Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

Thank you

Posted on 23 September 2012 Comments

I’m not usually a fan of cross-posting, but after publishing the original version of this article on the Viewport Industries blog, I wanted to archive it on my personal site, too. Gratitude, after all, is a very personal thing.

I’ve been lucky enough to experience a fair few product launches and there is absolutely nothing like the adrenaline rush that comes with the occasion: poring over something for months on end to finally unveil it to the world, nervously wondering if anyone will like what you’ve created. And then, when they do, and the orders start coming in, the adrenaline rush begins anew. Oh my god! People are actually buying it! This is what happened to us on Wednesday 19th September 2012, at 4pm, when we finally released Insites: The Book.

With that second rush of adrenaline, though, comes a rush of a different kind: gratitude. Humbled, honoured gratitude. Because suddenly people are parting with their hard-earned cash to buy something you’ve made, and that is just an incredible feeling. This book is not an essential item. No-one needs this book. But here they are, paying for something they believe in. And that’s really why it’s so humbling: each and every purchase is a person saying: I believe in what you’re doing and I want to support it.

And, wow, we are so, so grateful for that. Thank you.

But in addition to our paying customers, there are many more people to thank: people whose support quite literally made it possible for us to create this book.

Firstly, we have our incredible interviewees to thank. Some of the interviewees are dear friends, some our biggest heroes, many of them both. But to chat with them, get those conversations down on paper, and be privy to some of their most personal stories was such an honour. They made time for us, and in doing so they shared their stories with everyone.

Keir and I conducted the vast majority of the interviews ourselves in person (resorting to Skype only when we really had to), but once the interviews were over, the next stage in the process came down to Steph Liew and Tamara Bentzur, who transcribed every single audio file. We then passed those transcripts over to my wife Samantha and Robert Mills (author of Designing The Invisible), who cut them down, tidied them up, and performed that all-important first edit. After that, Keir and I did a couple more edits before passing the whole thing onto Ben Mitchell to proofread.

I took a few of the portraits used in the book — Colly’s and Sarah’s whilst on Insites: The Tour — but Maykel Loomans shot a whole load more for our San Francisco-based interviewees, and did an excellent job. Thanks to the other photographers (Rebecca, Naomi, Dan, Levin, Bryan, Leigh, Ryan, Raul, and Samuel), we were able to publish photos for each interviewee that had (in all but two circumstances) never been seen anywhere else before.

The team doesn’t stop there, though. We asked Aarron Walter (author of Designing for Emotion) to write something for the beginning of the book — it seemed only fitting, given that his company MailChimp are our primary partner (more on that in a second) — and for the foreword, we asked Cameron Koczon (co-creator of Brooklyn Beta) to put pen to paper. Aarron and Cameron’s beautiful pieces of writing are absolutely perfect openers for the book.

As the book started to come together, I settled on using Quatro Slab, designed by Mark Caneso. Mark had just released the full Slab family, but had only just started tinkering with the Sans. I’d used the Ultra weight of Quatro Sans to design the Insites logo back from when we did the Tour and I wanted to use the Sans for certain elements in the book, such as page numbers, interview intros, and what not. Mark very kindly gave me beta versions of the fonts for the full Sans weights (a gesture that echoed his decision to give me a beta version of the Slab when I designed the Brooklyn Beta logo back in 2010) and had them all completed by the time we needed to lock up the design. If you’re a fan of Quatro, keep your eyes peeled because we have a cool little promo we’re doing with p.s.type very soon.

To fund this little project of ours, Keir and I decided to avoid the Kickstarter route and adopt the same model as 8 Faces: partner with a number of companies whose products we love and, in exchange for some tasteful sponsorship, fund the production costs with those partnership fees. And it worked. The generous support we received from Adobe, Belong, cxpartners, Fontdeck, FontShop, FreeAgent, GitHub, (mt) Media Temple, Made on (mt), Neutron Creations, Otto, siteInspire, Typecast, Typekit, Ubelly, Virb, WooThemes, Xero, and 88MPH quite literally made this whole thing possible.

However, one partner in particular deserves a special mention: MailChimp were so generous — and so encouraging from the very beginning — that we’re proud to say that Insites: The Book is ‘published in association with MailChimp’. Right from the days of Insites: The Tour, MailChimp (Mark DiCristina in particular) have been behind us with their support, and commissioned their (then-)in-house designer Aaron Robbs to design us some beautiful letterpressed coasters. Aaron’s illustrations for those coasters became an integral part of the book’s design, and the end product is something we feel we created with them. Again, we feel honoured.

Right at the end of the process, Woop.ie created our e-book formats for the digital bundle and App Press created our iPad app. We’re eternally grateful to these incredible teams and the only reason I’m being brief with their thanks right now is because we’ll have full posts on the VI blog very soon about their fantastic work.

Lastly, we’ve been overwhelmed by the responses on Twitter — literally overwhelmed, because despite my best efforts to thank everyone individually, I’ve failed, and for that I sincerely apologise. Thank you so much for all the kind words that have been redirected our way. Responded-to or not, they’re all greatly appreciated.

Everyone, you helped us make this amazing thing. Thank you.

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