Ancient Book Arts Thrive at the Thornwillow Makers Village

The Makers Village will help teach a whole community about book making.
The Makers Village will help teach a whole community about book making.

“Where something is made, how something is made, and who makes it—these are part of the identity of the thing itself,” says Luke Pontifell. 

He should know: since 1985 he’s been crafting stunning limited-edition handmade books using antique technologies as the founder of Thornwillow Press. He’s built his creative practice, his company, and his entire career around these exquisite works, preserving and sharing ancient crafts, publishing innovative new works, reviving literary classics, and building a community of ideas that stretches from Thornwillow’s factory in Newburgh, New York, to Singapore, Australia, London, and all the rest of the way around the globe. 

Luke Pontifell in his office.
Luke Pontifell in his office.

For their next dazzling trick, Thornwillow aims to reinvigorate not just a few more entrancing titles, but an entire city with the launch of their Makers Village.

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Support Creative Work for Its Own Sake. Back It Because You Believe in It.

This Black Friday and beyond, back a project for no reward, just because it speaks to you.

Today is Black Friday in the United States, and next week, online stores around the world will be flooded with shoppers for Cyber Monday. Here at Kickstarter, we’re marking the start of the holiday season with a campaign of our own, encouraging our community to support a creator’s project and process. This holiday season, you’re invited to back it because you believe in it.

There are a million and one reasons to back a project on Kickstarter, and getting a great reward is only one of them. Sometimes you just want to show a creator you believe in their work, without getting something in return. Last year alone, over 200,000 people backed projects on Kickstarter for no reward, pledging over $15 million to help creators bring their projects to life. That’s what we want to celebrate this season.

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Product Upgrade: Create and Share a Project Budget

Creators can now make and share a budget for their project directly from the Kickstarter project editor.

Back in August we introduced a simple Funding Calculator that gives creators more insight into project costs that are sometimes forgotten, like taxes and fees. Today we’re rolling out a much more robust tool to help with project planning. And we’ve given it a no-nonsense name: Project Budget.

Project Budget is essentially a budgeting spreadsheet that’s available from the Funding tab in the project editor. Creators can use it to map out the cost of their entire project, from prototyping and R&D to packaging and shipping. Once they’ve done this, they have the option of sharing a custom graph of their budget data in a new section of the project page.

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Moor Mother, Lightning Bolt, Stroom, and Príncipe Know That When It Comes to Creative Disciplines, More Is More

On November 8, at 1 am, Icelandic pop icon Björk donned a spectacular mask and cocooned herself in an artificial jungle for a surprise DJ set on the smallest stage of Le Guess Who?, an art and music festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

This kind of multisensory experience is typical of the festival, which has grown into a premier destination for music and art discovery in Europe. Every year, the organizers pair their music lineup with exhibitions, film screenings, installations, and more to showcase performers’ creative interests beyond sound.

This urge to expand beyond one creative discipline was also the topic of conversation over the weekend at Kapitaal, a beloved DIY print shop and cultural hub, where Kickstarter and Le Guess Who? invited a series of multidisciplinary artists to transform the space into the official festival hangout and talk about working at the intersection of music and visual art: What skills apply to turning a visual idea into sound? How does music inform prose, poetry, and design? And how does one create collaborative spaces and lasting partnerships?

Here, Moor Mother, Lightning Bolt’s Brian Chippendale, and the founders of Stroom and Príncipe Discos share insights from their creative journeys and advice for others who might be starting to stretch into a new creative medium.

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Bluetooth or Wi-Fi: Which Is Best for Your Project?

When you’re creating a connected product, it’s important to choose the right wireless technology. For most products and applications, wireless connectivity is a defining part of the user experience. So, you’ll want to understand your options before you commit to a path.

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When to Move from Hobby Boards to a Product-Specific Custom Solution

When health and wellness startup Vital wanted to make a consumer-facing, smartphone-connected finger cuff that tracks vital signs, the company had to move from a rough prototype to a minimum viable product in a matter of months. Rather than pushing forward with its current board, the company moved to a PCB design process that was customized. This product-specific custom solution, accommodating a pump, valve, and pressure sensor, did much more than a hobby board could and got the product to market on their tight timeline.

So many companies, like Vital, use a hobbyist development board as a canvas to sketch and refine their ideas. However, as the Vital team moved from idea to prototype and production, they made the transition from hobby boards to increasingly more custom solutions. This enabled them to reduce sourcing risks related to the availability and quality of components and to ensure that their design met functional requirements.

What’s the difference between a hobby development board and a product-specific custom board? Simply put, hobby boards are for experimentation while custom boards typically serve as the basis for finished commercial products.

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Document This! 14 Kickstarted Films to Watch at DOC NYC This Month

Pier Kids by Elegance Bratton
Pier Kids by Elegance Bratton

This year, DOC NYC—New York’s documentary film festival—celebrates its 10th anniversary. The festival, which includes more than 300 films, shows, and events, takes place at three Manhattan theaters, with dozens of special guests attending in person.

We’re proud to celebrate the accomplishments of the Kickstarter Film community, especially the 14 Kickstarter-funded works (14! Count ‘em!) that will be screened at the festival, which takes place November 6–15.

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Kickstarter Joins 50+ Companies Going ‘Climate Neutral’

When we made the decision to reincorporate Kickstarter as a Public Benefit Corporation in 2015, we made limiting our environmental impact a part of our charter. Since then we’ve been working to live up to that commitment. Our office has switched to compostable kitchenware and energy-efficient lighting. And we’ve stepped up our support of creators who want to be sustainable in their creative work — launching our Environmental Resources Center, adding environmental commitments to project pages, and spotlighting creative projects made from recycled materials.

Today we’re taking another important step in our commitment to measure, reduce and offset our environmental impact. We’re joining Climate Neutral.

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