About this project
Introducing the Minimal Backpack, Messenger, and Tote.
Three years ago we Kickstarted the Confidant notebook—and Baron Fig—with a simple idea as the driving force: A workspace isn’t limited to an office or desk—it’s the whole world. Now we’re back with the all-new minimal Backpack, Messenger, and Tote to continue providing thinkers around the world with well designed high-quality tools.
The next evolution of our Tools for Thinkers.
Baron Fig started by introducing the Confidant notebook on Kickstarter in 2013. At the end of the campaign 4,242 people from 48 countries backed 8,760 notebooks. The overwhelming response allowed us to launch our company the following spring.
Since then we’ve designed and released pens, pencils, accessories, and limited editions. Each new product category is a natural extension of the ones that came before. Adding bags to our lineup of notebooks, pens, pencils, and cases means that these tools now get to live and travel together in an ecosystem.
Ideas that keeps us moving forward.
Our mission is at the core of everything we do at Baron Fig: “To champion thinkers in their journey to create and inspire the world.” It’s our goal to provide tools for thinkers that enable you to do what you do best, whether that’s drawing, writing, or simply taking notes at school or work. Our new bags expand the Baron Fig ecosystem by making it easy to take your favorite tools with you wherever you go.
We lean on three principles to move forward with our mission: Simplicity, Usefulness, and Community. Each principle is part of a unique recipe we use to create truly useful and beautiful tools that anyone can enjoy using.
Principle #1: Simplicity.
Our products are minimal. Each tool is designed with fluidity in mind. Simple tools tend to disappear as you use them—they get out of your way. We work hard to boil all the features of our products down to a simple set of functions. These functions are at the center of what each product is used for.
Principle #2: Usefulness.
Our products are functional. Each tool has a clear purpose. They help you do what you do best. Our goal with these new bags is to provide you with functional tools that are also beautiful items in their own right. We strive to implement unique features that you haven’t seen before, such as the double swing pockets on the backpack that let you access upright pockets with just a swing forward on either shoulder.
Principle #3: Community.
Our products are designed based on extensive community feedback. The Confidant, our first notebook, was designed based on conversations with over 500 thinkers from around the world—and that tradition continues now with the new backpack, messenger, and tote.
Over the last year we've had hundreds of conversations with customers about what our next big step should be, and they told us they wanted the ability to carry our products with them. We even went so far as to meet up with customers and take a look inside their bags to see how they’re being used. Then we took all that feedback and distilled it into three unique bags—and, finally, after all that work we’re close to making them a reality.
How can I help?
Baron Fig users—people like you—are the driving force behind what we do. Every day your emails and tweets remind us why we work hard to keep moving forward. If you like the bags please take a moment to back this project to a) get your bags before anyone else, and b) help us make them a reailty. Your support means the world to us. If you have any questions feel free to check out the FAQ or give us a shout, we’re always happy to help.
Back this project by choosing a reward from the rewards list or clicking the button below. Keep reading to learn more about each bag, to view a detailed rewards list, and learn about Add-Ons.
Each bag has a unique personality, function, and a host of features. Despite the various forms and uses they’re all designed using the same materials and philosophy. Below are three important elements that make the new Minimal bags a family of high quality products.
The following is a detailed breakdown of the Backpack, Messenger, and Tote. Each section includes an explanation of our design thinking, photos of the products in use, and an extensive feature breakdown.
Slim profile. Big difference.
Over the last year we've looked inside hundreds (if not thousands) of backpacks and noticed a surprising trend: nearly everyone's bags were mostly empty.
It was surprising to learn that 95% of the time backpack users don't carry much inside their bags. The average person had a laptop, notebook, phone, wallet, and a few accessories, with the rest of the bag being comprised of tremendous amounts of empty space.
Realizing that backpacks were mostly empty a majority of the time, we decided to throw away everything we knew about what a backpack should be––and focused on what it could be. After nearly a year and dozens of iterations we came up with a slim profile backpack designed around your average day. The result is a much simpler, leaner, lighter, and more enjoyable backpack.
Features that make the Backpack.
Like a great cooking recipe, the combination of just the right features in just the right manner are what give life to a design. Take a look below to explore the unique recipe of features that put the Backpack in a class of its own.
Dress it up. Dress it down.
Like that perfect piece of clothing, you can take our Messenger from workday to Friday night and fit in everywhere along the way. Better yet, throw it over your shoulder and head out for the whole weekend, since you have enough space for everything you need.
In designing the Messenger we realized that what's currently available in this type of bag is split into two categories: Highly formal bags and highly playful ones. Very few, if any, manage to toe the line between the two. Challenge accepted.
It became clear as we dove deeper into the Messenger that our goal was to design a bag that could fit in anywhere. You can throw your laptop in it and wear it to work, or you can throw some clothes in it and head out for a weekend. We achieved this through smart use of fabric—the freedom of canvas flexibly gains space—and a minimal design approach. The end product is a bag that can chameleon itself into any situation.
Features that make the Messenger.
Just like the Backpack, the combination of the right features in just the right manner are what give life to a design. Take a look below to learn what makes the Messenger a master of flexibility.
Small form. Big space.
What if you could carry around a big space in a small package? The Tote does just that. Most tote bags add space by increasing the width and depth. We created a design to maximize the functional space in the Tote without making it feel large by increasing the height at a higher ratio compared to the width and depth. The end result is a bag that feels small while having a large space inside.
Designing the Tote was a fun challenge. We wanted to give you enough space to throw all sorts of things inside at once, but we didn't want the bag to be enormous. By combining the flexibility of canvas, a smart height-to-width ratio, and a slightly tapered seam we were able to design a bag that's big on the inside while staying smaller on the outside.
Ultimately the Tote is your go-to bag when you want to transport all sorts of things. Carry a lot or carry a little, it always gets the job done—and looks good doing it.
Features that make the Tote.
Last but certainly not least, the Tote. Take a look below to explore the combination of features that make the Tote a wizard of simplicity.
Get your bags before anyone else.
Back this project and you will be the first to receive Baron Fig bags. You also get special reduced Kickstarter-only rates. Check out the rewards below and make your selection in the rewards list. You have the choice of getting up to three bags, either alone or in bundles. You can also add to your pledge via the Add-On menu for even more goodies.
We believe in the products we make, and have worked on perfecting every subtlety to make tools you can use and love. We hope you enjoy using them.
Here is some of the past press Baron Fig has received.
The nitty gritty.
Everything you need to know about the new Backpack, Messenger, and Tote—plus information on timeline and add-ons.
About Baron Fig.
Baron Fig started as a project between friends. We contacted hundreds of thinkers around the world and asked them one simple question: “What do you like in a sketchbook or notebook?”
Then we took all of that feedback, and consolidated it into a notebook. Our goal was to create a tool that was as simple as possible, beautiful, and easy to use. We called this notebook The Confidant. We put the Confidant on Kickstarter. At the end of 30 days we had sold nearly 9k notebooks to thousands of customers around the world. Baron Fig was born.
Today we're a group of thinkers dedicated to creating high quality products for likeminded people.
Throughout our journey in designing products and and coming up with creative projects, there's one thing that continues to drive us, our mission: To champion thinkers in their journey to create and inspire the world. It's the rule by which every move we make is measured against.
Our headquarters (sounds fancy!) is a small studio in New York City. We've been here since day one, and this is where the magic happens. The small space and open floor plan mean collaboration happens dozens of times a day. We believe that face-to-face communication and brainstorming is an invaluable part of staying creative.
Baron Fig’s forward and upward strategy is modeled after the artistic process. It isn’t discussed often, but business is an art as much as painting or making music. Part of the journey requires that we choose a destination, but it also requires that we be open to uncertainty, small detours, and even large changes in direction.
As explained at the top of this page, we follow three core principles to achieve our mission: Simplicity, Usefulness, and Community.
What does Baron Fig mean?
The creative journey revolves around the dichotomy of Discipline and Impulse: having the discipline to work hard and the impulse to go to places you (and others) haven’t.
The Greek gods/brothers Apollo (discipline) and Dionysus (impulse) represent this dichotomy perfectly. “Baron” is derived from the Apollonian symbol of “soldier”, and “Fig” is a symbol of Dionysus.
Thus Baron Fig—Discipline & Impulse.
Kickstarter gives the power back to the people. Using this platform allows us to cut out the middlemen that add to the retail price. Using Kickstarter also allows us to stay as an independent team—we don't have revenue-centric investors that could push us towards "safe" routes over creative, experimental and sometimes risky ones.
Launching new product lines on Kickstarter allows us to go directly to you, the customer. It's a win-win for everyone. You get new products earlier and at a better rate than anyone else (and you get to support our team/mission), and we get to raise funds before production so that we have a better understanding of sales and demand before we get started.
As always, everything we create is a continued work in progress. We have open channels to easily connect with you, the very first Backpack, Messenger, and Tote users. This includes our website, email, twitter, and facebook. We actively listen, respond, and refine our products. You're part of the process, we're excited to see where we take this—together.
—The Baron Fig Team // Joey, Adam, Jay, Sam, Chandler, & Andi
PS. Please share this project and help us spread the word!
Our Kickstarter Track Record
- Kickstarter Staff Pick
- Kickstarter Projects We Love
- Successfully funded x 2
- Raised 1,000%+
- Delivered 12,236 rewards
- Backed by 6,024 people
- Delivered to 50+ countries
- On-time shipment
- Continued support
Major thanks to the four thinkers featured in our video for being an example to all of us:
Mike Perry, artist
Chris Smothers, developer
Caroline Weaver, entrepreneur
Zipeng Zhu, designer
Special thanks to Michael Marabella, Vann Alexandra, and Jellop for helping us create media and shout it from the mountaintops. We couldn't do it without you.
Incredible love and appreciation goes out to every Baron Fig customer. You all keep us moving forward. Thank you for the feedback, support, and encouragement that you send our way on a daily basis.
Risks and challenges
This is our third Kickstarter. Between production for previous campaigns and our standard inventory, we have a solid grasp of the scheduling, preparation, and care it takes to launch a product.
If, for any reason, things don't go as planned, whether it's an issue within our control or external factors, we will be sure to communicate any schedule changes honestly and openly. We delivered on time to thousands of backers for both of our previous Kickstarter campaigns—we plan to do the same again with this one.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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