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A book that celebrates old and new ways of making. For kids from 1 to 100. Read more

348
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 23, 2014.

A book that celebrates old and new ways of making. For kids from 1 to 100.

About this project

In case you missed our Kickstarter campaign, sign up for pre-orders and book updates at signup.makersalphabet.com 

Look around! The time is ripe for creating. Whether you’re into 3D printing or hand lettering, the technology and tools out there are more affordable than ever. And with bajillions of online resources, hackerspaces and maker communities, it’s easy-peasy to get up and running with new projects.

Maker’s Alphabet is an illustrated book that uncovers the magic in this modern Renaissance and turns it into a whimsical world of discovery and play. Join along for 26 adventures that bring today's most unique creative arts to life!  

We're Melody and Sneha. We're makers.

We’re putting out heads together to create something bold and beautiful, and we want you to be a part of it. 

Right now, we’re design grad students at the School of Visual Arts, which means we spend most of our time tinkering. In past lives, we collectively studied animation, illustration, literature and society. We’ve had stints as a writer and strategist (Melody) and an animator and educator (Sneha). 

When all is said and done, we think being a maker is about embracing learning by doing. We want to make a book that inspires kids to do just that!  

Inside the hardcover book

From kombucha-making to coding, Maker’s Alphabet will remind all of us what it means to be a maker in 2014. 

We’re carefully crafting all aspects of the book, from big illustrations to little typography details, from thoughtful verses to playful layouts. We envision a final artifact that will shine on any shelf, coffee table or desk! 

More importantly, we’re focused on telling a story that will inspire kids of all ages to go out into the world and make. Here’s a look at some of the content and sketches we’ve explored so far.

Want to make things beep and blink? With Arduino and Breadboard, it's easier than you think!
Want to make things beep and blink? With Arduino and Breadboard, it's easier than you think!
Want to be an inventor? Make ideas come alive! Sketch them on a computer, from the 3D printer they’ll arrive.
Want to be an inventor? Make ideas come alive! Sketch them on a computer, from the 3D printer they’ll arrive.
Origami is the art of folding by hand. Turn paper into shapes that pop and expand!
Origami is the art of folding by hand. Turn paper into shapes that pop and expand!
See letters curl, twist and bend! Big Qs loop-the-loop, little Ps descend.
See letters curl, twist and bend! Big Qs loop-the-loop, little Ps descend.
Measure and drape, scissor and sew. Make garments that fit from head to toe!
Measure and drape, scissor and sew. Make garments that fit from head to toe!
Notebooks and napkins are the perfect spots to get lost in daydreams, roam around in free thoughts.
Notebooks and napkins are the perfect spots to get lost in daydreams, roam around in free thoughts.
Build trinkets in a jiffy, Contraptions in a snap! Create in 3 dimensions. Put on your thinking cap!
Build trinkets in a jiffy, Contraptions in a snap! Create in 3 dimensions. Put on your thinking cap!

The digital experience

In addition, we’re producing a companion e-book so you can have the Maker’s Alphabet on all of your reading devices. Bonus: The digital version will contain links to electronic resources for each letter, empowering makers to learn more about anything that piques their interest! 

We'll make sure our e-book provides a pleasant reading experience — especially for those digital native kiddos who could very well be tapping through the pages between trips to the playground! 

Where you come in

We're in this together! With your help, we can turn our little brainchild into something real. We hope everyone who touches our book gets a little more excited about learning by doing, a little less fearful of making mistakes, and a little more inspired to dream up the next thing they're going to make. 

As a backer, you're not only funding Maker's Alphabet. You also have the chance to make your unique mark on the final product and follow along the journey of making:

  • Vote on letter X to help us choose the right word! Free-form ideas are welcome and encouraged. 
  • Get your name credit in our book for our special patron donations.
  • Follow along our adventure of creating the book with exclusive backer updates. 

Where the funding goes

We mainly need to cover production costs – everything from purchasing fonts to shipping the finished product your way. For the hardcover book, we want to work with local printers so we can give our personal attention to detail and quality at every stage of the production cycle. As for the e-book, we want to invest in professional digital publishing tools and/or hire someone who can guide us along the way. 

More about us

With a background in animation and illustration, I'm never without a notebook for doodling! Before grad school, I was a medical animator at the Simulation and Training Environment Lab (SiTEL) at MedStar Health in Washington, D.C., where I designed and developed medical simulators, motion graphics, animations and games that help people learn and play in new ways. I also taught animation at my alma mater, The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Now as an MFA candidate at the School of Visual Arts (SVA), I'm interested in enhancing learning and development for all ages through interactivity and storytelling — Sneha

I love storytelling, design, and a good cup of coffee. And I've always dreamed of authoring a children's book! After studying literature at Columbia University, I found myself working at Facebook as writer and content strategist. For 5 years, I used language to structure and shape experiences for over a billion people around the world. Now as a grad student in design at the School of Visual Arts, my inner editor continues to mull over how to make things simpler — whether it's through visuals, interactions or words. — Melody

Risks and challenges

We’ve spent the last few months learning everything we can about producing a book. We’ve been lucky to have input from great people, including industry professionals: a children’s book designer, creative director, and digital publisher.

Typical book publishing timelines can be up to a year, but we’re working hard to accelerate the process. Here’s our plan:

1. MAKING THE BOOK 

We’ve mapped out our content and illustrations, and we’re in the process of getting feedback and continuing to iterate and flesh out the final look and feel of the book.

2. PRINTING & PUBLISHING

For the hardcover book, we plan on doing a small print run with a local printer whose quality we're really excited about. We're attending to every detail, from binding to color palette.

For the ebook, we’re working with experienced digital book designers to ensure a high-quality experience across all platforms.

3) SHIPPING
We plan on having physical rewards ready to ship to you in September 2014. We know it sucks to wait 5 months, but after all of our research we feel this is a realistic timeframe given everything that goes into book production and the quality bar we want to meet. We’re very committed to making this all happen, and will keep you posted through the process!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    7 backers

    SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: We’ll send you a collection of hi-res mobile and desktop wallpapers featuring lovable characters from the book. You'll also get exclusive backer updates and our eternal gratitude!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    82 backers

    E-BOOK: Get a digital version of the book, perfect for your tablet or phone.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    166 backers

    HARDCOVER BOOK + MAKE YOUR MARK: Get a hardcover book and the chance to vote on the letter X!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    45 backers

    HARDCOVER BOOK + PRINT: Get a hardcover book, a special print (9"x7") of your favorite letter, and a chance to vote on the letter X.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    10 backers

    DOUBLE TAKE: Get 2 hardcover books, 2 special prints (9"x7" each) of your favorite letters from the book, and a chance to vote on the letter X. Perfect for sharing with a friend!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $120 or more

    22 backers Limited (3 left of 25)

    SKETCH + NAME IN BOOK + DOUBLE TAKE: Get a hand-drawn sketch of one of the creatures in the book with a personalized note to the recipient. We'll feature your name in the book as a patron. And you'll get everything in the “Double Take” package shipped to you with love.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    3 backers Limited (12 left of 15)

    TEACHER'S SPECIAL: Get a hand-drawn sketch of one of the creatures in the book with a personalized note to the recipient. We'll also send you 10 copies each of the hardcover book and e-book, plus 5 special prints (9"x7" each) of your favorite letters from the book. Your name will be featured in the book as a patron, and you’ll have a chance to vote on the letter X. Perfect for an elementary school!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    MADE WITH LOVE: Get an adorable handmade plush doll of a critter from the book! Plus your name in the book as a patron and everything in the "Teacher's Special" package shipped to you with love.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    CORPORATE SPECIAL: Get a hand-drawn collection of critters from Maker’s Alphabet for your organization. We'll send them to you as a postcard and file, free to use as you wish. Your organization's name and logo (instead of plain text) will be featured in the book, and everything in the "Teacher's Special" package shipped to you with love.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (14 days)