festival for independent artists and creators who work on the internet, has been a master class in how to support people who fight every day to bring their ideas to life. They are the best people to be leading this new effort.

Kickstarter and XOXO have a long and deeply intertwined history. In 2012, XOXO was launched through a Kickstarter project. It has since grown into a thousands-strong community filled with people creating new things — and many of those people have used Kickstarter and Drip. Andy Baio was Kickstarter’s first CTO, has remained a longtime friend and informal adviser to its founders, and most recently served as a Kickstarter Fellow, working often with the Drip team.

Supporting Current Drip Creators

Kickstarter will continue to operate Drip in its current state for another year. We’re committed to supporting creators and subscribers on Drip while the new project is developed. (In fact, the Kickstarter and XOXO teams have already been in close contact with many Drip creators about the change in direction.) We’ll help creators export their content and securely transfer subscription and payments information to the new platform when it’s ready. And if a creator wants to leave Drip sooner than that, we’ll help them move to another platform.

Our Mission at Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a Public Benefit Corporation with an obligation to serve our mission, not one to maximize our profits. When we make big decisions, we focus on impact — how can we help people bring more creative projects to life? We still believe ongoing funding can work for a broad range of creators, and we’re big believers in the ability of Andy and Andy to make that happen.

Meanwhile our teammates who have been focused on Drip are being rededicated to the big challenges and opportunities within Kickstarter itself. We’re a relatively small company in the internet landscape (140 people), so that shift will have a real impact. Simply, there’s a lot to do through Kickstarter proper, and we’ll do it better and faster with more helping hands.

We’re thrilled to be working with XOXO, and we’re looking forward to supporting them as their plans take shape. You can read their announcement of the new project here.

Presentamos Esto es Riso, una celebración de la risografía mexicana

Oct 1 2018

(Scroll down for the English translation.)

Atención a todos los apasionados de la risografía en México y el mundo: del 22 de octubre al 15 de diciembre, Kickstarter estará destacando proyectos de artistas mexicanos que trabajan con riso.

Una risografía por Rachel Levit
Una risografía por Rachel Levit
 

Algo así como una mezcla entre la serigrafía y las fotocopias, la risografía es una técnica de impresión que se realiza con una máquina llamada duplicadora. Es relativamente barata y simple de elaborar, y utiliza tintas respetuosas del medio ambiente. Los acabados en riso son perfectamente imperfectos y ricos en color, y las posibilidades casi infinitas pues se puede imprimir desde zines y libros, hasta pósters y tarjetas de presentación. Esta técnica va de la mano con el espíritu DIY al alentar la libertad de imprenta y expresión, y fomentar la experimentación.

La Risografia de Can Can Press
La Risografia de Can Can Press

En México, encontramos impresiones en risografía para uso comercial por todos lados, quizás por su bajo costo y capacidad de hacer tirajes altos. Pero existe también una comunidad vibrante de impresores que han adoptado este proceso para uso artístico. (Por ejemplo, nos encanta el trabajo de los artistas detrás de Can Can Press, La Duplicadora, Aazufre, y Gato Negro Ediciones.)

Con Esto es Riso, el equipo de Kickstarter México quiere celebrar a estos creativos y llevar a nuestra comunidad global el arte de la risografía mexicana. Con esto en mente, nos emociona colaborar con #DealerMX y Macolen, y juntos darles un espacio a los impresores en riso mexicanos para hacer sus ideas realidad y amplificar su trabajo.

#DealerMX es un proyecto que impulsa propuestas creativas y abre líneas de comunicación entre ilustradores, artistas y proyectos editoriales para reunirlas en un espacio común. Además de ser una feria con espacio de venta, es un punto de encuentro, inspiración y convivencia entre creadores y el público en general. Los proyectos exitosos que participen en Esto es Riso podrán ser elegibles para ser parte del primer #PabellónDealer, una exhibición curada por el equipo de #DealerMX que tendrá lugar durante la Semana del Arte en febrero 2019 en la Ciudad de México.

Una risografía por Ilya Kazakov
Una risografía por Ilya Kazakov

Macolen es una imprenta ubicada en la Ciudad de México. En Macolen son profesionales de la impresión en risografía y estarán apoyando a los creadores de Esto es Riso con el expertise y los recursos para imprimir sus proyectos.

Estén o no familiarizados con la impresión en risografía, los alentamos a explorar este proceso creativo y apreciar su acabado singular. Si eres un creador mexicano con una idea en mente, te invitamos a publicar un proyecto de risografía con nosotros del 22 de octubre al 15 de diciembre.

Puedes encontrar más información sobre cómo ser parte de Esto es Riso aquí.

Si tienes preguntas puedes escribirnos a riso@kickstarter.com.

________________________________________________________________

Introducing This Is Riso: A Celebration of Mexican Risograph Art

Calling all fans of Risograph printing in Mexico and the world: from October 22 through December 15, Kickstarter will be highlighting projects by Mexican Risograph artists—and we’d love to see your work.

Risograph printing is done with a machine called duplicator, a mix between a copy machine and a silk-screen printer. The resulting prints are almost perfectly imperfect and rich in color, and the possibilities are endless—Riso can be used to create anything from zines to books to posters to business cards. Environmentally friendly, relatively cheap, and easy-to-learn, Risograph printing has a long tradition with the DIY community.

In Mexico, Riso is widespread in commercial use, likely due to its low cost and high print run capacity. But there is also a vibrant community of printers who have adopted this process for artistic purposes. (We love the work of Can Can Press, La Duplicadora, Aazufre, and Gato Negro Ediciones, for example.)

With This Is Riso, the Kickstarter Mexico team wants to celebrate this community and bring the art of Mexican Risograph printing to our global community. And with this in mind, we are excited to collaborate with #DealerMX and Macolen to create a space for Mexican Risograph artists to bring their ideas to life and amplify their work.

#DealerMX is a project that supports creative ideas and the collaboration between illustrators, artists, and publishers, and gathers them in a common space. It is a commercial art fair that allows artists to showcase their work while also encouraging the interaction between creators and the general public. Successfully funded projects participating in This Is Riso will be eligible to participate in the first #PabellónDealer, an exhibit curated by the team behind #DealerMX which will take place during Art Week in February 2019 in Mexico City.

Macolen is a Mexico City-based print shop and studio. The team at Macolen are experts in Risograph printing, and they will be supporting This Is Riso creators with the expertise and resources needed to print their projects.

Whether or not you are familiar with Risograph printing, we encourage you to explore this creative process and marvel at its unique possibilities. If you are a Mexican creator with an idea in mind, we invite you to launch a Riso project on Kickstarter between October 22 and December 15. Throughout that time we will promote This Is Riso projects in newsletters and on social media, and will be sharing resources for Mexico-based Risograph artists.

Head here to learn more about This Is Riso, or head here to start building your Kickstarter project.

If you have questions, please write to us at riso@kickstarter.com.

Introducing Designed by Artists

Sep 17 2018

Artists on Kickstarter are launching projects that push beyond their own categories, working in disciplines like Design and Technology to develop products that bring communities closer together. Here on the Arts team, we’ve asked ourselves how to best elevate these cross-category projects—and what resources artists need to build their first product.

Today, we’re excited to announce the beginning of a new initiative called Designed by Artists, a celebration of Kickstarter projects by artists building community-centered products. From conceptual dating apps to hardware for new media art, these projects create thoughtful, useful products that enrich the lives of the people who use them—and we’re here to help you to make one too.

Join the initiative.

Similar to initiatives like Kickstarter Commissions and our Design and Technology team’s Request for Projects, Designed by Artists is an invitation for you to launch a project. This time, we’re looking to highlight artist-designed products that take their bold ideas outside the patron, gallery, and institutional models—and put them in the hands of the community they serve.

Artist-designed products funded on Kickstarter
Artist-designed products funded on Kickstarter

Here are some previously funded projects that fit the spirit of Designed by Artists to get you inspired:

  • Flint Water: Artist Pope.L produced 900 water bottles in conjunction with an exhibition to raise awareness and funds for the Flint Water Crisis. 
  • Dulltech: A group of new media artists led by Constant Dullaart built an easy-to-use loop and synch video player for their peers. 
  • NeoLucida: Artists and professors Pablo Garcia and Golan Levin designed a portable camera lucida for students, artists, architects, and “anyone who loves to draw from life.” 
  • Little Sun: Artist Olafur Eliasson collaborated with engineer Frederik Ottesen to create this solar-powered phone charger to provide wider access to sustainable energy. 
  • Ways of Being: Members of the arts collective BFAMFAPhD designed a website, card game, and book for teachers to foster collaboration, contemplation, and analysis. 
  • Personals: Graphic designer Kelly Rakowski created a text-based dating and community app for the LBTQIA+ community.

Already have a project in the works? We’re here to help! Send a quick paragraph about you and the project to dba@kickstarter.com.

Designed by Artists is live October 15 through November 15 by featuring live projects in newsletters, social media, and more. We’ll also be sharing lasting resources for artists looking to build their first products—including information on how to scale your work, identify manufacturers, activate your community, and more—so stay tuned.

Toward Better 3D Printers: A New Test From Autodesk and Kickstarter

Sep 11 2018

Kickstarter is a well-established home for 3D printing. Over 200 campaigns focused on bringing new 3D printers to life have been funded here. Innovative industry-leading companies like Formlabs got their start on Kickstarter. Hundreds of other creators have launched filaments, fixtures, print heads, and other projects that support this dynamic ecosystem.

To ensure that this community continues to thrive on Kickstarter, we’ve been working with our friends at Autodesk to address a challenge that our creators and backers face: lack of a common standard to assess the performance of FDM 3D printers. (Fused Deposition Modeling is the standard layer-by-layer process that you’ve probably seen even if you’ve only encountered a few 3D printers.) Today, we’re happy to announce that with generous help from Autodesk, we’re releasing a new open-source printing test for Kickstarter creators.

Kickstarter already requires that 3D printer creators demonstrate the current functionality of their devices through videos of prints in progress and photos of finished prints. However, creators often showcase different types of prints, from geometric vases and abstract art to more common tests like the 3D Benchy. This makes it hard to compare the performance of various machines.

Autodesk research scientist Andreas Bastian has developed a test procedure designed to help creators better calibrate their machines and showcase their printers’ capabilities to backers on Kickstarter. He developed a single, consolidated STL file that tests a printer’s dimensional accuracy, resolution, and alignment. For example, poor execution of the “bridging” feature shown below will lead to a saggy and stringy print. A well-calibrated printer will make the horizontal feature with fewer of those issues.

Participating creators can download the file and instructions here on GitHub, print tests, and share the images and videos on their project pages. Backers can also use the file to talk objectively about the quality of machines they receive.

As Braydon Moreno of Robo explains, with the new procedure “customers know exactly what to expect with the product. This also holds manufacturers accountable for the quality of the machines they are producing and gives them a benchmark to strive for… Other torture tests cover a variety of things, but this print seemed all-encompassing.”

We believe this test procedure will support greater transparency in our community. We started with FDM printers because they’re the most common model on Kickstarter. Our goal over time is to expand this calibration test to other printing technologies like stereolithography. Though this test is optional for creators to share on their project pages, electing to do so opens a frank conversation about quality. And backers of any 3D printer project can share images of their own tests by posting them with the hashtag #FDMtest.

Prints of the test file from Cubibot and Robo printers.
Prints of the test file from Cubibot and Robo printers.