Kickstarter crowdfunding for Cristoforo

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Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
Kickstarter crowdfunding for Cristoforo
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[[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tphinney/cristoforo-reviving-victori...|Help back my typeface “Cristoforo” via Kickstarter]], and choose from cool typographic goodies, including the fonts themselves.

Cristoforo is a revival of some classic Victorian typefaces by Hermann Ihlenburg. It’s also known as the typeface of Call of Cthulhu, the H.P. Lovecraft roleplaying game, and as the original logo for Cracker Jack.

The campaign will only last until midnight on Saturday May 19. Basically, people pledge money for fonts and other goodies up front so I know the project is viable. Reward options for backers depend on their funding level, and include not only the fonts, but computer desktop wallpaper, postcards, T-​​shirts and posters.

Kickstarter is all or nothing. Only if the total pledges exceed the minimum funding target are people’s credit cards charged and the project moves forward.

If funding exceeds the minimum by enough of a margin, I can add more language support for central/​eastern Europe, and even pay an intern!

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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$8,192 goal… I suppose there’s some hidden meaning behind the number ;-)

Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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I've been wondering when somebody would ask that. :)

It's an anagram of 1892, the year the original typeface was released. I knew I wanted to target somewhere around $8000 or $9000, and the exact number wasn't really very important....

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Hey, cool - good luck with it! I personally don't use fonts much :-) but I'll gladly chip in a nominal amount.

It's an anagram of 1892

Huh, you know it's also a power of 2. But how do you explain all the other funny numbers, eh?! Some mystic Kabbalah numerology action for sure... ;-)

hhp

Eben Sorkin's picture
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Joined: 22 Jan 2004 - 4:19pm
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A bit random but, Thomas, did you know about this Hungarian TV show?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8P37Pq21MM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE8bi2xbd2M&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypDgz4_pciw&feature=related

I assume this is just meant to be a print type - correct?

Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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Eben,

No, I hadn't heard of that show.

If you mean, am I eager to see it superhinted for use at small sizes on screen, then no. But I expect it to see a fair bit of use on screen, just because that's how the world works these days. It's very much a display typeface, however, so it likely won't have a lot of fine tuning for the screen....

Cheers,

T

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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I need to find some excuse to pledge some money for this...

Pablo Impallari's picture
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Joined: 1 Feb 2010 - 1:12am
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Only 50 hours left.. make your pledge!

Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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Ended up at about 60% of the $8192 target! Dang!

It was a very interesting, albeit exhausting, experience. I'll be talking about Kickstarter as a font funding platform at TypeCon and possibly ATypI, based on not only my own experiences but interviews with almost everyone who has tried this.

Cheers,

T

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Damn shame. Although often there's more to learn from failure than success (and I'd be very interested in the talk you're proposing).

hhp

j's picture
j
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Joined: 30 Jul 2004 - 1:49pm
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I'll be talking about Kickstarter as a font funding platform at TypeCon and possibly ATypI, based on not only my own experiences but interviews with almost everyone who has tried this.

Looking forward to it. Kickstarter is a thing I personally struggle with and I've been trying lately to understand why I feel the way I do about it. I hope you get opinions of type designers who have chosen not to do try this as well.

Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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Jackson: Actually, that's something I hadn't thought of, but there are plenty of those folks to go around. Those of us who have attempted it are a more rarified group for now.

I am probably going to tweak my reward structure and offerings a bit, and try again. I already have all the info there ready to re-use, so it would be much easier to revise and re-try than to do it from scratch.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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So you get nothing?
If you have over 50% pledged, can’t you persuade a third party to put up the rest, reimburse them, and collect the difference anyway?

Richard Fink's picture
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Joined: 25 May 2009 - 10:04pm
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I thought about Nick's benevolent kick-back angle and I'm sure it's been done. But, uh, it's problematical. What if you get hit by a truck in the interim, before the money can be returned? (Sorry to be so grim, but stuff like that happens all the time.) Does Kickstarter have any provision for a project that gets funded but never begins for one reason or another?

$8,000 at the outset seemed a little optimistic. (Although what formula one could use to come up with a more "fundable" amount beats the heck out of me.)
If you're doing a talk about it, you might want to know about voyeurs like me: in addition to boosting your efforts with a link/post on Facebook, I also kept an eye on the totals. But by the last week it was clear that, barring a mighty big contributor, the project wasn't going to meet the required funding so I didn't bother pledging. It wouldn't have made a diff. I wonder if there were others keeping watch.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I have a feeling the sort of thing Nick describes is prohibited by Kickstarter. Plus unless you have cashflow problems (like me...) you can just -indirectly- put up the missing money yourself (you will however lose the cut that Kickstarter takes).

BTW, I think Jackson might feel uncomfortable because this is mildly reminiscent of begging, and the uncertainly of success is an extra stigma. But I personally think it's a great tool if used well (and Thomas was on the right track, it's just that people -still- undervalue quality type design).

hhp

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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There are different crowd-funding services that allow half-financed projects.

Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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Yes. But I wouldn't want to do this half-financed.

I've worked out a revamped version that I think will fly: revised rewards including some options with a personal license or a stripped-down font, combined with lowering my target by 20%. Kickstarter has approved it. I'm just awaiting backer feedback on the new reward structure before I launch it.

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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a personal license or a stripped-down font

Smart move.
Any chance for a “Cthulhu for President” themed reward? ;-)

j's picture
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Joined: 30 Jul 2004 - 1:49pm
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I think Jackson might feel uncomfortable because this is mildly reminiscent of begging

I wouldn't say it's begging any more than any other font marketing is begging. Please buy my fonts. It's more that it asks other people to assume the risk. That's not necessarily a bad thing, imagine how different things would be if we could all know beforehand if a font will sell!

James Todd's picture
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Joined: 16 Apr 2011 - 8:58pm
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A few months ago, I almost went down this path. I had the project approved, the rewards decided, all the time invested in the write-up and the beginning of a video. Then, I changed my mind and decided not to do it. My reasoning was that I didn't want to be accountable to anyone and I wanted the time-frame to be as long as I needed. The money would have been extremely helpful, of course, but I figured actually doing it myself would be more rewarding.

I also didn't want to spend the time I could be working on my typeface making rewards.

Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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It has been relaunched!
http://kck.st/KJk3Hy

James: Those are all legitimate concerns. When I re-structured the project I eliminated the postcards so as to slightly reduce the amount of work I would have to do.

Jackson: How does it ask other people to assume the risk? Do you mean the risk that the fonts/project won't actually be completed? (The money never changes hands if the pledges don't reach the goal, so there's no risk to either side on that count.)

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Sounds like a plan, T!

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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I also didn't want to spend the time I could be working on my typeface making rewards.

My sentiments exactly. I want to make fonts, not shirts.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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But you don't mind making a website. Something I for one do... and you can tell. :-/

There are so many non-type things that are required to be able to sell type well, and each one of us understandably has their personal preferences. And you can always pay somebody else to make the shirts for example, the same way many type designers pay third parties to make a site for them. This BTW is where a font house can come in: they take care of all the boring stuff, and the money you lose to them is made up for by more time to design.

hhp

Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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This is part of why I am taking on an intern: get them to help with the more "graphic design" elements of the Kickstarter project that I would not do as well. Not sure it is a net gain of time, but I think it will help quality of the rewards, and help keep me on track in terms of putting the needed time into the project.

Also, while I want spend my own time making fonts, not shirts, I am also quite happy to *have* shirts and other things that promote my fonts. Y'know?

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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There still time to get the “full fonts, at less than the retail price” :-)

Dave Crossland's picture
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Joined: 14 Feb 2007 - 1:47pm
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Wow, very interesting to see that the 2nd try has pushed past the original target amount!

Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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Yes, it did—by a good margin even!

There are multiple reasons for that... all of which I will talk about in the panel discussion at TypeCon, or my solo presentation at ATypI. Everything you wanted to know about Kickstarter for font funding!

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Wow. There is a lot to learn here...

Thomas, I hope you'll put your presentation online eventually.

hhp

Claudio Piccinini's picture
Joined: 11 Jan 2003 - 9:32am
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Hi everyone! How are you? :-)
Glad to see you finally managed to develop Columbus for real, Thomas… ;-)

May I ask how this Kickstarter site basically works?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Nice to "see" you again Claudio!

hhp

Claudio Piccinini's picture
Joined: 11 Jan 2003 - 9:32am
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Hi Hrant, thanks… :-)
Actually I have just seen (in person) Paul Shaw and Alta Price, which had a two-day stay in Parma some 10 days ago during the Legacy of Letters 2012 tour.

Reason I have been away so much is simply I did not work consistently on anything type-design related since last autumn. Now I hope to pick up again in some way…

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I'm glad Paul and Alta managed to pull it off this year.

hhp

Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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Hi Claudio,

> May I ask how this Kickstarter site basically works?

Some bullet points from my TypeCon presentation today. :)

WHAT IS KICKSTARTER?
Biggest “crowdfunding” website
Run online funding campaigns
- Supporters pledge to get rewards (often the product you are getting pledges for)
- Neither investment nor charity
average pledge $71, most common $25
All or nothing funding
Time delay 2–3 weeks
10% overhead