In the spring of 2012, a statistical count was made of the Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) for the neighborhood of Inman Park in Atlanta, GA. Part science project, part storytelling experiment, the Inman Park Squirrel Census (IPSC) was managed by a part-time, unpaid staff from various professional backgrounds - two writers, two designers, a web programmer/artist, a postdoctoral research associate, a Ph.D. candidate, and a wildland firefighter. Extra volunteers assisted in the counting.
The findings - infographics, data and stories - were presented at the Inman Park Squirrel Census Data Presentation & Spectacle in September 2012. It was AMAZING. Good crowd. Squirrel-related readings. Squirrel-related music. Squirrel-inspired art and dance. Children in a fake car, running over people who asked stupid questions.
Since then, we've lectured at Emory University about our methods, findings, and approach to storytelling. We're hoping to work with researchers to help them interpret their data and tell their own stories of science and adventure in engaging ways.
But first, we've taken the infographics we created for the Census and combined them into two gorgeous, 38" x 51" posters. They're beautiful. Designed by Nat Slaughter with loving and artistic care, they show things like total "squirrel abundance" estimates and squirrel "constellations" in the neighborhood, not to mention individualized data on every. single. squirrel. sighted.
If kickstarted, we will use the money to pay for high-quality printing processes and materials to produce posters that anyone would be thrilled to have hanging in their space. We've already talked with the printer. The finger is on the "Go" button, just waiting to print these beautiful suckers.
We plan to sell these posters and use the money to pay for future Inman Park Squirrel Census pursuits. We're also raising money for shipping of the posters, so most poster orderers can skip that part.
To express our gratitude for helping us reach this goal, $30, $50 and $100 pledgers will receive poster prints.
Posters measure 38" x 51" and will be printed on a four-color offset printing machine. The paper is a light, 60 lb. archival product with matte finish, consistent with standard cartographic prints and large format maps. We'll provide donors with updates on the printing and shipping process.
The prints will be carefully rolled into heavy-duty cardboard shipping tubes with sealed ends. Shipping costs will be taken care of by the Kickstarter funds, except for international orders.
Risks and challenges
We're planning to print 400 posters. That's a lot of posters. We could have plenty of extras on our hands if we don't market effectively. But we're working within the close-knit Inman Park community - local events, boutique shops - to find the best places to sell the posters. We're also organizing a social and traditional media campaign to market the Census and the infographics for sale. Further, we're planning speaking engagements at colleges, coffee shops, and design centers, and we're hoping to target graphic design schools and shops to determine interest in the posters.
Finding an excellent printer at a fair price: Four-color offset printing on such large posters requires a special kind of printer to handle. We feel we have found the right printer for the job, one who will create the finest-quality infographic maps that are true to our cause, and we'll keep donors apprised of any developments throughout the process.
Costs of shipping and packaging: We have already figured out an estimate on shipping and packaging costs. It is factored into our fundraising goal.
Storing and mailing the printed posters: Once we have the posters printed (400 of them), we'll need a work space to store them and send them to donors and customers. We plan to use Inman Park Squirrel Census HQ, a home in Inman Park where one of our members lives, as well as a loft space in the neighborhood for backup.
Mailing thank yous and rewards: The Inman Park Squirrel Census team will work together during several mailing "events" at HQ to create thank-you packages and mail them off effectively and in an orderly and timely fashion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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