Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Miskatonic Run

There seems to be enough interest in the Miskatonic patches and lapel pins to justify a small run of 100 apiece. This is the color version of the Miskatonic University logo I'm planning on using for the patch. Like the previous efforts, it will be 4" (10 cm) in diameter with a heat sensitive backing so it can be ironed on to clothing or hats. The price would be $5-$6 individually.

This is the proposed artwork for the lapel pin. It will be 1" (2.5 cm) in diameter and have the same antiqued brass finish as the previous pins. Everything rendered in white will be raised and polished brass, while the black areas will have a darkened, textured finish. The price would be $7-$8 individually.

As with the previous runs buying both the patch and the lapel pin would be cheaper, with a combined set costing $12-$13.

Finally, we come to the wildcard item- the Miskatonic pocket notebooks. After doing some experiments using the Moleskine Cahier notebooks it became obvious that producing them that way was going to be waaaaaaay too expensive. That's when I discovered Pinball Publishing and their "Scout Books". They're the only printer outside of China producing notebooks without the ugly and anachronistic vinyl and "leatherette" covers that infest the under $5 price point. Here are the specs for the books from their website:

Finished Size - 3.5"x5" with 1/4" Rounded Corners
Pages - 32 (blank, lines or grid)
Cover Paper - Chipboard 20pt 100% Recycled Craft
Interior Paper - 100% Recycled White 70lb

I ordered a sample copy and really like the finished product. The covers are sturdy and attractive while the interior pages don't bleed through like cheaper weights of paper do. Pinball offers a number of ink colors for the cover printing, but I like the utilitarian look of basic black. Here's a quick mock-up of the cover design:

These notebooks not only make great, well, notebooks, but their prop potential is almost limitless. Priced individually they're going to be $3-$4, but I can probably swing including them with the patch and lapel pin for a final price of $14.99.

I still have to settle on a final design for the notebook, including how to use the entire blank canvas of the back cover, so I have a few days to get your input. What do you think? Is $15 for all three Miskatonic items affordable enough? Is there anything else you would like to see included?


Tyler said...


Are there any sources you could check for what similar field notebooks have on the back or interior covers?

Maybe unit conversion tables or something similar?

Doc Atomic said...

Re: the back of the notebook: Since it's a field guide, you could print "useful information," such as a ruler down one end, measurement conversions, and other general facts/tables/etc. that a person in the field might need quick access to. I've seen this type of thing on generic field guides before.

If you wanted it to feel more campus-y, it could feature a "class schedule" grid, or maybe an "important phone number" list. Perhaps a listing of important buildings on campus and their addresses, or maybe a very basic campus map.

Regardless, I think the patch, pin, and notebook make an excellent second-semester, Miskatonic archeology-major, "back-to-school" set. The pricing seems more than fair. Looking forward to seeing the end result -- definitely put me down for a set!

Propnomicon said...

Thank you both for your suggestions. From looking around at actual field notebooks a printed ruler seems to show up regularly, followed closely by guidelines for taking notes (State date and time, don't rely on your memory, write everything down, turn in completed notebooks to team leader or transcribe to master notes, etc...). I'll see about working something up along those lines tonight.

Amanda C. Kooser said...

I love it! A set of these would be fantastic. I would definitely use the notebooks and price point sounds just fine.

drjon said...

Sounds excellent. $15 is a good price.

Anonymous said...

Coloured pin this time, please!

Think PPPPledge pin (Tri-delt's)

~Nick Storm

Propnomicon said...

@ Anonymous

I've thought about going with an enameled pin, but basic brass just looks so much better. IMHO, of course.

Unknown said...

As everyone else, I think $15 is more than fair for the patch/pin/notebook set. However, I would also like to see pricing for multiple notebooks (sets of 5 or 10, for example) if you can swing that. It's easy to forget you're just a guy putting these out for the fun of it considering the quality of the product, both in design and execution...

drjon said...

I had a Miskatonic Alumni pin, which is enameled and I must say they're sweet: http://www.miskatonic.net/alumni.htm

Lost it while travelling recently, though. Been trying to get in touch with the fellow who runs the place, but it's proving tough.

But I must also add, the Basic Brass is very classy.

Propnomicon said...

@ Scott

Oh, I'd definitely love to offer whole sets of books. They'd make awesome notebooks for use during gameplay. Having a book filled with notes, pictures, and clues from an adventure would be a great momento.

@ drjon

Those pins are excellent, and one of the reasons I'm leery of producing enameled pins myself. I try to avoid making anything that someone else is already producing, like the colored lapel pins, or is likely to produce in the future.

As an example, "The Whisperer in Darkness" is filled with cool letters and articles that would make great props, but odds are that the HPLHS will be coming out with an excellent selection of those items once their movie is done. Why duplicate their efforts when the Mythos is filled with items that no one is working on?

Doc Atomic said...

One of the things I like about your products is that they're not particularly Lovecraftian -- no tentacles, pentagrams, etc. Too many of the various Miskatonic and Arkham stuff out there borders on the meta. I mean, honestly, would Miskatonic's school seal really feature Cthulu on it? Of course not... You play it straight, which is much more appealing from a prop perspective.

Propnomicon said...

@ Doc Atomic

Thanks. I'm not as rabid in my objection to the "Demonology 101" stuff as some folks, but I do find it to be a real immersion breaker.