The book finally hit the presses in Italy last week, where thousands of sheets of paper were imbued forever with our Sensible history. I took a trip to see it all happening (on my dime I should add – no Kickstarter monies were harmed in the making of this update) and it's looking excellent! The text pages in particular – printed in two inks on a thin, off-white recycled stock – look wonderfully touchy-feely.
Some pictures of sheets pulled directly from the press are below, however I should point out that I've somehow made the 8-megapixel camera on my phone look like a webcam from 2004 – the real things are fizzing with colour and life:
The final pages were printed last night, and the copies are now being bound. Our fold-out jacket is then applied to each copy by hand, after which every book is individually shrink wrapped to protect the uncoated jacket in transit to your door.
I should be informed of the exact delivery date any day now and I will issue an update as soon as I have it - we are so unbearably close to shipping your books I feel like I may strain something important. I'll be sending out surveys to you all later this afternoon so we have all your addresses at the ready!
In other news, the Sensible vinyl EPs were shipped last week and have now arrived with our backers. You can see some teasing glimpses of it below, printed using the same stock as the book itself and housing a six-track selection of Sensible's finest musical moments:
Finally, I have our last VHS archive clip to share with you all. This is a cinema-style trailer for Sensible's ill-fated swan song 'Sex 'n' Drugs 'n' Rock 'n' Roll'. Sensible put this together to show the production company Hewland International (creators of GamesMaster) as part of a pitch to create an animated tie-in TV show. I'll let Gary and Jon take it from here...
Jon Hare: We even made a cartoon pilot and showed it to Hewland. I don’t think they were very impressed with it though. We found that a lot of people didn’t like the 3D art much – they thought it was a bit shit when we thought it was stylised. The reality was we were struggling with the 3D modelling.
Gary Penn: The characters in the videos always reminded me of sex dolls.
Jon Hare: [Laughs] I’d never noticed that before....
It's been just over a month since we reached our Kickstarter campaign goal, so we wanted to fill you in on what's been brewing here at the Itty Bitty HQ. A very busy month indeed - with some exciting new projects kicking off in our design studio, Kiss Me I'm Polish, a couple last-minute summer jaunts, an unexpected bout of un-summer-like germs making its way around the office, and even a very special Itty Bitty wedding celebration!
But amidst all that the end of summer had to offer, we've been working doubly hard on getting our rewards out to all of you in the next couple of weeks! We're about 90% done making all of our handmade bits, the mugs and screens for the KMIP Fan Club items have been ordered, and we have received our latest (and heaviest!) shipment of tshirts and tote tags from American Apparel. Itty Bitty production has literally taken over all available work spaces in our office - see for yourself:
We're also super excited to start splatter painting all of the Itty Bitty Cosmos tshirts and sweatshirts next week, and will be sure to share our photos with you when all of that messy goodness goes down.
Lastly, we wanted to share what may be one of our favorite photos yet - one of our tees found its way to Burning Man two weeks ago. We can't think of a better way to give summer the big send off!! Thanks so much Casey!
Till soon.XO, Agnieszka + Annie
Thought you be interested in seeing this video.
This isn't meant to be some flashy sales pitch video but more of a look at how we, The Black Dog, work with the CS X51 in the studio. In this video Richard is remixing Atavistic Resurgence live using Ableton and Soniccouture's Konkrete 3.
The aim of this video is to show our process in creating arrangements and remixes. Parts are played and recorded live to find the groove and vibe of the song.
Thanks for all the support so far, we still have a long way to go but we think we can make it.
Martin - Machinewerks
three weeks ago I visited Mister Keller in his Berlin based Type foundry, gallery and bookstore. In the first half I helped him with setting up the exhibition that is on display now and in the second half he helped me with computing some complicate OpenType features.
Unfortunately Mr. Keller decided that this would be the last exhibition and the closing of the Mota Italic gallery and typographic bookstore. Which is sad because over the years it became a social meeting point for typographers from all over the world. Yes, while sitting and working there for a couple of days it was easy to notice that it is not only typography obsessed Berliners but Type-fans from all over the world that visit the store. It was impossible to work here because I had to chat with every visitor for at least an hour. This is also the reason why Rob is closing, he likes to focus on his foundry work and publish more fonts. Which is great, so there will be more fonts!
So if you are around Berlin until September 21, go and see the last show at Mota italic about indian typography. (I heard there is great closing party with free drinks!) http://www.motaitalic.com/gallery/exhibitions/typographic-thali
Is it a drum or a waltz?
After the opening of the show Mister Keller introduced me to a method of coding that I did not know before. Also a piece of code that I have not heard of ever being used in a commercial production. It can be very complicated to explain what a code does. The structure of the program is divided in three blocks. The program is activated by typing a letter in the Sigmund Freud Typeface. Each block of the program looks back to the letters typed before and has a different way to ensure that no letter that has been typed before is being used twice. Each block uses a different technique to ensure that and exchanges glyphs with alternates. My task at the moment is to think about what would be the best way to interlock these blocks to get the best possible result.
What is the best possible result?
I started this project with the aim to create a beautiful typeface that captures the amazingness that I found in looking at Sigmund Freud's handwriting. One of the tools that I planned to use was to create a vast amount of ligatures and alternates. In the video of the project and description I give the example of writing the word 'look', in handwriting every o looks different whereas in typing every letter looks the same. Here the ligatures kick in: every letter combination that is drawn into the font will be replaced by an alternate version, which gives the overall look a more natural appearance. The limit of ligatures: all ligatures look the same.
Back to the question what is the best possible result and what does this have to do with this berlin code? On one hand the code can work like an Enigma encryption machine. The Enigma became (in-)famous in the second world war because it was used by the Germans military to encrypt their communication. A group around the mathematician Alan Touring was able to build one of the first computers to decrypt a small amount of the messages send by German military.
What this machine does it replaces every typed letter with another one. This is processed by rotating drums (German: Walze) that carry the alphabet - by adding more and more drums the encryption gets stronger and stronger.
Surprisingly the encryption was so strong that only a few years ago (ca. 2008) it was possible to decrypt the last message remaining unread.
Instead of replacing two letters by one glyph (ligature) my suggestion is to generate four (or more) versions of each letter. As one types these letters get constantly exchanged, like the letters on the drums of the Enigma machine. The upside of this polyalphabetic substitution is that instead of one possible form for two letters up to 16 possible combination can be displayed.
I know this sounds very technical - and thank you for following me till here.
Want to dance?
On the the other hand one can think of what the code 'does' or what a program is as a dance.
In order to dance we imagine ourselves in context. One step forward, slide and close. To alter the appearance we sprinkle 'improvisations' and 'alternatives' into the movement program.
To dance means to move to a model in your head.
There is a definition made by scientist for dance: to move to a model in your head.
Back to the code: In order to understand what a program does one needs a model of what the program should do, in order to get a 'grip' on it. In German 'to understand' can be translated to 'be-greifen' which literally translated means '(in)-touch' or '(in)-grip'. At the moment I am not sure in which direction my model, vision or grab should go or reach out for. A Dance or a Enigma - this is what I am working on.
The outcome to me so far looks promising. The actual version renders two lowercase alphabets. I would like to implement four. While typing you can see how the code alters the appearance of the written type. Type that seems as vivid as handwriting.
The downside of this is that there will be no more need for ligatures as they would destroy the appearance of improvisation in the dance or encryption in the machine. The upside of this is that for every possible combination of letters (incl. the ordered two or three letter ligatures) there will be multiple individual renderings depending on the text before and after.
And finally Yes! you can download the font immediately. The links are published in a separate update (#13) for backers only.
The Waltz code will not work in the Mail program of MacOS 10.8. It seems Mail by default turns off 'contextual alternates' feature in fonts.
About using the Font on an iPad.
Gerneral Situation: The operating system iOS does allow developers to embed fonts to their apps. But at the moment iOS does not allow users to install fonts to the system. This will probably change in future updates of iOS.
Workaround: Since the iPad supports OpenType fonts but not the direct installation of fonts, you will need to install an app that allows the installation and usage of external fonts like the Sigmund Freud Typeface. Apps that claim to support external fonts are i.e. iDraw and Inkpad - both apps can be purchased through the Apple Appstore on your device. I have neither tried Inkpad nor iDraw, but I found these articles that explain the installation process of fonts in these apps. iDraw: http://applyd.com/?p=84 Inkpad http://workingipad.net/tutorial/2012/2/20/install-and-use-typefaces-fonts-on-your-ipad.html
Please, let me know how this works for you. Also I like to encourage you to share your experience with other Backers in the comments of the project, there are a few iPad and iPhone users among them that would like to hear about this - including me.
The Books Are In
I got the books from the printer and they turned out fantastic. I also got the packing materials and a couple of kids on the same day too!
What does this mean? Two things...
1) You'll be getting your books as soon as I sign, pack, and ship them all. That's about 1500 books total and it should take a couple weeks to get it all done. People in the States should be checking their mail boxes at the end of September or early October. Everyone else; later in October.
2) You've gotta fill out the survey I sent if you haven't already. I'll be needing your address.
Got some of the prints from my printer too and they look fab:
Robots, Spaceships, and Skull Chaser*
I've been drawing away on the rest of those original drawing tiers. They've been a lot of fun guys. Thanks for backing those levels. Image dump:
That's all for now. Have a great week.
*So, someone's trademarked the name Space Skull for their character of a skull who flies through space. Which means I can't really use the name Space Skull anymore. Don't worry, he's now called Skull Chaser (Skull for short), and you'll be seeing a lot more of this guy as I've begun drawing a graphic novel about him. More on that later.
Space Me Out, our beautiful new track that we're making the video for, will also be released on vinyl by Silence Music. The test pressing arrived today and it sounds amazing. We'll update you with the cover of the LP as well! It's got a lot to do with the video idea...
Downtown Party Network
We wanted to give you all an update on events with the Food Huggers. We are happy to report that the rewards for the $250 (and up) supporters have been shipped. Michelle's desk has been taken over to be our expedited shipments desk for the last few days.
Along with the first Food Huggers, we received our first samples from the Avocado Hugger tool. We were happy overall, but think that some adjustment is needed. We need to reduce the thickness of the pit pocket so that there is more "play" available to fit different sized pits. As you can see below, Mother Nature offers lots of variety in her Avocados! The more flex we can put into the pocket, the more avocados we can get a snug fit on. We are hoping to have new samples next week to review.
In other news, we were incredibly flattered to be included in the Huffington Posts' list of their favourite Kickstarter Food Projects! Having "HuffPo" pick us as a favourite out of all the amazing campaigns that are out there is so encouraging. To check out the article which includes a lot of other great projects, just click HERE.
We will be sure to keep you posted when the new Avocado Hugger samples come in.
Michelle & Adrienne
a.k.a. Food Huggers
The test pressing for Kosmischer Läufer Volume 1 arrived this morning and we're very happy with it! I've been in touch with the record plant and asked them to proceed into full production. Exciting.
The turnaround is expected to be 10-15 working days so I'm afraid we may drift into the start of October before you guys get your records but fingers crossed we make it in September!
Now for a little something extra I didn't tell you about before.
ONLY you kickstarters will find a small fragment of a document included with your vinyl. This is the only printed copy of a second interview we have conducted with Martin Zeichnete. If you want to reveal the contents of this interview therefore you will have to work together to reconstruct it. Socialism in action if you will! For further instructions please see here:
Zeit Zum Laufen!
Wow! In less than 36 hours of going live, this campaign has been 100% funded. I want to thank all my fabulous Backers for supporting this project including the Kickstarter team who featured this project as their Staff Pick: Project of the Day. Their recognition was pivotal in attracting over 70% of the pledges that I needed to meet my funding goal.
I was so petrified of failing and to know that there are people out there that I've never met supporting me is emotionally overwhelming. In the university atmosphere, where I have spent most of my adult life, you rarely receive recognition or validation for your work unless you are in the top 1%. And although I'm not chop liver, I'm also not filet mignon. My motto has been to just work hard and support endeavours that align with my beliefs.
So, thank you for your acknowledgement and your hard-earned money. I know in these tight times that you could have spent your time and energy on something or someone else. I also have appreciated your sincere comments and warm thoughts.
Now, I need to go hit the hardware store!
Sincerely and Humbly Yours,
Just finished a new set of patches which have been made especially for this Kickstarter campaign. Handmade by myself and come with signature on packaging.
4 sew on printed patches/cloth badges with vintage designs Robin, Robot, Triangles, and Gingerbread Man.
£8 each and ONLY 40 available.