Umber Magazine, "the creative thinker's graphic journal" engages in visual dialogue with people of nuanced culture.
The best stories, the ones that really stick with you, always start with a captivating visual. Images that are so striking that they simply can't be denied. They seduce you and draw you in. Then there are the words, the thoughts laid bare on the page. Provocative yet relatable. It’s an inception of sorts, let's call it deep design. And if you recognize yourself in it, then we’ve done our job.
Hello world. This is Umber.
We want you to be the first to experience Umber Magazine. We’ve pulled out all of the stops to bring you perks worthy of your support – from a companion soundtrack for when you’re paging through Umber Magazine to an original portrait of yourself (or someone you love). With deepest gratitude, we thank you in advance for your support, which will help us:
- Complete the design and illustrations of Issue One, Summer 2017 themed “Drowning: Vulnerability.”
- Work with local Bay Area printers to produce a beautiful tactile experience: bold content on the highest quality paper.
- Get Umber Magazine to three very important, distinct destinations: magazine stands, on your coffee tables, and in your hands.
Meet the Creator and Collaborators
Q: Mike, tell us about yourself and the inspiration behind Umber.
Mike Nicholls (MN): My name is Mike Nicholls. I’m a Creative Director, Visual Designer and Illustrator with over 20 years of experience. I have contributed to publications and magazine such as Playboy and Jazz Times. I've run my own design studio and art directed award-winning magazines. www.mikenicholls.net
Since high school, I’ve been a huge fan of magazines. I remember thumbing through my mother's Vogue collection, seeing The Source magazine for the first time and Snoop Dogg on the inaugural cover of Vibe. In design school it was all about the progressive and innovative visual stylings of Émigré, Ray Gun and classics like Avant Garde magazine.
Q: What will set Umber apart from other publications?
MN: As a creative, who’s passionate about magazines and printed media, I noticed there wasn’t a lot of representation of people of color in any one publication that focuses on art, design and creative culture. There are publications out there but there’s opportunity to take a more theme-driven and high concept approach to visual design.
I thought, "What if there was a publication that spoke to the creative and visual thinker with a strong graphic presence, but from the perspective of people of color?"
So in 2006 I started my journey of discovery and creation. I developed a prototype in 2012 to test the water and now here we are.
Q: Tell us about Umber's contributors and collaborators.
MN: We truly have an inspiring group of contributors for this summer 2017 issue. All who are inspiring individuals who span the creative landscape – writers, artists, entrepreneurs, curators, designers, photographers, performance artists, song writers to fashion designers.
Here are some of our esteemed contributors:
- Baba Afolabi, founder of the Suru Brand apparel
- Angela N. Carroll artist-archivist and cultural arts writer
- Tope Eletu-Odibo, cultural curator and founder of Space 107
- Naima Shalhoub, songstress, musician, educator, restorative/transformative justice and postcolonial studies
- Jewels Smith, writer and creator of Hafrocentric Comic
- Davina Stewart, poet, author and performance artist
- Ndubuisi Madu, Senior User Experience and Visual Designer
- Alanna Rayford, style curator, fashion designer and founder/owner of Urban Stitch Boutique
- Duane Powell, (Soundrotation) indie soul music curator, music historian and DJ
Q: Who is Umber for?
MN: Focusing on creative culture, design, visual arts, forward-thinking ideas and the beauty of randomness, Umber Magazine will highlight the world through a unique lens – by recognizing the beautiful space between the obvious.
Umber Magazine provides a space for creative thinkers and doers to engage; whether you’re a visual artist, writer, performance artist, musician, designer or entrepreneur. It's also a space to catalog and journal our unique perspectives, nuanced world views and visual ideas.
Dear UMBER Backers
Printing anything nowadays is a commitment. With online media anything can be altered, edited or re-appropriated. For this reason we decided to print Umber Magazine instead of going digital. We want to preserve and protect our narrative while presenting visual ideas in a very tangible and physical experience.
The time is NOW to be a part of history. Let US make sure the beauty of our randomness and creative nuance has visual voice and genuine perspective.
THANK YOU so much for your support. It takes a village y'all, and we're very thankful for any financial contribution you can make, plus all of the encouragement and well wishes.
Risks and challenges
We are 85% done with the design and with your support in reaching our goal we will be able to complete the design, get it printed and in your hands. Keep in mind there may be printing delays based around paper stock supply and printers availability to print magazine when campaign funds are received. At the same time we are securing our distribution plan to ensure Umber Magazine will be shipped and available nation-wide once our financial goal is met. Thank you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)