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.
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.
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!
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