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$2,086
pledged of $2,927 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

$2,086
pledged of $2,927 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

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Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About

I’m Alexander Fyjis-Walker, the director of an independent London-based publishing house, Pallas Athene.

THE PURPOSE

The aim of this campaign is to bring to completion a project conceived by the great designer Abram Games but only discovered after his death.

THE STORY

Who was Abram Games? Abram Games was one of Britain's finest graphic designers, particularly recognised for his posters, some of which are among the most recognisable of the 20th century. Always committed to public education, his work led him to be appointed as the Official War Artists for posters in 1942. His output was hugely varied, including advertisements, book jackets and stamps, but every design was informed by his motto, ‘maximum meaning, minimum means'. The results were always striking for their efficiency, directness and humour. Games was awarded an OBE for Services to Graphic Design and appointed Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) by the Royal Society of Art.

Some of Abram's best-known posters
Some of Abram's best-known posters
The Festival of Britain emblem, designed by Abram Games
The Festival of Britain emblem, designed by Abram Games

The Celebrated Poster: Among Abram Games' most admired creations was his design for the logo of the Festival of Britain in 1951. But his single most widely known poster is the one commissioned for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Centenary Appeal in 1975. To create this design he took the names of all the plays as they appeared in the original 1623 First Folio and fitted them together like a jigsaw puzzle to form the head of Shakespeare (as it appears in Martin Droeshout's engraving that also appears in the First Folio). The effect was inspiring and immediately memorable; it was one of the last posters he designed and has become the most ubiquitous. 

The title page of the First Folio
The title page of the First Folio
Abram Games's poster, commissioned by the RSC
Abram Games's poster, commissioned by the RSC

The Unfinished Project: The poster was hailed a huge success by the RSC and as far as Abram's family knew at the time, he considered the job completed.

But thanks to an exciting discovery we now know that Abram’s intentions for the much-admired image went far further than a poster. 

After his death in 1996, Abram's daughter and archivist, Naomi Games, happened upon a mock-up he had made of a flickbook based on the poster image. As she turned the pages of the book Shakespeare's face gradually appeared, one play at a time. From the designs she could see that her father had even experimented with getting Shakespeare to wink!

It was beautiful and ingenious and in that moment Naomi determined not to let the idea go with Abram to the grave but that one day she would publish the flickbook and see the project through to the end.

Abram Games hard at work in his studio. Photo credit: © Philip Sayer, 1988, with many thanks
Abram Games hard at work in his studio. Photo credit: © Philip Sayer, 1988, with many thanks
A younger Abram Games with the "Join the ATS" women's recruitment poster of 1941
A younger Abram Games with the "Join the ATS" women's recruitment poster of 1941

But the flickbook was not all that she discovered among Abram's papers. In a document headed ‘Shakespeare Title-Portrait Project’, packed in among a number of old designs and pieces of writing, Naomi uncovered a whole list, accompanied by sketches, of further ideas for the poster image. 

It quickly became clear that Abram had intended to print the image of Shakespeare's head onto a whole range of objects including mugs, jigsaws and glassware. You can see how carefully these ideas had been thought through by his labelled plans for an umbrella for the RSC, below.

An initial design by Abram Games for an umbrella featuring Shakespeare's face
An initial design by Abram Games for an umbrella featuring Shakespeare's face

Finishing the Project: Now 22 years on, we at Pallas Athene are working with Naomi to complete Abram’s plans and bring his buried project to life.  

The flickbook has been carefully put together to follow Abram's prototype as closely as possible. Our early proofs show that the effect is striking; as the pages are turned and the portrait comes into view, Shakespeare's face comes alive through movement, as does the brilliance of the idea behind it. 

To accompany the flickbook we are also producing objects featuring the Shakespeare poster image. Excited by the possibilities, we went beyond the ideas which Abram proposed; so as well as the mug, the jigsaw and a decanter, we are producing T-shirts, tea towels, prints and more.  

When choosing the pieces, we put a particular emphasis on quality - it seemed only right that Abram's high-quality designs should be complemented by high-quality products from the finest manufacturers.  

All of the pieces are available as rewards - please see details below (and to the right).

THE REWARDS

The Shakespeare Flickbook

The flickbook has been made in close collaboration with Abram Games' daughter and archivist, Naomi Games, to ensure that it is as close to Games' original design as possible.  

Our only additions have been to complete Abram's sequence of quotations from each play that appear on the left hand pages - for the entertainment of the reader (or flicker!) - as well as a brief introduction by Naomi which explains the story behind the flick book and how it came to be. 

All 37 plays are included, in the order they are printed in the First Folio of 1623, ending with Pericles, Prince of Tyre, first included in the Third Folio of 1664. The poems, and some of the plays not published in the Folios have been added for completeness. 

Early bird offer: the first 100 copies to be ordered will be signed by Naomi Games. Don't miss out! 

The book is printed on luxurious FSC certified (sustainable forestry) 140gsm paper by Park Lane Press. Their waterless printing technology gives an extraordinary intensity of colour and is far more environmentally friendly than standard methods. 

112 pages. Dimensions:148mm x 106mm landscape

A spread from the flickbook
A spread from the flickbook

The Shakespeare Tea Towel

Our bespoke tea towels are made of the finest linen by Ulster Weavers, a company devoted to creating quality linen and timeless homewares.

Linen is ideal for tea towels as it is much longer lasting and dries much faster than cotton, as well as being more eco-friendly. The design can be seen below - white letters out of the brick red chosen by Abram Games originally to echo the appearance of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Dimensions: 48 x 74 cm

The design for the tea towel
The design for the tea towel

The Shakespeare Mug

This Burslem model mug, made of the finest bone china, showcases Abram's design beautifully. The letters feature in white on a black or red brick background and Shakespeare's signature appears on the inside.

The mug is hand-crafted by Foley Pottery in Stoke on Trent, the traditional home of pottery. They are a leading manufacturer of ceramics, supplying institutions such as Historic Royal Palaces and the Houses of Parliament.

A small number of left-handed mugs will also be produced once the Kickstarter project has begun.

Mugs will be supplied in a purpose-made box.

Dimensions: H: 9.5cm D: 8.5cm C: 28cm

The finished mug will be similar to these samples
The finished mug will be similar to these samples

The Shakespeare T-Shirt

The Shakespeare T-shirts come in a flattering black or more colourful red with the letters in white to ensure the image shows clearly. 

These luxury T-shirts are made of 100% pure organic cotton by the company Shirtworks, who pride themselves on producing eco-friendly and high-quality T-shirts. 

Below is pictured a sample of the men's T-shirt but backers will also be able to choose a female style (featuring a slightly lower neckline). 

The image on the T-Shirt will be 28cm wide x 41.5cm high. Backers will be able to specify size, colour and style at the end of the Kickstarter.

The Shakespeare T-Shirt
The Shakespeare T-Shirt

The Shakespeare Jigsaw 

This premium-quality, laser-cut wooden jigsaw is made by Wentworth Jigsaws, using sustainable materials. 250 pieces make up the poster image which is featured in the original brick red colour. 

The jigsaw is embedded with special Shakespearean motifs among the pieces, such as daggers, ghosts, castles and even an enamoured Romeo and Juliet. Just a few examples have been extracted from the jigsaw below but there are many more and they're harder to find that you might think! 

Dimensions: 360mm x 250mm

Wooden jigsaw - spot the Shakespearean pieces!
Wooden jigsaw - spot the Shakespearean pieces!

The Shakespeare Print

We offer beautiful individually-made giclée prints of the Shakespeare poster, ready for framing.

They are produced by Michael Perry, art fabricator and fine printer, on the highest quality 300g pure cotton paper using special inks.

Dimensions: sheet 37 x 54cm, image 29 x 46cm

The Shakespeare Decanter               

The Shakespeare Decanter, by Dartington Glass, features Abram's poster design sand-blasted into the glass.  

Dimensions: 22cm high, capacity 65cl

Design for the Shakespeare Decanter
Design for the Shakespeare Decanter
 
The Shakespeare Decanter and Two Whisky Tumblers 

We also offer a set with the engraved decanter complemented by two tumblers sand-blasted with Shakespeare's signature.

Tumbler dimensions: 105mm high, capacity 30cl

The set will be presented as above, but will feature Shakespeare's head on the decanter and his signature on the tumblers
The set will be presented as above, but will feature Shakespeare's head on the decanter and his signature on the tumblers

We're also looking to develop other products including cushions. For us at Pallas Athene this is a rare and exciting opportunity to bring the unfinished work of a great designer to life. We very much hope you will be able to join us.

If you would like to know more about Abram Games please visit the website: https://www.abramgames.com/home

Risks and challenges

Pallas Athene have been publishing books for over twenty five years, and all the suppliers are well known to them. The flickbooks and products are all fully designed and the suppliers ready to start work. The risk of not being able to produce any of the items is low. Delays are possible but unlikely, as much of the preliminary work has already been done.

We look forward to keeping all our supporters updated with our progress.

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Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    £
    About $13
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £9 or more About $12

    The Shakespeare Flickbook

    • One flickbook modelled very closely on Abram Games' prototype.
    • Made up of 112 pages which gradually reveal Shakespeare's face as they are turned.
    • Features an introduction by Abram's daughter and archivist, Naomi Games.
    • Printed on luxurious FSC paper using environmentally friendly waterless presses.
    • Dimensions: 148 x 106mm landscape
    • Earlybird offer: the first 100 copies will be signed by Naomi Games.

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    14 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £18 or more About $24

    Two Shakespeare Flickbooks

    • Two flickbooks modelled very closely on Abram Games' prototype.
    • Made up of 112 pages which gradually reveal Shakespeare's face as they are turned.
    • Features an introduction by Abram's daughter and archivist, Naomi Games.
    • Printed on luxurious FSC paper using environmentally friendly waterless presses.
    • Dimensions: 148 x 106mm landscape
    • Earlybird offer: the first 100 copies will be signed by Naomi Games.

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    7 backers
    £
    About $24
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $27

    The Tea Towel and the Flickbook

    • One Shakespeare Flickbook
    • One tea towel featuring Games' Shakespeare poster design.
    • Made in Northern Ireland from the finest linen.
    • Dimensions: 48 x 74 cm

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    7 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $33

    The Mug and the Flickbook

    • One Shakespeare Flickbook
    • One mug featuring Abram Games' Shakespeare poster design.
    • Made of fine bone china
    • Packaged in a purpose-made box
    • Dimensions: 88mm high, 85mm diameter, 123mm including handle
    • Colours: black or brick red, choose at end of campaign

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    7 backers
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    About $33
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £27 or more About $36

    Three Shakespeare Flickbooks

    • Three flickbooks modelled very closely on Abram Games' prototype.
    • Made up of 112 pages which gradually reveal Shakespeare's face as they are turned.
    • Features an introduction by Abram's daughter and archivist, Naomi Games.
    • Printed on luxurious FSC paper using environmentally friendly waterless presses.
    • Dimensions: 148 x 106mm landscape
    • Earlybird offer: the first 100 copies will be signed by Naomi Games.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    £
    About $36
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $40

    The T-Shirt and the Flickbook

    • One Shakespeare Flickbook
    • One T-Shirt featuring Abram Games' Shakespeare poster design.
    • Made from 100% organic combed ring-spun cotton.
    • Choice of male or female T-Shirt styles.
    • Design white on black or white on red - choose at the end of the campaign (and we may add other colours as a stretch goal)
    • Choose size at the end of the campaign

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    0 backers
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    About $40
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About $53

    The Jigsaw and the Flickbook

    • One Shakespeare Flickbook
    • One 250-piece jigsaw puzzle featuring Games' Shakespeare poster design.
    • Made of wood by Wentworth Jigsaws. Laser-cut, with no two pieces the same
    • With bespoke "whimsy" pieces in the shape of Shakespearean motifs!
    • Boxed and with velvet bag to keep pieces safe
    • Dimensions: 360mm x 250mm

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    1 backer
    £
    About $53
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £45 or more About $60

    The Print and the Flickbook

    • One Shakespeare Flickbook
    • One print of Abram Games' Shakespeare poster design.
    • Individually made giclée prints on the highest quality paper.
    • Ready for framing.
    • Dimensions: sheet 37 x 54cm, image 29 x 46cm

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    4 backers
    £
    About $60
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £130 or more About $173

    The Decanter and the Flickbook

    • One Shakespeare Flickbook
    • One decanter featuring Games' Shakespeare poster design
    • Image sand-blasted into the highest quality crystal from Dartington
    • Boxed
    • Dimensions: 22cm high, capacity 65cl

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    1 backer
    £
    About $173
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £240 or more About $319

    Decanter + 2 Tumblers and the Flickbook

    • One Shakespeare Flickbook
    • One decanter featuring Games' Shakespeare poster design.
    • Two whisky tumblers with Shakespeare's signature.
    • Image and signature etched into highest quality crystal from Dartington.
    • Boxed
    • Dimensions: decanter 22cm high, capacity 65cl. Tumblers 105mm high, capacity 30ml

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    £
    About $319
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £700 or more About $931

    2 Decanters + 8 tumblers + 8 Flickbooks

    • Eight Shakespeare Flickbooks
    • Two decanters featuring Games' Shakespeare poster design.
    • Eight whisky tumblers with Shakespeare's signature.
    • Image and signature etched into highest quality crystal from Dartington.
    • Boxed
    • Dimensions: decanter 22cm high, capacity 65cl. Tumblers 105mm high, capacity 30ml

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    £
    About $931
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