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I’m excited to have a few minutes to write about some thing happened back in February of this year as part of the rewards from the first Blank Brand Kickstarter – writing the names of all backers in the sand at the Oregon Coast. While I’m not sure that there are actually 5 steps outlined below, it was a great time and never thought I would have a learning experience while writing names in the sand.

When the Kickstarter ended, and I realized I had over 100 names to write in the sand, I was excited, and also quite unsure of the logistics of such an operation. I started to realize that I wasn’t just going to be able to grab a stick and easily write all the names in an hour or two. This was going to be a bit more of an undertaking – one that would take a decent amount of planning.

A New Font

The first thing I needed to tackle was how to write the letters, both efficiently, and in a way that would be consistently legible (ie, it wouldn’t start to look sloppy after I had been writing for a few hours). I realized that I would in some way need to create tools that would help me write. After a few different iterations and ideas (including one where I envisioned myself with some sort of gigantic typewriter), I decided to create a new font for the project – one that could take the English alphabet and break it down in to a minimal number of component parts. After taking a few stabs at it, I came up with a font in which all letters are created from a combination of (4) primary component parts: Large Curve, Small Curve, Large Straight, Small Straight. (Maybe this isn’t a new font, but it was new to me, and was fun to figure out.)

COMPONENT FONT

Once I had the font figured & drawn out, the next step was making tools (in the shape of the component parts) which would allow me to clearly & consistently write out all the names. I needed something that would hold up to fairly intense use over a couple of days of being on the beach, so I made the tools from bent metal rod with wire wrap (as needed to maintain shape) and leather handles. The finished tools are pictured below.

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They were created with the font component shape (large curve, small curve, etc) at the bottom, with the metal dowel coming up to a handle wrapped in leather. This allowed me stand while “typing” the letters in the sand, which increased the speed, and more importantly, made it much easier to not disturb the sand I was writing on (since at the end of it all, it was important for these to be legible).

After the tools were made, and everything packed up, I was on my way to the Oregon Coast, a little over an hour drive from the Blank shop in Portland. The process of writing the names in the sand, as an experience, could honestly be its own book (or at least short story). So I’ll try to keep it to some of the highlights, and let everyone enjoy exploring and (if you were a backer) finding your name below.

During my time writing everyone’s names:

  • I was out on the beach for 2 days – approximately 18 hours of writing time.
  • I wrote names of 110 Wonderful & Spectacular Backers (Seriously, you guys are awesome)
  • I broke 1 leather handle, but otherwise had no mechanical issues
  • I met approx. 20 people walking past – not one of them had heard of Kickstarter

NOTE: Before we jump into the images of names, I have to say I am very curious as to how many individual letters I actually wrote while on this trip – right now, I just don’t have the time to count them. But if someone out there is curious to know, I will send a free wallet & thank you card to the first person to give me a accurate count.

With no further adieu, I present the names of the Phenomenally Amazing Backers of the first Blank Kickstarter.

Enjoy.

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Thank you again everyone – you all made this project happen!

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PS – If anyone sees their name on here, and would like it removed for any reason, please email me (matt@blankbrand.co) and I will take care of it.

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