About this project
In case it isn't obvious, we're obsessed with ancient life! Since we were young, we were fascinated by the animals that inhabited our planet in ages past; and, like most of you reading this page, our love of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures wasn't just a phase - it became a lifestyle! We watched all the documentaries we could, until the VHS player gave out, and our childhood heroes weren't sports figures or recording artists - they were paleontologists like Bob Bakker, Jack Horner, and Phil Currie. So, after collecting all the books, toy models, and museum gift shop shirts that two grown men can without getting strange looks, we began scouring the Internet for more. After an exhaustive search into the darkest recesses of eBay and Amazon, in 2015, we realized our calling: in our dayjobs, we worked as business consultants, guiding others on how to implement and execute on their visions - why not turn those skills inward to let us pursue our passion for prehistoric life?!
Permia was born out of our dream to make the sort of products that we'd love to collect, but never could find, and to build a brand that we knew we could hold to the highest standards - both in terms of science and art. After months of research, and the luckiest break imaginable in "drafting" paleontologist Scott Hartman as our partner in crime, we decided to pull the trigger on building the ultimate company for those of us with a zeal for ancient zoology - Permia! Now, after more than a year of hard work, we're excited to share Permia with you, and we hope you're as eager to see it grow as we are!
If you're wondering where the name "Permia" came from (assuming our logo didn't give it away!), we decided to stylize the name of one of Earth's major geologic ages - the Permian - to make it something memborable and apropos of our brand. The Permian was host to a remarkable abundance of life, perhaps the most famous of which was Dimetrodon (hence, if we do say so ourselves, our adorable logo!). For those paleontology buffs reading through our Kickstarter title and shaking your head at the word "dinosaur," you're 100% right - Dimetrodon certainly wasn't a dinosaur - it was a stem-mammal with a fascinating pre-dinosaur lineage.
Our mascot, whom we've nicknamed "Dimitri," as well as our actual Dimetrodon art, are based upon a brand-new reconstruction that Scott Hartman expertly crafted for us, using all the most recent anatomical data from peer-reviewed scientific literature. Unlike traditional depictions, our Dimetrodon carries itself with an upright gait, and its spines protrude above the webbing in its distinctive sail.
One of the most difficult decisions we faced when launching Permia was choosing which creatures we'd flesh out first! While we love the big names, like Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops, we really wanted to get creative and bring to life some prehistoric animals that, while less well known, are equally captivating! So, without further ado, here is our "starting lineup:"
After almost a year in the making, we're thrilled to present what we hope will become your new favorite piece of wearable art - our Permia Fossil Fusion T-Shirts! Why "Fossil Fusion?" Well, it's because we've combined into one garment the two essential elements that comprise each of our prehistoric animals: their skeletal (on the back of the shirt) and their matching, full-color life restoration (on the front)!
We didn't settle for just any shirt, though! We've selected the softest fabric blend we could find (a unique poly-cotton), and ensured that the color of the shirt perfectly complements the hues of the creature it showcases. Also, rather than going for the all-too-common boxy cut you'd find at most museum gift shops, we've chosen a fit that's much truer to size, making sure that both you and the artwork you're wearing look their best! We decided to go completely tagless, making our Fossil Fusion shirts as cozy as possible. Oh, and they're Made in the USA, to boot!
We weren't satisfied merely with crafting the perfect t-shirt - we knew we could do better. So, we designed a package for our Fossil Fusion tees that's every bit as exciting as the shirts, themselves! Each Fossil Fusion tee comes wrapped in our Permia-branded white tissue paper, sealed with a bright orange "Dimitri" sticker. In addition, each shirt comes with its own Mini X-Ray card (learn about our X-Ray cards below!) of the animal featured on the tee. Then, all of that is sealed in our signature collectible Permia box.
What could be so special about a box?! Humbly, we'd have to say - everything! We designed our boxes with attention to every detail, from their soft-touch coating, to their vibrant colors. Then, we took them even further by embedding our proprietary X-Ray effect into the base of the box! So, when the light hits it just right, you can see the skeletons of our animals emerge from their silhouettes!
After seeing him for the first time, and instantly falling in love with his orange-sailed splendor, we realized that Dimitri deserved his own special home! So, we decided to create a one-of-a-kind Permia t-shirt just for him! The "Dimitri" tee uses the same supple fabric blend as our standard shirts, but it comes in pure white, showcasing his colors as vibrantly as we could. Of course, as with all of our shirts, his is tagless and fits true-to-size.
We knew the mainstay of our business was going to be clothing, but we also realized that our artwork was collectible in its own right. While printed paleoart can be stunning, we think it's safe to say that there's only so much you can "do" with a painting, no matter how beautiful. So, we wracked our brains, trying to come up with a novel way to allow you to truly interact with our art, rather than just having it sit there on a flat sheet. Finally, after weeks of experimentation, we had a eureka moment: why not merge the two main elements of all of our creatures - the skeletals and life restorations - into something three-dimensional and touchable! That's how our X-Ray cards were born!
Our first step is to reproduce our full-color artwork, in all its detail, on soft-to-the-touch 5"x7" cards. Then comes the really exciting part: on top of that colored print, we fuse a transparent, 3D layer of gloss, following the contours of the animal's skeleton! The effect is incredible - depending upon how the light hits the card, you might only see the fleshed-out animal; but, when tilted or shown in a different light, you see all the bones on top! Even more amazing is the fact that if you run your fingers over the card, you actually can feel the ridges of the skeleton!
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words; and, in this case, we think an animation is worth a thousand pictures! So, by that logic, here's a video that's worth a million words!
We wanted our X-Ray cards to be informative, too. To achieve that goal, we've taken the back of our cards and turned them into fact-filled snapshots of data about the creature on the front. Featuring details like its length, weight, diet, range, and age, our X-Ray cards have become the perfect combination of art and science, without compromising on either!
We might have gotten carried away on this one; but, when Diana (our graphics guru) proposed the idea for environmental canvases of our art, we couldn't resist! We've taken each of our creatures and immersed them in their prehistoric natural habitats - or what we've come to term "Paleoscapes." Combining Scott's scientific input with Diana's creative flair, we're really excited to share these breathtaking and massive (~24"x36") works of art with you!
Since our process is so integral to our products, we thought you'd enjoy a "behind-the-scenes" look into how we craft our creatures and translate them into their finished forms!
We start by conducting rigorous research into each animal, poring through academic literature, and sometimes even studying their fossils directly. Eventually, we develop a skeletal reconstruction of our creature in a dynamic, yet wholly plausible pose. Next, we find an inspiration for the color of our animal, derived from a modern-day species. Then, we set to work fleshing out a life restoration by building upon our skeletal, while integrating knowledge of the creature's musculature and tissue structure. Once this process is complete, we translate both the skeletal and the life restoration into finely tuned and carefully stylized vector forms - preserving detail while permitting almost infinite flexibility of scale. Lastly, we superimpose the vectorized form of the skeletal on the vectorized life restoration to ensure perfect alignment, enabling us to achieve our trademark Fusion and X-Ray effects!
We hope you're as enthusiastic about Permia as we are! While we've made a lot of progress over the past year, our quest to grow Permia into the ultimate prehistoric clothing and collectibles brand is just getting started! Here's why we decided to launch this Kickstarter campaign, and what your support will help us achieve:
As you've seen, our creature artwork is highly intricate and extremely colorful, and we want to keep it that way! On a computer/phone screen like the one you're viewing this on, that's rather easy to render; but, when it comes to inking on t-shirts or printing on cards, we've learned the hard way that there's a lot of trial and error involved. On average, it costs us over $1,000 just to run through the proofing cycles for one t-shirt design - and that's assuming we're pretty close on the first try. Multiply that by just our six current animals, and you can see how costs add up quickly!
Additionally, since we never want to sacrifice the science behind our products, we invest heavily in all of the academic research we do for each animal. After the research is done, we then spend the time on perfecting each step in our artistic process, often amounting to months and many thousands of dollars per animal.
Right now, we're "secretly" working on our seventh creature - a Stegosaurus! What makes him special is that he's the first rigorous reconstruction of a Stegosaurus to be based upon the remarkably complete British Museum of Natural History specimen! That specimen has upended much of what we previously thought about Stegosaurus anatomy, including its neck length, plate configuration, and even the articulation of its thagomizer. Helping us achieve our Kickstarter goal will permit us to bring our Stegosaurus to life on our shirts, cards, and canvases, so that you can enjoy this brand new understanding of such an iconic dinosaur!
With your help, we'd love to add new creatures and new clothing options to Permia! To whet your appetite, we wanted to share the list of prehistoric animals we're hoping to create if we're lucky enough to exceed our $10,000 Kickstarter funding goal:
Akmonistion zangerli - the anvil-finned Carboniferous shark! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akmonistion)
Anzu wyliei - the imposing, feathered oviraptorosaur! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzu_(dinosaur))
Diplocaulus magnicornis - the boomerang-headed amphibian! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplocaulus)
Euoplocephalus tutus - the club-tailed, walking tank! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euoplocephalus)
Ophthalmosaurus icenicus - the "all-seeing" ichthyosaur! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophthalmosaurus)
Parasaurolophus walkeri - the sonorous hadrosaur! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasaurolophus)
Saurosuchus galilei - the crocodile-like terror of the Triassic! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saurosuchus)
Tupandactylus imperator - the exquisitely crested pterosaur! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupandactylus)
Uintatherium insperatus - the fanged herbivore of nightmares! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uintatherium)
If we reach $12,500, we'll send out a survey at the end of our campaign to all of our Kickstarter backers, asking you to rank your favorites. The top pick will become our next Permia creation!
With even more support, we're hoping to expand the Permia line to include zippered hoodies and crewneck sweatshirts! Details coming soon ...!
We're Michael and Manuel Fleischmann - siblings who grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan, and who share a passion for all things prehistoric! We've been fortunate to work together for nearly a decade now, and Permia undoubtedly has been the most exciting and gratifying project we've ever undertaken. We were elated when Scott Hartman, the world-reknowned paleontologist, signed on to be Permia's chief scientific consultant and paleoartist. His expertise and guidance have been invaluable to our efforts. Little did we know that shortly after Scott joined our efforts, we'd also be so lucky as to retain the talents of Diana Hlevnjak, an award-winning artist whose unique style of vector-driven graphics has made the Permia brand what it is today. We are extremely grateful to both of them for all of their exceptional work.
Risks and challenges
While we'd hope to deliver on our promises to you without any hiccups along the way, we'd be fooling ourselves if we didn't at least take note of the potential challenges we'll face. We already know that reproducing the full gamut of our creature colors on t-shirts can be quite a task, prone to many iterations of trial and error. Also, since we'd like to keep our products "Made in the USA," we realize that cost and sourcing can be an obstacle. Additionally, if we're lucky enough to exceed our Kickstarter funding goals, timely fulfillment could become a challenge - in essence, our success could leave us scrambling to produce enough inventory within a reasonable timeframe. Lastly, as we learned in no uncertain terms this year, weather can be a hugely significant factor in our ability to plan. When Hurricane Matthew hit Florida, both our box manufacturer, as well as one of our garment producers were impacted. Of course, there's no way to predict such events, and the good news is that all of our partners remained safe - it's simply a reality that may rear its head without warning or immediate recourse.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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