Letters and their Shapes

Font is an important part of the way that we think about what we're reading — the way we consume the message. Think about all the considerations that designers have when they think about fonts, the wild variety of opinions that people have about Comic Sans, and all the recent talk about what makes a good or bad resume font. There's even a whole documentary about Helvetica. The shapes of letters affect the way we process information.

Typography and font have an iconic history on Kickstarter, too (ha ha, pun intended). Scroll down for an overview of the ways in which people are thinking about design, typeface, and the relationship between the two across the site — some of these projects are live, and some are from Kickstarter's history. 

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A Few Tips for Journalism and Publishing Projects

Creator Basics is a series of short videos featuring creators from categories across Kickstarter. In the videos, creators behind successful projects share some of their best tips for planning, executing, and fulfilling a project. For this part of the series, we talked to four writers and publishers across the worlds of publishing and journalism: Alex Shvartsman of Unidentified Funny Objects, Farai Chideya of One with Farai, Lisa Lucas of Guernica, and Daniel José Older of Long Hidden.

The questions tackled above include how to prepare for your project (having a clear vision and a solid network is important), creating a video (keep it short!), and more. You can find (and subscribe to) all of our Creator Basics posts on our YouTube channel

Talking Shop: Making Art in Public

"It's my contention that artists, and all of us, should be participating in public spaces in order to show the way that we would like these spaces to be used," says Jeff Stark of Nonsense NYC. Last year, Stark produced a site-specific immersive work called The Dreary Coast. Audience members for the show, which was about the boatman on the River Styx, would actually climb aboard a small vessel and be ferried up the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. Stark described the show as "the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at night in the middle of a crumbling industrial neighborhood."

Art in public spaces can be incredibly powerful, and spark conversations within traditional arts institutions and far beyond, reaching communities in a direct and experiential way. We recently invited a few artists with experience in public art to Kickstarter HQ for a conversation about the field. The panel consisted of Stark, Maya Hayuk, Heather Hart, and moderator Leslie Koch. It was a fascinating discussion about social responsibility, aesthetics, and the creative process.

Watch the full panel above, and keep in mind, as Stark says, "Artists have a responsibility to identify new places to work, and identify new places for culture and cultural transformation."

German Projects Are Live!

A few weeks ago we announced that German creators could start building projects, and today they launched them to the world. We’re so excited by the projects that are live already — everything from smart technology to uniquely German films and games. Here are just a few of the first projects to launch from Germany:

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A Day at the Beach

Your sandaled feet sink just a little as you step off the boardwalk and onto the sand, walking towards the water. The sun shines mightily in the wide sky, which is only rivaled in blueness by the undulating ocean before you. You even remembered the sunscreen and towels. Yes, it's the first beach trip of the season, and everything is perfect.

But wouldn't things be even more perfect with the help of these projects?

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Tech Weekly: Forces of Attraction

Magnets, how do they work? We might not know for sure, but we do know there are a number of projects in our Technology category putting them to good use. From a portable wireless phone charger to a veritable magic wand for your guitar, this week's projects are both wildly inventive and incredibly attractive.

ON - Magnetic Portable Wireless Charging for iPhone and S6

We put a man on the moon, but we still fumble with cables to charge our cell phones. The folks behind ON think there's a better way. The device consists of two parts: a charger, and a case for either your iPhone or Galaxy. The charger contains a 5000mAh battery, recharges from the wall, and interfaces wirelessly with the case to charge your device using the Qi inductive power standard, at home or on the go. 

Wond, the String Exciter - Sustain and Control in your hand

Paul Vo knows guitars. He developed the technology inside the Moog Guitar, the Moog Lap Steel, and ultimately created the Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesizer. Now he's back on Kickstarter with the Wond, an electromagnetic device allows you to coax totally new sounds out of your acoustic guitar. Unlike the Vo-96, the Wond is handheld, which means you can use it with any of your stringed instruments. Just pick it up, squeeze the pinch zone, and the magnets inside make those strings vibrate, resulting in some pretty sweet sustains.

Imbue - The Magnetic Tea Infusing Vessel

Nothing against bags, but loose leaf tea is where it's at. The only problem is that it's kind of a tough proposition when you're on the go. But the smartly-named Imbue is a tea infusing vessel that's designed to simplify that process. Just scoop some tea into the strainer, connect it magnetically to the handsome wooden lid, pour in some hot water and flip. Steep for as long as you like. Plus, the lid is leak-proof, so feel free to toss Imbue in your bag and take your tea to go.

Space Coffee Cup

The single best thing about gravity is the way that it keeps our coffee in our cups. But that only works here on Earth; Astronauts are not so lucky. The team behind the Space Coffee Cup thinks they may have the answer though. They've come up with a cup design that operates on the principles of capillary flow. The idea is that properties like shape, wetting condition, and surface tension can keep that coffee in this vessel and off your space shirt.

IKAWA | Home Coffee Roaster

Speaking of coffee and space age technology, we're in love with the IKAWA, a first-of-its-kind digital micro roaster for the home. Everyone knows that fresh coffee is the best, and it doesn't get fresher than home-roasted beans. Just toss some green coffee beans into the top, select the roast recipe on your smartphone, and watch those beans go. In no time at all you've got a super fresh roast ready to go. And if you're feeling adventuresome, go ahead and tweak that recipe for a bold new flavor experience.