Everything in between
When Kyle Scheele first launched 99 Shades of Grey, the project was a tongue-in-cheek response to the fervor over steamy bestseller 50 Shades of Grey. “As any colormetrist worth their weight will tell you,” went the project’s description, “the Greyscale range stretches from 0 to 100… 1-99 are, by definition, shades of grey.”
The project itself was to produce a simple, 99-page book, with each page representing a progressively darker shade. Scheele set the goal at a modest $600 — all he would need to self-publish a paperback copy at $10 a pop — and hit launch.
Then, the internet found out. Surprise!
Before it reached its funding end date, the project had collected nearly $10,000 from over 400 backers, many of whom backed at a slightly higher level in order to name their own shade of grey. Enthused by the response, Scheele got down to logistics almost immediately. Then came surprise number two. In a recent project update, Scheele shared a message he got from an early backer:
He chose shade number 63, saying “I have a 1963 silver Stingray Corvette that my dad and I spent 10 years restoring before he passed.” he said. “It would be fun to name the color ‘Sebring Silver Stingray’ after the car.”
The request wasn’t unique. Dozens of backers had ideas for their colors, centered on specific personal connotations. Suddenly, the scope of the project felt vastly expanded. It wasn’t just a one-off joke about shades; it was the collaborative effort of a new community.
Taking the transformation in stride, Scheele announced a fundamental shift in the project. Now, each page prominently features the contributions of his backers, creating an impromptu portrait in — you guessed it — 99 Shades of Grey.