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SOFA is a digital magazine for the iPad that tells compelling stories about people from all over the world.

details from the print prototype
details from the print prototype

A bike trip around the world, New Year's Eve in Bangladesh and hitchhiking from Germany to Istanbul: SOFA is about capturing inspiring experiences through storytelling, in a digital format. It's a magazine about and for people who want to see the world from a new perspective, to get a deep understanding about other cultures. We draw our inspiration from Couchsurfing, a social network that helps travelers meet locals, have real conversations and make friends for life - all for free. 

print prototype of the magazine
print prototype of the magazine



We already created a print prototype and are excited to bring it to life on the iPad, to create high quality image-rich content that explains, explores, and entertains. We'll also produce a pdf for those of you with e-readers.

first layouts for the iPad
first layouts for the iPad

SOFA has 4 main topics: couch-surfing, travel, cultural exchange and lifestyle. Couch-surfing articles focus on the community. One might be about how to be a great surfer, for example. Travel and cultural exchange are about sharing experiences from other places and people. These might include an article about living in Bangkok or surfers comparing the stereotypical German facial expression. Lifestyle delves into the pleasures and challenges of being on the road - recipes for exotic cuisine are in order here.

illustrations from the print prototype
illustrations from the print prototype

We create, edit and curate original stories, photography, art and interviews, collaborating with people we know from all over the world. The magazine is based in Munich, but we’ll produce it in English, in order to reach the most readers.

How are you going to do that?
We’re designing the magazine for the iPad, so we can include beautiful photos, video, illustrations, animations, interactive maps and information.
The first collection will be funded by this Kickstarter campaign, which will
allow us to build a structure for the magazine and establish a fan base with
all of you lovely people. If all goes well, the magazine will continue monthly afterwards, funded by sales and support from ethical, travel-friendly and relevant companies.

Who are you anyway?
The team is made up of of 3 designers; Jessy Schmitt, Rachel Simpson, and Sophie Wopperer. We’re all avid couchsurfers and experienced travelers, and we love to host visitors from all over the world. We’re based in Munich, Germany, in case you’d like to visit.

Sophie, Jessy & Rachel on a SOFA
Sophie, Jessy & Rachel on a SOFA

Jessy is an experienced communication designer and art director with a passion for photography. She has hosted over 100 couchsurfers and is the project founder. Rachel is an interaction designer and self professed nerd, with an obsession for all things tech, usability and motion. Sophie is a designer specializing in illustration and handmade collage images. She’s also bubbly as all-get-out. That’s us!

What will you do with my money?
We’re asking for funding for the production of the first digital issue of the magazine, which includes creating more content, curating the stories, photographs, art and interviews from others, designing the layouts and interactions, and building the digital product. It will also help us cover hard costs, like software, development, and fonts. We’ll use this first issue to establish a reader base that will let us continue publishing regular collections.

SOFA wallpaper for your iPad!
SOFA wallpaper for your iPad!

What's in it for me?
We’ve put together a selection of fabulous rewards for our backers, including handmade and digital rewards and special content from us, the project creators! Take a glance to the right for more details on all our rewards!

What if I don't have an iPad? 
We want everyone to have access to SOFA, so we're more than happy to send you a pdf of the full content, as well as a slimmed-down version for e-readers. We'll ask you in the survey about this, so we can make sure you get the ideal version(s)!

When can I have it?
We plan to release the first issue at the beginning of 2013!

More Questions? 
We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to get in touch with us at hello@sofazine.com, in either English or German.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Once we successfully (fingers crossed!) complete the Kickstarter campaign, the process of creating and delivering SOFA will begin. We're really excited to get the first issue into your hands, so we've carefully considered each step of the process in order to avoid any hiccups.

1. Delivering Rewards:
While not actually part of the process, we know that delivering your rewards will take a significant amount of time and care. In order to ensure that we can deliver on time and on budget, we've prepared a careful plan that takes into account the creation of the rewards, costs, time required, materials, small-scale manufacturing, and of course the shipping. We're confident that everyone will have their rewards in-hand when the time comes.

2. Design:
SOFA is a magazine for the iPad that we collect visual and written content for. Then we design layouts in iBooks Author with input from the areas of communication and interaction design. We've gone ahead and made a number of working mockups (which you saw in the video) to make sure that we know the ins and outs of producing a design with this software for the iPad platform. We're just itching for our chance to complete and send out the full product.

3. Launching SOFA through the iBooks Store:
Once the product is complete, we'll need to work with the iBooks store to get it into your hands. We've already created an account and thoroughly researched the process, and we're confident that the hoops we need to jump through (things like creating an ISBN for the book) won't create delays for the project.

4. Future Issues of SOFA:
After the first issue, which we'll produce with the funding from this Kickstarter campaign, we'd like to continue producing future issues. Delivering fresh, new content on a regular basis will be the goal- and will include refining content sent to us by wonderful couchsufers worldwide, as well as collecting and creating our own original content. To address this, we've developed a strong network of contributors over the past couple years, including writers, photographers, artists, designers, and other creative people. We're also always reaching out to new contributors- so if you know someone who has a story to tell, then please be in touch!

5. Long-term profitability:
In order to continue producing SOFA long-term, we'll need to find a way to pay ourselves a living wage. Our strategy includes selling future copies of the magazine to you lovely folks, and finding amazing sponsors whose products we believe in who we can create mutually beneficial relationships with. In order to keep growing our audience, we're completely dedicated to delivering you the most intriguing, enlightening and authentic travel perspectives from around the world. If you have any feedback, companies you think we should support, suggestions, or ideas, we're always thrilled to hear from you! You can reach us at hello@sofazine.com, in both English and German.

FAQ

  • We're really interested in taking advantage of the interactive capabilities of the iPad to create rich multi-media content around our stories. This means we'll be including (on top of really amazing stories and photos, which are the core of the project) video, audio, and interactive pieces as well. What we're using to build SOFA is called iBooks Author, which allows us to achieve the level of interactive app for a device, while not needing to code an app (which would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming.) That means we get to spend all of our time collecting and designing compelling story experiences with beautiful, visually rich content.

    From this platform, we'll be able to produce a pdf for people who have no iPads and a pdf format appropriate an e-reader, or convertible to an e-reader format for those who are interested in reading the stories on the way to work, for example.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    15 backers

    Your name on the donors page magazine as a funder, and a thank you on the website. A pdf copy of the magazine, for viewing on your computer or e-reader (we'll ask you to specify file type(s) in the survey,) and a pdf of our hand-illustrated Munich city map.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    2 backers Limited (18 left of 20)

    Halloween/ Day of the Dead/ All Saints Day/ 1 Week Countdown Special: For only 10 dollars, you get the SOFA digital magazine for iPad. From the previous tiers, you also get: Your name on the donors page of the magazine as a funder, and a thank you on the website. Only 20 of these are available!

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    14 backers

    You get the SOFA digital magazine for iPad, and a digital thank you postcard from the team. From the previous tiers, you also get: Your name on the donors page of the magazine as a funder, and a thank you on the website.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    11 backers

    An IRL personal thank you postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox. We’ll also send you some charming SOFA wallpaper for your iPad. From the previous tiers, you also get: Your name on the donors page of the magazine as a funder, a thank you on the website and of course the digital magazine for ipad.

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  • Pledge $35 or more
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    10 backers

    This is a Munich Special! We're really proud to be based in beautiful Munich, and we'd be thrilled to meet all of our local supporters (or supporters who happen to be in town.) This reward entitles you to one of two options: have a drink on us at our special "supporter" party, at a yet-to-be-disclosed location in Munich, or join us for a personal tour of the Karl Valentin museum. From the previous tiers, you also get: The digital magazine for iPad and an IRL personal thank you postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox. You also get your name on the donors page of the magazine as a Munich funder, and a thank you on the website. As an added bonus, we have some charming SOFA wallpaper for your iPad.

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    9 backers

    You’ll receive a 3-pack of SOFA buttons, showing art from the magazine. You’ll also get a thank you video from the team! From the previous tiers, you also get: The digital magazine for iPad and an IRL personal thank you postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox. You also get your name on the donors page of the magazine as a funder, and a thank you on the website. As an added bonus, we have some charming SOFA wallpaper for your iPad.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    5 backers Limited (15 left of 20)

    You’ll get a limited-edition, signed art print from the team! You'll also get a video postcard from the team at a special landmark in Munich! From the previous tiers, you also get: The digital magazine for iPad and an IRL personal thank you postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox. Your name on the donors page magazine as a funder, and a thank you on the website. We’ll also include SOFA wallpaper for your iPad.

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    A limited-edition custom SOFA cookie cutter and recipe. If you’re in Munich, Sophie will deliver her SOFA Cookies, hand made with extra love. We’ll also send you a video clip of the team playing “build me up buttercup,” with funny hats on. From the previous tiers, you also get: The digital magazine for iPad and an IRL personal thank you postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox. Your name will also go on the donors page of the magazine as a funder, and with a thank you on the website. We’ll also include SOFA wallpaper for your iPad.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    A limited-edition hand-made Sofa iPad bag, made with extra love from Jessy and Sophie, and a personalized thankyou video from the team! From the previous tiers, you also get: The digital magazine for iPad and an IRL personal thankyou postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox. You'll get your name on the donors page of the magazine as a funder, and a thankyou on the website. We’ll also include SOFA wallpaper for your iPad.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers

    Your name in the magazine credits as super awesome funder, with a thank you on the website. A personal video clip of the team playing a song of your choice. Also enjoy a subscription for any upcoming issues of SOFA in 2013. From the previous tiers, you also get: The digital magazine for iPad and an IRL personal thankyou postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox. We’ll also include SOFA wallpaper for your iPad.

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  • Pledge $501 or more
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    0 backers

    SPONSOR MODEL Small Business Funder: Your name and small logo in the magazine credits as a Small Business Funder, with a thank you and a link to your company on the website in the Small Business Funder Category. You will also of course receive the digital magazine for iPad and an IRL personal thankyou postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    1 backer

    Your name in the magazine credits as totally wicked funder, with a thank you on the website. We’ll also perform a personal live concert on skype, with Rachel and Jessy doing a duet of “I love the whole world” on cello and ukulele, and with Sophie as backup dancer. From the previous tiers, you also get: You get the digital magazine for iPad and a subscription for all upcoming issues in 2013. You also get and an IRL personal thank you postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox. We’ll also include SOFA wallpaper for your iPad.

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  • Pledge $1,001 or more
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    0 backers

    SPONSOR MODEL Business Funder: Your name and large logo in the magazine credits as a Business Funder, with a thank you and a link to your company on the website and in the magazine in the Business Funder Category. You will also of course receive the digital magazine for iPad and an IRL personal thankyou postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox.

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  • Pledge $2,001 or more
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    0 backers

    SPONSOR MODEL Featured Business Funder: Your name and extra-large logo in the magazine credits as a Featured Business Funder, with a thank you and a link to your company on the website and in the magazine in the Featured Business Funder Category. We'll also feature your company or a specific product in our link tip section of the magazine, with a small image and link to your website. You will also of course receive the digital magazine for iPad and an IRL personal thankyou postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox.

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  • Pledge $2,500 or more
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    0 backers

    Your name in the magazine credits as badass funder, with a thank you on the website. The next time you’re in Munich, you can enjoy a personal city tour and personal couch-surfing experience with the team. You stay in our homes. Homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner are included! If you’re not planning to be in Munich anytime soon, enjoy a charming video city tour with the team through Munich, and a special delivery of bavarian treats via airmail. From the previous tiers, you also get: You get the digital magazine for iPad and a lifetime subscription for any and all upcoming issues. You also get and an IRL personal thank you postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox. We’ll also include SOFA wallpaper for your iPad.

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  • Pledge $5,001 or more
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    0 backers

    SPONSOR MODEL Business Funder with Article: Your name and extra-large logo in the magazine credits as a Business Funder with Article, with a thank you and a link to your company on the website and in the magazine in the Business Funder with Article Category.At this funding level, we’ll write an article about you or your company in the magazine. You get the digital magazine for iPad and a lifetime subscription for any and all upcoming issues. You also get and an IRL personal thank you postcard from the team, delivered to your mailbox. We’ll also include SOFA wallpaper for your iPad.

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Funding period

- (30 days)