About Us

A short video about our studio and inspiration from our current Kickstarter campaign.

Obvious State is a New York City-based creative studio and literary brand. We’re inspired by provocative language, classic literature and elegant design.

All of our products are meticulously crafted in the United States and printed on the finest papers and materials. After all, beautiful language deserves beautiful treatment.

In the age of clickbait, infotainment and overstimulation, slow thought has become a luxury. We hope our work inspires people to savor words and revisit big books and big ideas.


The Bibliophilia collection is inspired by an obsession with the underlined passages in our favorite books. Snippets of text from authors, philosophers and thinkers are used as a springboard for a new idea and illustration.

Evan Robertson
Co-founder, Illustrator

Evan's fascination with classic literature began with his study of humanities and classic theater in college, and continued at The Juilliard School. He spent many years in New York as a multi-discipline artist and actor, performing at The Public Theater, The Aquila and The Pearl, where he won the Joe A. Calloway award for his performance as Claudio in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

In 2011, his illustration work took center stage when he first used snippets of underlined passages from his favorite books as inspiration for a visual interpretation. The project quickly grew and garnered the attention of the press and design community alike. 

In 2013, he partnered with Penguin Random House to create the Bibliophilia box set, now a best-selling gift item. Since then, he's focused on partnering with bookstores, libraries and museums to share Obvious State's growing line of literary gift items for bibliophiles.

Evan is the sole illustrator behind the brand, and also heads up the wholesale side of the business.

Nichole Robertson
Co-founder, Creative Director

Prior to Obvious State and authoring books, Nichole spent 12 years as a New York City-based Copywriter and Creative Director. She worked with advertising agencies, brands and magazines including Tribal DDB, MRY, Aveeno, Reebok, Kiehls, Estee Lauder brands, Prescriptives, Bumble and Bumble, Esprit and Real Simple. From 2006-2008, she wrote Bravo TV’s beauty and fashion column.

She’s also the author of four books: Paris in Color (Chronicle Books bestseller, Apr 2012), Paris in Love (Chronicle Books, Dec 2014), The Paris Journal (Obvious State, May, 2014) and New York in Color (Chronicle Books, June 2017). 

Nichole handles the creative direction, photography and social media for Obvious State, and considers herself a perpetual English major.