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Umber Magazine is the creative thinker's graphic journal. A printed publication that focuses on culture, visual ideas and design.
Umber Magazine is the creative thinker's graphic journal. A printed publication that focuses on culture, visual ideas and design.
Umber Magazine is the creative thinker's graphic journal. A printed publication that focuses on culture, visual ideas and design.
147 backers pledged $11,499 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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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

Cover of this Summer's Issue. Theme - Drowning: Vulnerability
Cover of this Summer's Issue. Theme - Drowning: Vulnerability

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. 
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Meet the Creator and Collaborators

High School Scrapbook, 2014 Self Portrait
High School Scrapbook, 2014 Self Portrait

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.

Umber's Vision Board
Umber's Vision Board

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

Umber's Contributors for Issue One
Umber's Contributors for Issue One

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.

We are creative, we are nuanced
We are creative, we are nuanced

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.

UMBER Graphic T-Shirt
UMBER Graphic T-Shirt

 

Illustration of Baba Afolabi, by Mike Nicholls
Illustration of Baba Afolabi, by Mike Nicholls

 

Umber Magazine Studio
Umber Magazine Studio

 

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    UMBER P.D.A.

    Public Display of Affection: Thank you for your support! We will shout you out on our social media channels (twitter, instagram, facebook) and link to your name, company, project, etc.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The UMBER Soundtrack

    Set the vibe right with an advance released digital soundtrack curated by the soulful and jazzy sounds of Duane Powell's SOUNDROTATION. The preeminent custodian of the indie soul movement.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The UMBER Magazine

    Get an advanced copy of Umber Magazine's 2017 Summer Issue printed on premium high-quality uncoated paper.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The UMBER Graphic

    Get an advanced copy of Umber Magazine's 2017 Summer Issue printed on premium high-quality uncoated paper. Plus, the cover graphic artwork printed on Ultra Cotton 100% soft cotton T-shirt.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The UMBER Brand/Creative Brief

    Receive a "An Exclusive Guide for Designing a Winning Brand" Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur, business owner or just need a logo created, this creative positioning guide will help translate your ideas and vision into a tangible tool. Plus, receive an advanced printed copy of Umber Magazine's 2017 Summer Issue printed on premium high-quality uncoated paper.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The UMBER Deluxe

    Get an advanced copy of Umber Magazine's 2017 Summer Issue printed on premium high-quality uncoated paper signed by editor Mike Nicholls in custom slip cased packaging.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The UMBER Graphic Deluxe

    Get an advanced copy of Umber Magazine's 2017 Summer Issue printed on premium high-quality uncoated paper signed by editor Mike Nicholls in custom slip cased packaging. Plus, the cover artwork printed on Ultra Cotton 100% soft cotton T-shirt.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The UMBER Champions

    Have your brand be an integral part of history. We'll add your logo on a page dedicated to our Champions. Plus 2 advanced copies of Umber Magazine's 2017 Summer Issue printed on premium high-quality uncoated paper.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The UMBER Illustrious

    Receive an illustrated portrait of yourself or loved one (graphite pencils) digitally sent (high resolution, 300 DPI, 9" x12"). Plus, get an advanced printed copy of Umber Magazine's 2017 Summer Issue printed on premium high-quality uncoated paper.

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    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    The UMBER Illustrious Deluxe

    Receive an illustrated print portrait of yourself or loved one (graphite pencils) 9"x12," including the original drawing mailed to you. Plus get an advanced printed copy of Umber Magazine's 2017 Summer Issue printed on premium high-quality uncoated paper signed by editor Mike Nicholls in custom slip cased packaging. Plus, the cover artwork printed on Ultra Cotton 100% soft cotton T-shirt.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    UMBER Ad Placement

    Receive a co-designed Ad placement inside the back cover and/or outside back cover of Umber Magazine;s 2017 Summer Issue. (Contact us for more info) Plus get 2 copies of an advanced printed copy of Umber Magazine's 2017 Summer Issue printed on premium high-quality uncoated paper.

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Funding period

- (45 days)