We're taking our modern, eco-friendly greeting cards to the National Stationery Show in New York City in May!
Who we are...
We are MAN vs. GEORGE DESIGN, a husband-wife graphic design team based in Milwaukee. We make fun & modern greeting cards and art prints, all printed on premium quality 100% recycled paper sourced from American mills.
Our cards have eye-catching designs with a flip-side surprise ... our images wrap around from front to back for twice the color and twice the fun! Our design philosophy is based on a zero tolerance policy for glitter and cheesy poetry.
This project is all about supporting the launch of our full line of greeting cards and art prints at the National Stationery Show in New York City in May 2012. With your help, our collection will make a big impression at this important event!
Before we get into the details of our project, we want to share two of our latest designs so you can get a sense for our style...
What we are up to...
While we are new to the National Stationery Show, we are not new to the business of making and selling cards. Buoyed by the success of our first 2 years of selling online (1300 Etsy sales, 35 independent retail accounts, and over 200 card designs), we are ready to take our designs to a larger stage: The National Stationery Show in New York City this May!
This show will be a key platform to expand the reach of our collection... by signing new retail accounts, and building a team of independent sales reps who will take our greeting cards and prints to the far corners of the world.
We've paid for a booth space at the show (not cheap!), and booked our plane tickets and hotel room (ditto) ... we've covered those basics, but we are seeking your help to fund the printing costs that will make our collection of cards and art prints buyer-ready for the show.
About our project (this is where you come in)...
We are seeking $4000 in funding to print an unforgettable wholesale catalog and print 4 full sets of our entire collection of greeting cards and art prints to showcase at the show.
We plan to print our catalogs on the same 100% recycled, FSC certified paper that we use for our cards, and it ain't cheap.
But that's exactly the point -- it is high-quality paper and printing that make our cards look so special ... like they were screen-printed by hand. At the same time, because they're not hand screened, we are able to sell our cards for a price that doesn't make people gasp in horror. (It's a win-win!) We want our catalog to look just as yummy as our cards, so it can represent us well.
Funding will also go towards the professional printing of our entire line of cards and prints to display at the show. We will have one set on the walls of our booth, and the other sets will be packaged as "decks" that buyers can flip through in order to place their orders.
We need your support to make this happen. Kickstarter works on an all-or-nothing funding basis. Simply put, if we don't raise our entire $4000 campaign goal within 30 days, we do not receive a single dime in funding. Here's how you can help:
- Make a pledge: If you are moved to pledge your financial support for our project, thank you so much!
- Other ways to help: We need your help to spread the word of our project. Do you know someone with a soft spot for modern design, fabulous greeting cards, environmentally conscious businesses, and/or plucky Midwestern husband-wife entrepreneurs? Know a blogger or magazine editor who you think would like our style? Send them the link to our Kickstarter campaign!
With your help ... both in terms of pledges and sharing the news of our campaign ... we can reach or possibly even exceed our fundraising goal.
By the way, if our project receives more than $4000 in pledges, we get to keep the extra money. What will we do with it? Why, pay for the rest of our National Stationery Show debut expenses, of course! (We didn't want to scare you by setting a campaign goal equal to our true out-of-pocket total for this effort -- which will end up costing us around $10-12K all told. EEK! It's a substantial sum ... but it's a necessary step if we want our business to grow.)
Why we are doing this...
Our company was born out of the notion that you shouldn't have to pay an arm and a leg for a decent-looking greeting card. Your choices shouldn't be limited to $8 cards on hand-crafted paper that was milled by blind monks in the Apennines ... $4 glitter-encrusted monstrosities with sappy rhyming couplets from the big box stores ... or generic $0.99 mass-produced imports printed on crappy paper. Our mission? Create visually striking, fun, modern, and affordable greeting cards that use eco-friendly paper that feels as good as it looks. We are ready to take our show on the road and share our distinctive designs with retailers from all over the world ... and we're using the 2012 National Stationery Show as our springboard.
We are very excited about the show! In fact, five of our cards ... including our Color-By-Number Hippo birthday card, shown below ... have landed us a finalist spot in the Rising Star category of the prestigious LOUIE Awards competition, put on by the Greeting Card Association. We'll find out on May 20 (the first night of the show) if we are the lucky winner ... but in the meantime, take a look at our hippo and wish us luck!
[Update 4/29] We also just learned that seven of our designs (5 cards and 2 prints) have been named finalists in the National Stationery Show's Best New Product competition! Winners will be named on the first day of the show. Read all about it and see our nominated designs here.
And what about George? Who is that cat, and will she be at the show?
To answer the number one most frequently asked question about our business, George was our lady cat ... our inspiration and our nemesis ... named after our favorite member of The Beatles (we picked out the name before we picked out the cat). She would love to join us in NYC, but alas, she has retired to Michigan, and besides ... no cats are allowed on the floor at the National Stationery Show. :-)
George performing a quality inspection of our paper trimmings:
Thanks for your support!
We love the way social media tools make it possible to connect with friends and strangers like never before ... and what a great job Kickstarter does of bringing together people who value creative enterprises! But we're still suckers for good old-fashioned mail. There's nothing like opening up a brightly colored envelope ... pulling out a beautifully designed card that's printed on luxe-feeling paper ... and seeing real handwriting on the inside.
That's why we started this business ... to be a small part of someone's big moment. We love thinking about all the places our cards have been sent in the last two years ... and all the places they'll go in the years to come, with your help.
We've lined up a fun collection of backer rewards (check out the column on the right), and we really hope you will support the growth of our creative venture. Thank you for reading about our story. We've endured a lot of paper cuts to get this far ... and we're looking forward to even more of them in the future!
Let's stay in touch...
If I pledge at the $100 level and specifically request bad poetry and/or glitter on my card, will you do that for me?
EXCELLENT QUESTION from Dave in California! After a quick consultation among the managing partners of MAN vs. GEORGE DESIGN, we agree that special circumstances (such as rewarding our Kickstarter backers to the fullest extent possible) may indeed necessitate that we bend our ban on glitter and bad poetry. After all, we did say "Your Idea on a Card"... But if our $100 backers do indeed want those things on their custom-designed card, we may just send along a glue-stick, a packet of glitter, and a baggie full of individual words (comprising various parts of speech, some of which may rhyme) for you to affix to the card on your own.
Kickstarter is a website designed to help raise financing for creative projects and employs a unique all-or-nothing fundraising method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.
For more info, click here: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter%20basics#WhatIsKick
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
VIRTUAL HIGH FIVE from George the Lady Cat, our mascot & quality control director. (And since it's virtual, no worries about allergies or scratching!)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
LIMITED EDITION MINI-PRINT (5.5" x 4.25") designed especially for Kickstarter backers. Printed on 100% recycled paper, because that's how George rolls.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
PICK A CARD, ANY CARD + the limited edition mini-print. You get to select any greeting card from our catalog.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $12 or moreYou selected
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You get the same goodies as the $10 level, with an extra $2 added to help cover additional international shipping costs.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
LIMITED EDITION FULL-SIZE ART PRINT (8" x 10") designed especially for Kickstarter backers + one of our greeting cards (your choice of designs). The print will be hand numbered and signed on the back by the designer.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $30 or moreYou selected
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You get the same goodies as the $25 level, with an extra $5 added to help cover additional international shipping costs.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
10-CARD "BE PREPARED" PACK (a variety of our favorite greeting card designs) + the full-size limited edition print. Our Be Prepared packs have you covered for birthdays, baby showers, weddings, and many other occasions. They are designed to help the world avoid those last-minute trips to the drug store greeting card aisle on the way to the party...Estimated delivery:
Pledge $55 or moreYou selected
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You get the same goodies as the $50 level, with an extra $5 included to help cover additional international shipping costs.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
YOUR IDEA ON A CARD -- A custom greeting card designed just for you. Tell us what you want to see and we'll make it happen, and send you a set of 24 of the cards! Want to see a unicorn and an earthworm riding a Vespa, perhaps with a double rainbow on the horizon? We can totally make that for you. PLUS the full-size limited edition print!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $110 or moreYou selected
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You get the same package as the $100 level, with an extra $10 baked in to help cover additional international shipping costs.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
OUR DELUXE PERSONALIZED HOLIDAY CARD SET (80 cards + envelopes): Pick any of our holiday card designs & we'll print your message on the inside, along with your return address on the back flap of the envelopes. PLUS the full-size limited edition print!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $210 or moreYou selected
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You'll get the same goodies as the $200 reward, with an extra $10 baked in to help cover additional international shipping costs.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
ALL OF THE ABOVE...PLUS a dozen George-shaped cookies baked especially for you by Mrs. MAN vs. GEORGE. That's right: George-shaped cookies!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $520 or moreYou selected
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You'll get the same goodies as the $500 reward, with an extra $20 baked in to help cover additional international shipping costs. You don't want those George-shaped cookies getting stale, do you? :-)Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)