The Shakespeare Collection will be a modern set of William Shakespeare's most popular work. We are publishing modern paperback editions of these classics with covers featuring contemporary art by talented London illustrator Rob Ball. At the initial funding goal, the collection will include Hamlet, arguably Shakespeare's most popular play. Each stretch goal will add one title to the collection. Help us reach the stretch goals and fund all 39 of Shakespeare's major works!
The modern design makes a bold statement when displayed prominently.
We believe that when you hold a book it's as much a part of your style as the clothes you wear.
Like our previously published books, the cover layout and design will be modern and minimalist. The books will have a trim size of 5.5x8.5 inches, which is traditional trade paperback size. The cover material will be matte card stock. The back cover text will consist of a quote from the play in enlarged, fading text.
The Hamlet cover art by Rob Ball is set in a house style that will span the entire collection. Rob's meticulous technique is maintained from his similar work on the Beautiful Death series for HBO's Game of Thrones.
Watch the video below to learn more about Rob's approach to the project.
Below you can see some of the sketches that Rob brainstormed for the front cover of Hamlet. Funding the project will allow you to share your input and ideas with Rob through Kickstarter comments as he illustrates covers for any and all funded stretch goals. We will post all sketches provided by Rob to the community as updates and backers will be able to share their feedback.
We’re very excited to share Rob’s preliminary sketches for the cover of Macbeth. As we mentioned earlier, Rob will provide a set of sketches for each cover funded through stretch goals. Each set of sketches will be posted in an update so that backers can provide feedback and help guide the direction for the final cover art.
Rob has taken your comments to heart and come up with a direction for the Macbeth cover:
"I thought two hands - male and female - holding a dagger, maybe by the blade so it's cutting into the hands - which hints at the consequences for the Macbeths. I'll also look at perhaps making it a bit less straightforward, maybe the hands are made out of stone, for example, which takes it away from being a naturalistic rendition of the idea and more into the realm of metaphor - in keeping with our original thought for the series."
"I have a particular fondness for the bottom right sketch at the moment - the central relationship is that of Othello and Iago, his duplicitous right hand man, forever whispering in his ear. The white candle represents Desdemona, who is murdered by Othello at the end of the play, after he puts the lights out in her room one by one (the final light is her life)."
The interiors will feature a clean, minimalist design. Each book in the collection will use this consistent house layout. The underlying manuscripts will be derived from the editions maintained by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
We are in talks with PlayShakespeare.com to use their texts for the interior of our books. Their editions pull from many different sources, correcting their mistakes, to compile the best possible text for each play. You can see where they source each text from here: PlayShakespeare.com text sources
You can also see why the source text matters in this response on their forum.
We want the books to reflect the historic, geographic, and cultural context of the author while also capturing our vision for modernizing the classics. To this end, we selected the Williams Caslon serif typeface designed by philosopher, author, and typographer William Berkson. Berkson meticulously revived the spirit of the typefaces produced by 17th century English typographer William Caslon and brought it into the 21st century. You can read more about the typeface and his creative decisions on this blog post. It allows for elegant and readable text appropriate for these modern editions. The layout will use cascading indents and straightforward emphasis to clearly delineate speakers and keep the eye easily focused.
Each book will feature a unique frontispiece illustrated by Rob Ball.
The layout utilizes significant white space to indicate scene headings.
For every $3,500 pledged a new title will be unlocked and made available as an option for backer rewards.
You can mix and match rewards or add them to any backer level for the prices below. Just manually adjust your pledge amount to include the desired items.
And in case you missed our last kickstarter, here is a special offer with significant savings off our Classics Collection. This special offer is available only to backers of this campaign.
Check out our list of titles in the Rock Paper Classics Collection.
The electronic versions of the books in the collection will be optimized for Kindle, Nook, iPad and most other devices. They will be produced in .epub and .mobi formats.
Thank you to everyone who supports this project and also to those who have supported us previously. If you would like to get in touch with us for any reason you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to extend a special thank you to Anna Chitashvili for appearing in our video, our videographer Josh Grabenstein, and the following additional people and organizations who helped make the video and other media possible: Matthew Hermerding, Rob Chan, Daniel Laaper, Chris Rizzo, Justin Howell, The Willard Intercontinental Hotel, Baked and Wired.
Risks and challenges
Rob and Rock Paper Books have a formal agreement in place to complete all stretch goals that are funded. However, stretch goals that are funded will require additional artwork and delivery will be adjusted to afford Rob time to do his best work. If a large number of stretch goals are funded, we will engage the community to provide the best delivery option(s) possible.
Printing and Shipping
We will be using the same printing and shipping infrastructure from our existing web shop and believe minimal risk exists in these areas. Giclée prints will be a new offering and we have identified multiple printers capable of meeting our needs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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