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Sketchbooks & notebooks designed with an underlying philosophy of simplicity, usefulness & community. Read more

4,242
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$168,289
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on October 3, 2013.

Sketchbooks & notebooks designed with an underlying philosophy of simplicity, usefulness & community.

About this project

Stretch Goal: $150,000 

[Read Update #5 for more info on our stretch goal.]

[Update #2: Added a $150 reward due to popular demand.]

There isn't a sketchbook or notebook out there that we feel truly understands how those of us use them on a daily basis. After a lot of searching over nearly two decades we decided to make the book that we want to use. We’ve created many prototypes and are ready to place our first order for manufacturing—and that's where we need your help. Without a significant amount of orders the manufacturers cannot make any books at all.

We're a small group of thinkers (designers, illustrators, writers, entrepreneurs and the like) that love to sit down with a notebook or sketchbook and give birth to interesting thoughts and ideas. While today’s digital age is fantastic—we love technology—we’ve found that our best work always starts on paper.

From the very beginning we've had to ask ourselves to define and redefine what a notebook is. We came to the conclusion that a notebook is a tool—a means to something greater than itself. Using this understanding as a guide we began to break down the individual subtleties that comprise the whole and improve the design in small ways. There are no gimmicks, no unnecessary parts—just intelligent improvements to a simple tool.

Usability is important, and we wanted a notebook that felt natural when used at your desk, on your couch, in the train—anywhere. To do this we had to account for various use cases, including laying the book flat on a desk, holding it with one hand and writing with the other, carrying it in a backpack or purse, using it all day or just in spurts, and so on. (At roughly 5.4" x 7.7" it's small enough to go with you anywhere and big enough to comfortably use all day at home or work.) We’ve strived to bring you a more refined book through detailed questioning and testing.

We've worked hard to get out of your way. The books aren't covered in branding (the cover is completely blank) and inside we've included the absolute minimum necessary tools: a bookmark for keeping your page and a box on the inside endpaper (where you can write your name, subject, date, or anything else you desire). This is your book, not ours.

We started a dialog with hundreds of artists, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, illustrators, and other thinkers around the world and asked them one simple question: What do you like in a sketchbook or notebook? All the hours of research, testing, and discussion have helped us distill the qualities that make a tool conscious enough to help the creative process and simple enough so that it doesn’t get in your way.

The subtleties that make a difference.

Smart design is crucial when it comes to the subtleties of a simple item. We've carefully considered every detail to create a great tool for exploration.

Every inch of our books have been meticulously pored over—and we will continue to work on and improve them. Your feedback will help shape our books as we make them more and more refined.

What does Baron Fig mean?

The creative journey revolves around the dichotomy of Discipline and Impulse: having the impulse to go to places you (and others) haven’t, and the discipline to see it through. The Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus represent this dichotomy perfectly. From Apollo, who is associated with order and discipline, we derive “Baron”; from Dionysus, a god of madness and ecstasy, we took the symbol of the “Fig.”

Thus Baron Fig—Discipline & Impulse.

How Kickstarter works.

The following is taken from Kickstarter's info page.

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.

Thousands of creative projects are funding on Kickstarter at any given moment. Each project is independently created and crafted by the person behind it. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control and responsibility over their projects. They spend weeks building their project pages, shooting their videos, and brainstorming what rewards to offer backers. When they're ready, creators launch their project and share it with their community.

Every project creator sets their project's funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.

Backing a project is more than just giving someone money, it's supporting their dream to create something that they want to see exist in the world.

Rewards.

Check out the rewards below. Keep in mind you can pledge as little as $1 or as much as you like—every little bit helps.

Our project is based on simplicity, in keeping with that spirit we're not going to do stickers, posters, and postcards like many Kickstarter campaigns do. We believe in these books, and have worked on perfecting every subtlety to make a product you can use and love.

Onward.

These books are a work in progress. We plan to create open channels to easily connect with you, the very first Baron Fig users. This will be achieved by having part of our website dedicated to receiving your feedback. We will actively listen, respond, and refine our books. You're part of the process—and we can't wait for what's in store.

Risks and challenges

Manufacturing a product is a monumental feat. Every element is made by a different group of specialists; then we have to arrange for each of these elements to arrive at a manufacturer who then puts all the pieces together. Essentially, it's a task that involves a lot of scheduling, preparation, and care.

Our greatest challenge is to organize these elements for mass production. The different elements include (but are not limited to): cover material, end papers, bookmark material, quality paper stock, printing on the endpapers, dot grid printing, ruled lines printing, quality control, packaging, shipping packaging.

Once the books are created then we have them delivered to us in New York City where we will ship them to our backers all over the world.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Thanks for the pledge! You'll be able to choose which style you like via an email survey once the campaign is over. If you ordered more than one you'll have the option to mix and match styles (e.g. two dot grid, one blank).

    Last updated:
  • Good question! The dots are 0.5 cm apart, just the right space to be allow for detail without being crowded. The lines are set to narrow ruled spacing to allow for a whole lot of writing to be done! Both measurements have been extensively researched with those that use these types of books.

    Note: Baron Fig books are a constant work in progress, especially for our Kickstarter backers who are starting this journey with us. Once everyone receives their books you'll all have the opportunity to provide comprehensive feedback via our website. We want to make the best books possible, and that happens by listening to the community!

    Last updated:
  • Good question! Baron Fig books are focused on providing great tools for idea generation. We wanted a strong balance between thick paper and a book that has a lot of pages. Since we wanted 192 pages in a lightweight book, we chose to go with off white 65# paper, which allows us to keep the book full and light. Dry mediums work fantastic, pens are great too, fountain pens may show through. If we used thick paper then we'd only come out around 120 page for the book—that's 72 less than we have now! We decided to put more pages in the books and, for those that use very wet mediums, just skip a page if the need arises.

    Keep in mind that we are not making books for finished artwork. There are many brands out there that already supply books for such endeavors. We're making a book for ideas. One that's not just for illustrators, but for all thinkers—designers, writers, entrepreneurs, developers, musicians, choreographers, and so on. We've made a tool that you can let your mind run free in via notes, sketches, diagrams, etc.

    Note: Baron Fig books are a constant work in progress, especially for our Kickstarter backers who are starting this journey with us. Once everyone receives their books you'll all have the opportunity to provide comprehensive feedback via our website. We want to make the best books possible, and that happens by listening to the community!

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    63 backers

    Big thanks for supporting our project and the thinker spirit—every little bit counts! If you like our project, please share and help us get the word out!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    2,567 backers

    ONE Baron Fig notebook: Blank, Ruled, or Dot Grid. US domestic shipping is INCLUDED in this reward.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    1,391 backers

    FULL SET of THREE Baron Fig notebooks: Blank, Ruled, AND Dot Grid. (You also have the choice of getting just one type of book.) US domestic shipping is INCLUDED in this reward.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    202 backers

    TEN Baron Fig notebooks: Blank, Ruled, and Dot Grid in ANY combination. US domestic shipping is INCLUDED in this reward.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)