About this project
Hi Kickstarters, my name is Peisy and I’m an art director, graphic designer, and jewellery maker. Growing up in Malaysia I have always been surrounded by palm trees and lush vegetation, and vividly remember when I was very young playing in my grandparents small rubber and oil palm plantation. There is something very inviting about palm trees, from their rich dark green colors, gracious textured trunks, endless shapes and sizes, and of course, their delightful and eloquent fronds (leaves) which always seem to add to the pleasurable ambiance of any environment.
As a design professional, I have the common tools of the trade including a laptop and an iPad, yet I still always carry with me a small paper notepad to quickly jot down notes, doodles and whatever else comes to mind when inspiration strikes. As much as I rely on my notebooks, however, I am also very aware of the impact paper has on the environment and that no matter where you live, the three R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle – very much apply. With this in mind and under the name, Palm Republik, I have set out to create a line of simple products made from a new source of sustainable tree-free paper called palm paper.
What is Palm Republik?
Palm Republik (the Malay spelling of republic) is my desire as well as vision to create a line of notebooks and stationery paper products that are environmentally friendly, use a minimal design aesthetic – along with a dash of personality – while simultaneously introducing to the world a great new sustainable tree-free paper called palm paper which was recently developed here in my home country, Malaysia.
My project is to create and produce a small line of softcover notebooks which will come in three different sizes along with a hardcover journal, poster prints, note cards, bookmarks, and gift tags.
Notebooks and Journal
The initial Palm Republik offering consists of three softcover notebooks made with 250 gsm (100 lb. cover) palm paper while the inside pages are made of 120 gsm (80 lb. text) eco-friendly paper. Each book is thread sewn and contains 48 blank pages.
The hardcover journal is 2.5 mm palm chipboard laminated with 250 gsm palm paper, thread sewn with no spine cover, and has 240 eco-friendly 120 gsm blank pages.
All the notebooks and journal come in five color options – natural, black, blue, red and green – and are printed using soy-based inks by a small FSC certified printer with in-house bindery capabilities here in Kuala Lumpur.
In addition to the notebooks, I have also designed three original unframed poster prints which depict scenes from Malaysian rural and urban life as they relate to my upbringing and the palm oil industry. Each painting is an original watercolor painted by my colleague, Jacky Chin, who followed my art direction. Jacky has a wonderful style and as you can see below he incorporates a lot of detail within his paintings which should look great in a frame on any wall. To see more examples of Jacky's versatile and high quality work please click: Jacky Chin
To compensate for the darker toned palm paper a solid white base is first printed and then the painting is printed on top of this layer. The prints have uneven borders but can be covered with a mat. All prints will be shipped flat.
Size: 12" high x 16" wide Image area: 10" high x 14" wide
Print type: Offset press Paper: 250 gsm (100 lb. cover) palm paper
Note Cards, Bookmarks and Gift Tags
The watercolor artwork is also presented on three folded note cards, plus there are three stylized bookmarks, and three gift tags.
Note Card: Printed on 250 gsm palm paper and includes recycled envelopes.
Bookmarks and Gift Tags: Both are die cut from 330 gsm palm paper.
No matter where you live in the world right now there is a good chance that in the past few days you have either ate something or used a product which contains some palm oil. Many baked goods, processed foods, chocolate, soap, cleaning, cosmetics, and thousands of other products use palm oil, most of us, however, are unaware of this because it is usually listed as “vegetable oil” although this will begin to slowly change in the coming years as new packaging regulations will list palm oil as an ingredient.
The source of palm oil is the Oil Palm Tree (Elaeis guineensis) which produces a fleshy reddish colored fruit containing the oil. Palm Oil Trees have high yields and produce 4-10 times more oil than other crops per unit of cultivated land making for a highly desirable crop. Malaysia is the world’s second largest exporter of palm oil and has close to five million hectares (about twice the size of Vermont) of palm Oil Trees under cultivation with half a million people directly employed in the palm oil business.
Unfortunately, in the process of palm oil production there is a large amount of residue biomass waste (biological material from agriculture) generated and for every ton of palm oil produced almost five tons is waste (last year in Malaysia alone over eighty million tons of this biomass was created). For decades this palm oil waste was largely ignored and was either incinerated, mulched or just left on the ground, however, ever increasing pressure on the world’s resources combined with technological change and favorable economic factors, has helped to turn this waste into a range of useful products including pulp to be used for the making of paper and cardboard.
Palm paper is quite simply the result of years of research that has enabled palm fibers from the biomass waste called Empty Fruit Branches (EFB) to be made into a pulp before being turned into paper. The EFB is first shredded into thin strips and then mixed into pulp using recycled water with no chemical additives, and finally compressed and ground into a powder form to be used in the paper production process. Palm paper is 100% biodegradable, is not bleached, has a rougher texture with a very natural look, and is a great alternative to using pulp made from tree timber as it uses no timber fibers from the Oil Palm Tree itself.
Palm paper has only been available commercially in very limited quantities since 2011 and is produced at a single paper plant here in Malaysia. It is still undergoing development and currently is too thick to be turned into regular writing paper, however, it is an excellent material for notebook covers, paper bags, calendars, cards, boxes and food packaging. It is only a matter of time before the paper can be made thin enough for writing paper with an expectation for this to happen sometime in 2014.
Use of Proceeds
I have spent a lot time, effort, as well as expense, to get where I am now with my dream of seeing Palm Republik come to life, however, in order to move to the production stage I need enough funds to purchase the minimum order quantities from the printer I have chosen to work with, and with your help we can get there.
Funds received will be allocated towards raw materials, printing, binding, assembly, reward co-ordination and packing, and of course, delivery.
A Little About Me ...
My passion is all things design and I love to make things!
I spent my early years in Penang, Malaysia (wonderful food!) before moving to Kuala Lumpur when I was five. With an eye towards a career in advertising I enrolled in design school in the UK and graduated with a BA in Visual Communications. I have many hobbies and interests but some of my favorites include photography, painting, travel, beaches, all things food, and I regularly work out doing Muay Thai Boxing!
For the past 15 years I have been involved in the advertising industry and have worked at a number of large international agencies, starting as a graphic designer and rising to a senior art director. Longing to be an artist, a few years ago I started designing and making beaded jewellery for family and friends. In late 2012, I set-up my own shop on Etsy - peisyting - which was my first foray into business and has subsequently provided me with the confidence to forge ahead with Palm Republik. My intent is to complete this project with passion and vigor with a goal of turning Palm Republik into a full-time endeavor so that I can introduce more sustainably made products.
Thank You! : 谢谢你 ! (Xie Xie Ni!) : Terima Kasih!
I sincerely hope that you will support Palm Rebublik and share with me my vision of introducing to the world simple but useful products that utilise a new sustainable paper which has positive environmental implications.
Please help spread the word about Palm Republik through your Facebook, Twitter or email accounts, as well as sharing this Kickstarter project with anyone you think would be interested in learning a little about palm paper and my small but helpful contribution to the environment by trying to popularize its use.
Although I may seem to be a long ways away, in this digital age I am as close as your next door neighbor, and besides, I’m really easy to talk to, so if you have a question or just wish to chat about my project please feel free to reach out through this site or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be more than happy to connect and share some thoughts with you. Cheers!
Risks and challenges
I have based the project goal on the pricing I received for minimum order quantities and am confident the $8,500 goal is realistic in terms of total material costs, Kickstarter and Amazon fees, plus shipping.
In the printing world things can and do go wrong, however, when working with an experienced print shop with in-house bindery, combined with proper oversight and planning, the risks are minimal. Coming from the world of advertising I have participated in many print projects so do not expect any problems in the actual production of the notebooks and other products. Additionally, as you can see from the project photos, I have created a number of prototypes in order to test colors and bindery with only a few minor modifications being needed before the full production run.
The biggest challenge in a project like this, however, is the logistical co-ordination of accurately assembling and delivering all rewards to backers in a timely fashion. Once the production phase is done the often larger task is then to assemble all of the reward components to be packaged up and shipped off. Depending on the number of backers, fulfillment can prove to be a big undertaking and it takes a lot of planning and preparation in order to do it properly along with enough resources to make it all happen, however, I am very confident in my organizational abilities.
All rewards will be shipped directly from Malaysia by International Air Mail through Malaysia Post. There is some risk of delay due to each individual countries own postal delivery efficiencies, custom inspection, holidays etc. Rewards will be mailed simultaneously (or within a few days of each other) with a view that delivery to your designated address may take up to 40 days from the day which it is dropped off at a Malaysia Post depot here in Kuala Lumpur.
Depending on where you live (and with some good fortune) some of you may get your rewards fairly quickly after mailing, however, in my experience small parcels mailed from here to international destinations seem to take on average about two weeks (give or take a couple of days). Unfortunately, on occasion, parcels can and do get unnecessarily delayed or worse, therefore, if after 40 days and you have not received your reward please notify me and I will ship out another reward no questions asked.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I have tried to offer a range of rewards and combinations that will appeal to the widest possible audience, however, if you have something in mind other than what is offered in the rewards please email me directly here or at email@example.com and we can discuss. I am quite flexible so we should be able to put together something that works for you…
Most notebooks have paper that is 80 gsm or thinner and when used with felt pens they can sometimes bleed through especially for more sketches with heavy ink coverage, for this reason I went with a heavier 120 gsm (80 lb. Text) which should not bleed through when using most pens and markers.
Shortly after the end of the campaign you will receive a survey where you can pick which color(s) you want for the notebooks and journal from the five available color options.
Palm paper is made from the empty fruit bunches (EFB) leftover after the extraction of the palm oil from the fresh fruit bunches (FFB). The EFB used for the palm paper come from Pennisular or West Malaysia and not from East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) where the Orangutans live. As there are no Oragutans living in the wild in West Malaysia there is no impact on them from the palm oil industry on Pennisular Malaysia
Understandably, however, there is little doubt that the Orangutans have come under threat from existing expansion of new palm oil plantations in Eastern Malaysia and I am acutely aware of this, and have made sure that this paper is has no connection to EFB generated from East Malaysia. In addition, the source of the EFBs for the paper all come from plantations that are designated as RSPO-certified which stands for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. RSPO is an international organization that was established in 2004 under Article 60 of the Swiss Civil Code with a stated vision that "will transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm".
For more information on the RSPO and its mission please go to http://www.rspo.org.
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