What is Ernest Journal?
Ernest is a blog, iPad magazine and biannual printed journal for curious and adventurous gentlefolk. It is a guide for those who appreciate true craftsmanship, who are fascinated by curious histories and eccentric traditions and who care more for timeless style than trends. It is a periodical of substance created for folk who love to build fires, embark on road trips, camp under a canopy of stars and run full pelt into the sea. Ernest appeals to those of us who appreciate a craft gin cocktail as much as a hearty one-pot supper, who love the grain of wood and the smell of paper, who’d like to learn how to fly fish, brew beer in their shed and name all the constellations of the northern hemisphere. It is for people who like to whittle.
The story so far
We launched the Ernest blog in November last year and followed this up with our first iPad app in March (play video for demo). We are now ready to put ink on paper and we need your support to turn Ernest into a thoughtfully-crafted, tactile, sniffable, printed magazine: that’s 160 pages of slow adventure, curious histories, timeless style, wild food and workmanship, in a handy satchel-sized journal that’s ready to be well-thumbed and carried with you on adventures.
What’s inside issue one?
Enter the world of Serbian super-scientist Nikola Tesla, who had 700 patents to his name and could make electricity dance; meet the legendary monsters of the northern seas; learn about the history of Swiss, Norwegian and Czech backpacks; explore the Slow Coffee movement; read our field guide to fly fishing, foraging and hot smoking trout; make a clay pizza oven and spend a day with the last of the Scalpay fishermen.
Plus, we have a 24-page Iceland special, filled with adventures both epic and intimate. Adventurer Alastair Humphreys leads us on a tough trans-Icelandic trek; we journey through a trail of hot tubs in the Westfjords and uncover a 40-year-old plane wreck slowly being inundated with volcanic sand,
160 pages on lovely matt paper stock, including a special 24pp section on Iceland.
*Contents of issue on subject to change.
So tell me more about these rewards…
In the first of our creative collaborations, we’ve teamed up with talented designer Ryan Hannigan of Haggart's Tweed to make two rather special limited edition bags. The bread bags are original military feed bags from the former Yugoslavia, which have been repurposed with a unique tweed panel (woven in a 200-year-old tweed mill) and a woodcut and letterpressed lining, with designs of bicycles, bees and British birds. Inside there's a pocket that's perfectly for a copy of Ernest, another for your water bottle (works equally well for gin, just so you know) and - this is our favourite bit - a secret pocket where the soldiers kept a little glycerine soap for washing their hands before they ate. In most of the bags, the soap is still there, so it goes to show that they didn’t always wash their hands!
We also have a Bergen Rucksack – a repurposed, tweedy and woodcut version of the original 40lt Norwegian hiking backpack, which has an almost cult-like following. It has a metal frame and leather straps at the bottom to hold a sleeping bag or picnic rug.
What your donations will go towards…
100% of our £5,000 target will go towards our first print-run. We’re working with Bristol’s oldest family-run printers, Taylor Brothers Ltd, who have been printing in the city since the 1830s.
What if we beat our target?
Additional funds will help us do so much more. Our first priority is to establish Ernest Journal as a sustainable business, which pays contributors fairly. After which, we have plans to evolve the brand in a number of exciting ways, mainly through creative collaborations with like-minded designers.
What is important to us?
Our journey has been fuelled by a desire to create a magazine that is collaborative, down-to-earth and driven by genuine curiosity; a thoughtful yet playful journal that inspires you to slow down and appreciate simple pleasures, while rekindling a hunger for exploration and knowledge.
Slow journalism: We’ve rooted Ernest in our passion for slow journalism, which is has a few different definitions, but we believe it to be collaborative and unhurried with a focus on seeking out untold stories. There’s an emphasis on accuracy, context and originality over sensation and timeliness. At the heart of it all, we’re storytellers. We appreciate a well-told tale and we like to do things properly. This is why we are determined to dig into subjects and give stories the space they deserve.
Tactile design: Ernest finds beauty in well-crafted objects. We love to get our hands on the objects we write about and construct physical page layouts and even typography. On the right occasion, we find it's the best way to do justice to the rich textures and tactile nature of these fantastic objects. On previous projects, we’ve iced headings onto cupcakes, chiselled them into wood and stitched articles in wool on tweed. Sometimes there's nothing for it like rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in.
Embracing tradition and technology: Through Ernest, we hope to embrace both tradition and technology and combine interactive iPad editions with a love for the printed word - because nothing beats the smell of ink on paper in the morning. Ernest is not a magazine gone digital, nor a blog venturing into print. It is a multi-platform concept designed to get the best from all worlds. Print and digital are often pitted as enemies, which we don't believe. To us, there is a unique charm in a printed object you can pick up, open and sniff, but so too is there magic in an interactive, rich media tablet magazine. Add into the mix a busy blog, social media and limited edition art prints, and there is room for Ernest in all our readers' lives; on their commute, in their homes, over a Sunday morning coffee.
Independent publishing: Ernest Journal is an independent publishing project and we’re proud to be part of a dynamic and thriving subculture of indie mag makers who are crafting journals out of back rooms, garden sheds and coffee shops. We feel heartened to look to the world of indie magazines that are thriving and creating communities around the world.
Risks and challenges
Independent publishing is not without its own financial risks and challenges, but we are fully committed to printing issue one and have a plan B should the campaign fall short.
The team is headed by an editor and art editor who each have 10 years experience in specialist interest and independent publishing and a wealth of successful launches under their belts.
We are keen to grow Ernest Journal slowly and sustainably, so we are well-prepared for a steady uptake at first while we establish the brand. One of the things we are most excited about is that Ernest is a truly multi-platform project and, as such, we have a range of potential revenue streams and the opportunity to evolve the brand as we go.
The only foreseeable setbacks to rewards will be delays in printing, but we have worked in contingency time and we are working with tried and trusted printers and contributors.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)