99% Invisible is a popular radio show and podcast about design, architecture and all the thought that goes into the things most people don’t even think about. The stories are engaging and conversational, but have a precise sound design that is multilayered and tightly edited. They’re produced to stand up to multiple listens and reveal more each time they’re heard. The ultimate goal of 99% Invisible is to make radio that inspires mindfulness and wonder in all the things in the built world.
99% Invisible is an independent radio program created by Roman Mars and produced at home, usually at night, on a shoestring budget.
Update: The 5000 Backer Challenge
Help 99% Invisible get a $10,000 grant from the Design Matters Institute!
After we left the money goal in the dust in 24 hours (surprising everyone, especially me), I devised a new goal for the Kickstarter campaign: 5000 backers. Any level, every level. I want to make each person who listens to 99% Invisible understand that the simple act of supporting the show, with a pledge of any size, is meaningful.
This ambitious goal inspired Debbie Millman at her brand new Design Matters Institute to offer a challenge grant of $10,000 to motivate 5000 people to show support for 99% Invisible at any level they can afford. If we get 5000 backers on Kickstarter, the show gets another $10,000. That means if you pledge $10, that $10 could mean $10,010 for the show, when we reach the magic number of 5000 backers. Each and every pledge matters, at whatever level is right for you.
If we do this, I guarantee that independent public media will never be the same. I want the stations, producers and networks to know that if they each take the leap and invest in making something driven by passion and vision, like KALW and PRX did with me, there are people out there that will help in any way they can: at least 5000 people.
Design Matters Institute is Debbie Millman’s effort to bring design education, inspiration and advocacy to all people, everywhere.
Andy Mangold created a series of 8 pocket-sized notebooks inspired by 99% Invisible episodes. Collect them all! Each with black digital artwork and one color hand-drawn layer. Final version may vary slightly. Eight total in the series, though only seven are shown. Each notebook contains 32 pages of grid lined paper.
Stephen Wildish designed an architecture themed poster exclusively for 99% Invisible, based on his extremely popular “alphabet” poster series. Perfect for an architecture fan who loves puzzles and minimalist art. (Digital print 24”x36”)
Paddy Donnelly designed this great poster ode to the audio cassette and a time when a pencil could solve all of our problems. (Size A3 on 300gsm white recycled board)
Thanks to Paddy Donnelly, you can announce to the world that you will never forget MP Samuel Plimsoll and his eponymous, life-saving graphic. Here is episode #33, which inspired the shirt: "A Cheer for Samuel Plimsoll"
The classic 99% Invisible logo, designed by Stefan Lawrence, on a handsome asphalt t-shirt. You are guaranteed to spend minutes a day talking about your favorite radio show as you explain to people how it has nothing to with the occupy movement.
Books on Tape
Artist and book maker Woody Leslie is hand-making five (5) of his amazing Books-on-Tape for 99% Invisible fans. Side A will play a 99% Invisible episode, flip it over and Side B will play the same episode with all the host parts removed. The book inside will have a transcript of the program, so you can perform the host parts yourself. Go to spoken word events and perform the show yourself. Pass it off as your own work. We don’t care! The booklet inside will also contain instructions for modifying an old Walkman or tape player to play your one of a kind audio book. Here's a video of Woody performing with one of his Books on Tape.
Get your message out to tens of thousands of exceptional people: design professionals, architects, journalists, taste makers and decision makers from all over the world. An underwriting partnership with 99% Invisible will demonstrate that your company is very passionate about all aspects of design. During this campaign, underwriting spots are discounted and have lots of bonus prizes and goodies. Get in touch and we will work out all the details: firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of the 99th Percentile Action Kit I'll record something unique for you. It could be an outgoing voicemail message, or a favorite short story, video narration, anything under 30 minutes that doesn't make me cringe (I reserve the right to refuse the recording on moral or ethical grounds-- e.g. I won't record the narration for your white supremacist recruiting video). This is only for non commercial use.
And what I hope is the best reward of all…
I can keep making 99% Invisible.
What we will do with the funds
If we meet the goal, we will cover all the basic expenses for one-year production of the show (salaries, freelancer fees, podcast hosting, graphic design, equipment, research materials). Plus, we will use funds to hire a producer at least ¼ time to help fund raise, promote and produce the program. Fund raising and outreach will help secure the long-term viability of the project.
A season is 30 episodes, each one released every 10-14 days.
Raise over $80,000- Hire Sam Greenspan 3 days a week to work on 99% Invisible exclusively and increase production to 35 episodes/year.
Raise over $90,000- Produce a video episode with ZeroOne Productions as part of Season 3.
Raise over $100,000- Hire Sam 4 days a week to work on 99% Invisible exclusively and increase production to 40 episodes/year.
Raise over $115,000- Website redesign. Tumblr served me well (and it was free), but doesn’t have the functionality the audience demands.
Raise over $175,000- Hire PRX app team to develop a 99% Invisible smart phone app. Something amazing like their Radiolab or KCRW Music Mine apps.
Raise over $200,000- Research cloning Roman so we can get this all done.
- (30 days)