We've been humbled by the reception of the LatLon notebooks: we got almost 50% of the goal in the first 24 hours, and although the pace has dropped a bit now, we've met our initial goal in just 5 days. We've prepared 5 stretch goals that will enrich the options of all backers, present and future. Each stretch goal contains the design of a new island, so once we reached it, that island will be an option for every notebook level and will be included in the digital files:
Unlocked goals so far:
- Lesbos island unlocked - heading to the stars!
- Barbados unlocked - rockets on the launchpad!
- Tahiti unlocked – Start engines! Destination: Mars
- Mission to Mars
- Enjoy the freedom of our new blank pages!
The origin of the project
Christmas December 2012 we brainstormed a nice present for a friend's company's customers. Jositajosi wanted something useful and beautiful for their customers, imbued with the spirit of the maker culture they are part of. As the big cartographic fans we are, we pitched them the idea of mixing digital maps into a physical letterpress notebook and they loved it. We started tinkering with different data, DEMs and visualizations.
We created an interactive web map with the contour lines of Iceland, where we and Jositajosi are based, it was interesting, but we realized pretty soon that the constrains imposed by the small format of the notebook called for something simpler. We focused then on the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano which erupted in Iceland in 2010 causing chaos across Europe.
After many hours generating vector data, manually retouching the isolines and editing the layout (see a detailed account here) we sent the final design to the printing studio:
Everyone was happy with the result and we started sending them to jositajosi’s customers, friends and family. The response was amazing. Customers loved them so much that we put the remaining copies up for sale. We sold out a limited edition of 1,000 units in just a few weeks.
The map was featured in multiple websites and we received emails, questions and requests for new notebooks of other places and geographical features.
We enjoyed the process so much that we've decided to create a series of notebooks, this time focused on one of our favourites places: islands.
The notebooks – LatLon: Islands
We will produce 3 different cover designs for our first collection: Christmas Island, Easter Island, and Saint Helena. Each of these islands have a beautiful topology and a fascinating story we want to share. These covers were generated using geographical data coming from different institutions, giving us some mesmerizing shapes:
It's very important for us to offer notebooks that are not only beautiful and gorgeously designed but printed and built to last, enabling you to carry and use them for years. The printing specifications of the notebooks (specific pantone color still to be selected):
- Dimensions are 9x14 cm (3½″ x 5½″)
- Cover: bright yellow 270g paper cover, one color letterpress printing.
- Pages: 40 pages of Munken Polar 90g graph paper, with a light grey 5mm grid.
- Staple binding for robustness.
We're working locally with Reykjavik letterpress in Reykjavik, Iceland UNESCO world city of literature. They have an old Heidelberg letter press machine which is used to kiss every page we print. They'll be handling all of the printing, with their years of experience and talent we can't wait to see the results.
The creative process
For the creation of these series we combine modern software and ancient analog printing techniques to create beautiful physical notebooks rooted in digital data.
1. Digital Elevation Models
Our process starts with research of the best elevations models available for the area we want to map. We get our models from multiple sources, including data by NASA, CGIAR-CSI and local institutions.
2. Isolines creation
Using open source libraries like GDAL we generate the isolines of the desired region in vector format. Thanks to the vectorial nature of our isolines we can integrate the contour lines in multiple contexts, like interactive, web-ready maps or printing high quality maps.
3. Manual editing
Fitting the hyper detailed isolines within the constrained canvas of a pocket notebook means a lot of manual editing to remove and simplify unnecessary points. We carefully review all the vector data to remove any strange artifacts (strange right angles, outliers, etc.) in order to get polished, accurate contour lines.
4. Final notebook
After a meticulous review of the design we print it using the best papers, sourced from sustainable forestry to create the perfect pocket notebook. We enhance the finish of the notebooks with a letterpress cover, a tactile experience that match the represented nature.
What will the money cover
We've already spent our own time and money in creating the prototypes and getting all the digital tools in place but to make this happen, and now we need your help. We are trying to raise $4,000 to cover the cost of the print-run, materials and shipping needed to get this project off the ground.
Your donation will give us the funds to pay for the initial print runs. As a patron, you'll receive 1 or more notebooks of your choice depending on your donation level. We have rewards for individuals, for individuals who write a lot, and even for teams. To honor the spirit of discovery and adventure we feel when creating a map, each of our donation levels features a great explorer with their own unique backstory:
We love the three selected islands, but there are so many others we want to explore… We already have several candidate islands based on some feedback from WIRED magazine readers.
If we get our $4,000 goal we have already prepared a few stretch goals and cover designs that we'd love add to the project. We want to print up to 6 different islands and the stretch goals benefit everyone:
$5,000 - If we can be assured some additional funds, we'll create a 4th notebook which appears in all the rewards $50 and higher. We already have a few potential candidates.
$6,000 - We'll create a 5th notebook which will appear in the $50 rewards and higher.
$7,000 - Our 6th island will be added into the $50 reward and higher.
$9,000 - Finally, if we hit this stretch goal, we have an extra special, out of this world island free to all our notebook donors. We'll print a limited edition and send it to everyone who ordered ANY notebook for free.
What is Analog?
Risks and challenges
We have designs created for the 3 finished notebooks. The additional 3 designs are in good shape as well. We are using a 3rd party to actually print the notebooks. They might have some delays, but in the past it has never been more than an extra week to get the printing completed. They are aware and excited about the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (26 days)