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Bold, graphic interpretations of Poe, Frost, Whitman, Eliot, Dickinson, Keats, Thoreau & Teasdale.
Bold, graphic interpretations of Poe, Frost, Whitman, Eliot, Dickinson, Keats, Thoreau & Teasdale.
606 backers pledged $37,270 to help bring this project to life.
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8 Classics Visually Reimagined

$37,270

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THE FINAL HOURS & A QUICK UPDATE: CALENDARS FOR ALL $30+ BACKERS!

As a token of our appreciation for your support, all backers at the $30 pledge level or above will receive our 2020 mini desk calendar as well as the Kickstarter exclusive paper goods pack (two 5x7 art prints and three bookmarks). Details and photos in the rewards section below. 

In addition, we decided to reopen our early bird pricing due to recent press that mentioned it, so you can still snag all 8 books for the price of 7. 

8 CLASSICS VISUALLY REIMAGINED 

We’re publishing the first 8 in a new series of stylishly designed pocket editions of iconic literary works. Each book is illustrated by Evan Robertson, the founder and artist behind Obvious State. Thematic art, elegant typography, and exquisite language from some of our greatest minds combine for a unique, immersive reading experience that illuminates the wisdom and aesthetic beauty of beloved, enduring works. Our hope is to create beautiful, portable art objects to collect and share, and to inspire moments of quiet reflection in a hyper connected world. 

We piloted the first five books via a very short run and were overwhelmed with positive feedback. Now, we need your help to get to work on the next three and do a large run of all 8. The first six books will be available in November 2019 in plenty of time for holiday delivery. 

THE BOOKS 

  •  The Love Song of J Afred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot 
  •  Song of Myself by Walt Whitman
  •  The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
  •  Where I Lived, and What I Lived For by Henry David Thoreau
  •  A November Night by Sara Teasdale
  •  Miles to Go, Collected poems by Robert Frost 
  •  Hope is the Thing Collected poems by Emily Dickinson 
  •  Beauty is Truth, Collected poems by John Keats 

ABOUT THE ART 

"How can artwork live on the page with poetic text in a way that enhances it without upstaging it or undermining its ability to communicate? That was my main priority, and it informed everything about the visual approach. The stark palette, the repetition of visual elements, and the balance of art and text all serve to drive the narrative forward. While there’s no “correct” way to visualize these works, I’ve chosen to focus on the broader themes rather than the literal narration of action. I wanted to create a seamless marriage of provocative visuals and punctuated language, both exploring the same idea in slightly different ways. The result, I hope, creates a uniquely illuminating and immersive experience for the reader, where the wisdom that the author and artist explore together are brought into sharper focus." - Evan Robertson

ABOUT THE FONT & TYPOGRAPHY 

For this project, our art director, Marisa Rivera selected Ogg—a luscious calligraphic serif typeface designed by Lucas Sharp. The design was inspired by the iconic hand lettering of twentieth century book designer and calligrapher Oscar Ogg. It captures the unique mix of calligraphic and typographic forms he achieved through his use of hand carved pen nibs. While Ogg is high contrast and dramatic, it remains refined and warm, which we think pairs perfectly with the art. 

ABOUT THE FORMAT 

When considering the format of our collection one thing was important to us: The experience. We envision readers of the books treating them as a 20 minute respite in the middle of the day, a mental break over coffee, a thought starter in the morning, or something beautiful (and analog!) before sleep. In short: A provocative little art object packed with wisdom and beauty. 

THE SPECS

  • Softcover printed on lush, uncoated paper
  • Premium, uncoated interior paper that takes ink beautifully and showcases the high contrast, rich blacks
  • Full color interior pages 
  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 6 inches
  • Page count ranges from 78-96  

LET US GO THEN

What is it: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock  by T. S. Eliot.

Fun Fact: It was Eliot's first published piece, and he was only 22.

What makes it awesome: A stream of consciousness monologue inside the head of a tortured, self-loathing cosmopolitan that manages to be sublimely beautiful.

Why read it: It’s a cautionary tale against inaction and a warning about the ways in which modern life isolates us and leads us to disillusionment. Bonus: you'll impress your friends with your Dante references. 


Book 2: Song of Myself 

What is it: Song of Myself by Walt Whitman from the book Leaves of Grass.

Fun Fact: Leaves of Grass was a play on words: Leaves were the pages of a book in printer parlance, and grass was something of little value. Hence, Pages of Crap. Strongly disagree, Walt!

What makes it awesome: Song of Myself is about one person and about everything. It begins with the poet, then reaches outward, expanding to every living thing and beyond, in line after line of seemingly spontaneous and endless inspiration. It’s like watching a religion with no church, book or dogma materialize, spun out of nothing but sublime language. Yeah, it’s that good.

Why Read it:  It’s like taking a walk with Walt at your side, his “left hand hooking you round the waist,” as he shows you revelation after revelation. Also there’s nudity. 

NEVERMORE  

What is it: The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.

Fun Fact: Poe originally sold this poem for $9 to The American Review. Quite the bargain! 

What Makes it Awesome: The brilliant linguistic acrobatics required by the relentless meter and rhyme scheme.

Why Read it: Is the raven a demon, a prophet, or just a talking bird? We see it as a kind of Rorschach test for the narrator, and the poem as a psychological thriller with only one character!

TO LIVE DELIBERATELY

What is it: Where I Lived, and What I Lived for by Henry David Thoreau. From his book Walden.

Fun Fact: Thoreau was minimalist before minimalism was cool. Take that, Marie Kondo!

What makes it awesome:  Thoreau expertly wrestles with the big questions through the lens of small, quotidian moments. 

Why Read it: This is an essay about radical unplugging. In the face of our modern technological existence, his experiment in essentialism feels more timely than ever.

WE TWO ALONE

What is it: A November Night by Sara Teasdale.

Fun Fact: Teasdale won the very first Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Not the first woman writer to win it, the first writer to win it. Go girl! 

What Makes it Awesome: Most writers will tell you that the central element of all good story telling is conflict. But rules were meant to be broken. A gorgeous, uncomplicated celebration of the act of falling in love, this poem effortlessly pulls off the impossible.

Why Read it:  It’s filled with magic and rich details that ring true and save if from sentimentality. 

Book 6: Miles to Go 

What is it:  A collection of poems by Robert Frost in a unified narrative.

Fun Fact: Frost dropped out of college...twice! Dartmouth and Harvard.

What Makes it Awesome: Frost is a wonderfully subtle writer. His language is intentionally as stripped down and simple as possible, and it's easy to underestimate him. He's complex, ironic, and that makes his work well suited to expanding on visually. We'll be sharing some preliminary artwork during the campaign, and as we approach our print deadline.

Approximate Print Date:  October 30, 2019. 

Book 7: Hope is the Thing

What is it:  A collection of poems by Emily Dickinson in a unified narrative.

Fun Fact: Dickinson had a very green thumb. She tended to flowers, vegetables and trees on the property and in her private greenhouse.

What Makes it Awesome: Emily Dickinson is often referred to as the Mother of American poetry, and she deserves the title. Like Frost, it's easy to miss some of the wonderful subtleties in her work when the meter carries you away. We can't wait to begin this volume and add her to the collection.

Approximate Print Date:  December 30, 2019. 

Book 8: Beauty is Truth

What is it:  A collection of poems by John Keats in a unified narrative.

Fun Fact: After being published, he burned all of his older poems.

What Makes it Awesome: John Keats is the James Dean of poetry. He was romantic, brilliant, and died tragically young. Despite only publishing 54 poems, he is widely recognized as one of the greats of all time. 

Approximate Print Date:  February 15, 2019. 

To make receiving your rewards super easy, we'll be sending you a gift certificate redeemable at www.obviousstate.com. That way, you can either purchase the first six books in time for holiday gifts or wait until early 2020 to purchase all 8 titles at once. The gift certificate provides flexibility and makes it easy to change your mind (or your address!). We've fulfilled two previous Kickstarter campaigns and we think this will make it MUCH easier for our backers. 

In addition, US shipping on our site is always free over $50. So all reward levels over the $50 amount will ship for free. 

NOTE: If funded, the first 6 titles will be available in November 2019. Books 7 and 8 release in January and March 2020.  

 REWARD LEVELS  

$10 — One Book: Any book of your choice. Shipping fees apply.

$30 — Three books & Kickstarter exclusive paper goods pack: Choose any three books from the collection plus two 5x7 art prints and 3 bookmarks. 

$70 — EARLY BIRD: Eight books & Kickstarter exclusive paper goods pack: Receive all eight books from the collection for the price of seven, plus two 5x7 art prints and 3 bookmarks. Free domestic shipping.

$80 — Eight books & Kickstarter exclusive paper goods pack: Receive all eight books from the collection plus two 5x7 art prints and 3 bookmarks. Free domestic shipping.

$95 Eight Books, An 11x14 Art Print or Tote & Kickstarter exclusive paper goods pack. All 8 titles and an 11x14 art print or tote of your choice + the Kickstarter exclusive paper good pack (two 5x7 art prints and 3 bookmarks). Free domestic shipping. 

$145 — Sixteen Books + Kickstarter exclusive paper goods pack: Get a set, gift a set and save, plus two 5x7 art prints and 3 bookmarks. Free domestic shipping. 

$500— Associate Publisher: Become a big part of our publishing initiative! Help us make this collection a reality, and we'll give you an associate publisher credit in every one of the books in this project. You will also a receive a set of eight books, the Kickstarter exclusive paper goods pack (two 5x7 art prints and 3 bookmarks) and a large art print or tote of your choice. Free domestic shipping. 

KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE PAPER GOODS PACK 

As a special thank you to our backers, all reward levels over $30 will receive a Kickstarter exclusive paper goods pack. Items included are: 

  • 5x7 John Keats print 
  • 5x7 Robert Frost print 
  • 3 bookmarks: Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman & John Keats  

SAMPLE TOTES (YOU CAN CHOOSE ANY ON OUR SITE) 

SAMPLE ART PRINTS (YOU CAN CHOOSE ANY ON OUR SITE)

 CELEBRATING 30K WITH A CALENDAR! 

30K REACHED! 2020 CALENDARS FOR ALL BACKERS AT THE $30+ LEVEL 

Thanks to our backer community, we reached 30K (which was a secondary print volume threshold for us). As a token of our appreciation, all backers at the $30+ pledge level will receive our 2020 desk calendar. The calendars are loose (not bound) so that the art may be clipped and framed, shared, used for inspiration boards, etc.  Each is 4x6 and also makes a great gift! 

The calendar includes our Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Montgomery, Bronte, Keats, Khayyam, Hemingway, Woolf, Thoreau, Frost and Kierkegaard illustrations. 

OCT 22 Campaign closes

OCT 30 - Books 1 through 6 GO TO PRINT

NOV 29 Books 1 through 6  READY TO SHIP

DEC 30 Book 7 - HOPE IS THE THING (Emily Dickinson) - GOES TO PRINT

JAN 15 Book 7 - HOPE IS THE THING (Emily Dickinson) - READY TO SHIP

FEB 15 Book 8 - BEAUTY IS TRUTH (John Keats) - GOES TO PRINT

MAR 1 Book 8 - BEAUTY IS TRUTH (John Keats) - READY TO SHIP

Obvious State is a creative studio and independent press founded by husband and wife team Nichole and Evan Robertson in 2011.  This is our third Kickstarter campaign. Thanks to the generous support and enthusiam of our wonderful backers, we successfully funded our previous campaigns.

       Our studio's work is inspired by provocative language that has stood the test of time, poetry that captures the complexity of the human experience, and philosophy that drives us to examine and re-examine.

Our work is carried in bookstores and boutiques worldwide as well as online at www.obviousstate.com. In addition to our own goods and projects, we are thrilled to work with wonderful partners and clients including Penguin Random House, Chronicle Books, Vintage Books, Doubleday, Juniper Books, Andrews McMeel and more.

We post daily on Instagram and love connecting with our community daily. You can follow us here

Risks and challenges

We have eight years of experience producing and shipping products. This is our third Kickstarter and we've already done pilot runs of five of the titles in this project. We are working with a trusted printing partner here in the United States, and have carefully worked out all of the parameters on the project. All that we need now is for you to help us make this project a huge success so that we can get down to the business of making the most amazing books we can for you. Thank you so much for your interest and support!

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    BOOK COLLECTOR: All Eight Books

    All 8 titles + a Kickstarter exclusive paper good pack (two 5x7 art prints and 3 bookmarks). You'll receive a gift certificate in your pledge amount redeemable at obviousstate.com. Note: The first 6 titles will be available in November 2019. Books 7 and 8 release in early 2020.

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    COLLECTOR PLUS: 8 Books + Print or Tote

    All 8 titles and an 11x14 art print or tote of your choice + the Kickstarter exclusive paper good pack (two 5x7 art prints and 3 bookmarks). You'll receive a gift certificate in your pledge amount redeemable at obviousstate.com. Note: The first 6 titles will be available in November 2019. Books 7 and 8 release in early 2020.

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    Get a set and gift a set + a Kickstarter exclusive paper good pack (two 5x7 art prints and 3 bookmarks). You'll receive a gift certificate in your pledge amount redeemable at obviousstate.com. Note: If funded, the first six titles will be available in November 2019. Books 7 and 8 will release in January and March of 2020.

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    Become a big part of our publishing initiative! Help us make this collection a reality, and we'll give you an associate publisher credit in each book in the collection. You will also receive a set of eight books, the Kickstarter exclusive paper goods pack (two 5x7 art prints and 3 bookmarks), and your choice of an art print or tote.

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    All 8 titles + a Kickstarter exclusive paper good pack (two 5x7 art prints and 3 bookmarks). You'll receive a gift certificate in your pledge amount redeemable at obviousstate.com. Note: The first 6 titles will be available in November 2019. Books 7 and 8 release in early 2020.

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- (28 days)