Casey and I kicked off the research for this campaign with many questions and no clear objective. What even is Kickstarter? We all know it as a crowdfunding tool for oddly useful products, but how did it start? What was it truly intended for?Paraphrased from their own words, they hoped to give opportunities to people (and people’s ideas!) in a new, exciting, and more fair way. They aim to put investors and creators together with no middle man. So for this campaign, we focused on the power that Kickstarter has always hoped to give people.
We needed to find why people would care about Kickstarter. People buy for two reasons: to move farther from pain or to move closer to pleasure, so we searched for how funding projects and engaging on Kickstarter might move users in either direction.
We spoke to classmates, friends, professors, to each other. We read and watched everything Kickstarter had created and everything created about Kickstarter. We explored pages of campaigns and kept coming back to one daily to see its progress: a bagel shop called Flo’s Appetizing. She had been selling bagels on the weekends and needed help to create a brick and mortar store and make New York bagels accessible to Amsterdam.
We read her story multiple times over. We found her website and her LinkedIn and followed her Instagram. We liked to read the sweet story, but we also felt the need to pitch in, to follow every social media account, to keep updated on everything there was to know about the bagel shop. We wanted to be a part of this good story.
With insight in hand, we got really stuck. Multiple times over. In the midst of our creative block, I rewatched Meet the Robinsons (vaguely remembered some inventing happening in there) and a wonderful quote before a meatball fight sequence called to me. “And so it begins.” But Kickstarter isn’t actually where it begins. It is where you go after it begins. We wrote up a list of taglines based on this, and we landed on two little words.
When someone is telling a really good story.
When you can’t wait to hear what happens next.
When you’re excited for the storyteller.
When something peaks your interest.
In pushing the timeline display forward with a lever, they get to see the real Kickstarter product stories unfold and the meter fill up as the two layers move past each other. The display physically represents how ideas come to be products, how stories couldn’t have been told without the effort of the viewer, without their commitment to pushing the story forward with both their energy and their funding.
We also created wild posting book pages that complimented the timeline displays with fuller stories and the same call to let those stories go on. Below are stories we wrote for our favorites, Flo’s Appetizing and Exploding Kittens:
We partnered with local coffee shops to reach people who are seeking energy and are consequently, energized with a thought or two. The experience of getting coffee is already associated with good conversations and high productivity, but Kickstarter wants to push both of those even farther.
We created drink sleeves to distribute in the coffee shops with open-ended questions (What happens next? How far could it go? Can’t you see it?) written on them. They can spur a little or a lot of thinking that could lead to the next Exploding Kittens, and they also provide a convenient space to jot down notes or scribble when unfolded. These hot questions will be paired with the hashtag #spilltheidea and encourage users to post photos of the answers to their coffee sleeve questions.
We wanted to create a way for excited Kickstarter users to spread the word and the love. When you gift someone a Kickstarter Page Turner, you’re not just giving them a meaningless means to shop. You let them in on the could-be moment that exists when backers and creators come together. You give the thrill of supporting a good idea and becoming a part of a bigger story.
Kickstarter gives the world innovative technology, art, and sometimes, portable pizza ovens. Sometimes campaigns get funded 342% of the way, and sometimes they don’t make it out alive. But at the core of it, Kickstarter is a place made for coming together to bring ideas to life, of sharing the stories that unravel when we imagine what could be.
I chose to keep this campaign in my portfolio even as I transition to design because, well I loved it, but also because it taught me so much about the effort it takes to create. Campaigns like this one remind me that creativity is a limitless but challenging but worthwhile tool and endeavor that I want to use and explore forever. This campaign specifically carries great memories of working alongside a partner I wholeheartedly admire and getting to make paper models of our ideas whilst eating bagels for inspiration. I advocate for Kickstarter wholeheartedly still, and I hope I’ll get to walk in Flo’s Appetizing one weekend and have the bagel sandwich of my dreams.