Planning Your Rewards

The process of planning out your rewards is different for each project. Still, there are several recurring pieces of advice we keep hearing from creators who've gone through the experience — include what you're making as one of your rewards. Feature a range of rewards, including unique experiences backers can only get from backing the project. Consider your shipping costs. We could go on and on about this, but it's best to hear it directly from creators — so above, Lisa Lucas of Guernica, Alex Shvartsman of Unidentified Funny Objects, and Daniel José Older of Long Hidden break rewards down for you. And if you should be in the market for even more insight, scope out our playlist on rewards and reward fulfillment right here

The Process: Restoring Sixteenth-Century Illustrations

Adelheid Zimmerman is a freelance designer, artist, maker, fencer, gamer, and more, residing in Madison, Wisconsin. We first encountered her work last year when she ran a project for the restoration of sixteenth-century German longsword illustrations — a project that also caught the eye of 239 backers. She returned this year with a companion project, a restoration of Marozzo's side sword illustrations from 1536, which is currently live. We asked Zimmerman to talk to us about what exactly goes into restoration of this sort. 

I have taken on a project to restore and reproduce the illustrations from Achille Marozzo’s Opera Nova. There are two reasons that I find this project fascinating. I love that I am putting into the hands of historical European martial artists the images that the masters taught from in the form that they were intended. On a more personal level, I enjoy the artistic investigation of the restoration and visceral pleasure of producing that art in a historical manner.

When Marozzo needed illustrations for his fencing manual, he would have gone to an artist for sketches. When a final draft was approved, it was transferred to wood and carved by a highly skilled tradesman who would then remove the negative space from a specially prepared block of hardwood. These engravings and a manuscript of the text were taken to the printer who laid out the lead type and woodblocks, which were then printed onto pages that could be folded into signatures.

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How to Get Featured on Kickstarter

We spend a lot of time sharing our enthusiasm for Kickstarter projects, whether it’s with our Staff Picks, the Project of the Day, newsletters like Projects We Love, or just tweeting and Facebooking and Instagramming inspiring new ideas. That means we spend a lot of time answering two important questions:

1. How do you choose which projects to feature?

We have a whole team of people in our office with backgrounds in all sorts of creative fields. When we spot projects we think are really exceptional, we try to let the world know about them. It’s really that simple.

2. How can I get my project featured?

The easy answer: Build a wonderful, exceptional project!

Most of this is about having a great idea, a great talent, or something really unique to show people. But no matter what you're working on, there are loads of things you can do to make sure your project page is polished, attractive, well-built, and shareable. Here are the major points.

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Tech Weekly: Different Angles

To be truly innovative requires a new perspective. And sometimes the best way to gain a whole new perspective is to approach things from an entirely different angle.

From a vertical record player to a five axis CNC mill, here are a few Technology projects that take that objective literally.

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Kickstarter Artists Offer a Peek Into Their Musical Brains

What's Music Month without actual music? For all of June, we've been hosting panels, record fairs, concerts, and interviews; we've been discussing music tech and documentaries about bands, and we've also been reaching out to musicians that have used Kickstarter to gain insight into their listening habits. From recent favorite songs, to playlists that inspired the creation of entire albums, think of these as a window into some of your favorite creative brains—or just a good way to discover (or re-discover) a new favorite song.

John Vanderslice's Curated Playlist

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The Process: Oscilloscope Music

An oscilloscope is a device used to measure the frequency of electrical signals and display waveforms of those signals against a graph. If that sounds boring, it's because you haven't considered the creative capacity of this kind of tool. Jerobeam Fenderson, the man behind the Oscilloscope Music project, realized the oscilloscope's potential years ago, and he's been incorporating it into his live performances ever since.

We asked Fenderson if he'd walk us through the process of turning sound into images. He did us one better and gave us a complete walkthrough, which you can follow at home using the open source software he suggested. Enjoy!

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Tech Weekly: Input Devices

It wasn't until the Apple Macintosh was released in 1984 that the computer mouse really took off. The device was included with the computer in order to help navigate its breakthrough graphical user interface. We've come a long way since then — practically iterating the mouse out of existence — but there's always room for new ways to interact with the world around us. From a hardwood, mechanical keyboard, to an entirely new breed of musical instrument, this week's Technology projects are all about that input.

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