What is a zine? It's a hand written, typed or photocopied magazine, usually associated with 'underground' arts, music or political groups. I remembr when (yes, a reminiscence now) when the UK music press chose to ignore the emerging punk rock scene and the only way we could find out about gigs and bands was via zines. These were handed out and passed around for free. The best of these was Mark P's "Sniffin' Glue".
Why make a zine? Zines are time-consuming to create so you won't want to make them very often but they are useful as a marketing tool. You can send your zines out for free or you may want to charge for them. You can also sell advertising space in them to cover your costs.
Who will read my zine? Before you start to design a zine think about who you are targetting. If you try to make your zine all things to all people then no-one will be interested. Ask yourself - what do you want your zine to do?
- tell people about your art
- publicise other artists in your zine
- make a "how to" creative zine
- show off your graphic and illustration skills
How will I design my zine? This depends mostly on who your reader will be, the content of your zine and your creative style. Your zine can be a simple folded and stapled booklet, a sheet of paper folded neatly into quarters, an accordian folding book or a stitched pamphlet. Remember that making a professional-looking book is time consuming and not so much fun when you get to the fiftieth one!
This is how we created ours. Our first zine (see above) was created by one of our gallery volunteers, Joel. We needed a marketing strategy to encourage more young visitors to the gallery and we decided that a zne would be the ideal way to do this. Our first task was to DECIDE ON THE CONTENT. We listed all the activities that the gallery delivers that would appeal to young people including our work with young offenders and a forthcoming exhibition, Game Over. We wrote the articles for Joel, gave him access to images of the gallery and asked him to produce an eight page, A5 size zine.
The most time consuming part for Joel was DESIGNING THE LAYOUT. A zine needs to look busy with lots of visuals and writing. As our zine was created from collaged images with drawings before being photocopied, it needed to be visually striking. Joel st about with scissors, scalpel, glue, pens and pencils to make an eye-catching zine.
As a marketing publication the zine needed to IDENTIFY ITS PURPOSE as It is a zine about the gallery for young people. We asked Joel to put our logo and website on every page of the zine (the rule of marketing - you need to see something at least 7 times to remember it, you only need to be told once). We also needed to cover the cost of photocopying the zine and, as we intended to make it a free publication, we offered ADVERTISING SPACE to local "young" businesses. Covering the costs meant that we could give the zine away for free.
Finally - a word about COLOUR. Unless you have a very strong graphic design for the cover you will probably need a shot of colour to make it more marketable. But colour printing is expensive and hand-colouring is time consuming. We solved the problem by photocopying the frnt and back page onto brightly coloured paper - red, yellow, orange and peach.
If you would like a free copy of the first Keighley Arts Fatory zine please contact me using the email box at the bottom of the page. There will be a charge of 50p for the postage and we accept Paypal.
Here are some more zines for you to check out: