There is a whole, wide and wonderful world of Zines out there! We’re going to give you a very brief introduction to zines, teach you the basics of how to make one and send you on your way to “self-publishing”.
What is a “Zine”?
A zine is a self-published booklet that is, generally, about the size of a half sheet of paper, though it can be smaller or larger. They are filled with any number of things, from short stories and recipes to mimicking magazines or newsletters, and have a circulation of under 1,000 copies. The most current style of zine can be traced back to the 1930s when creating sci-fi fanzines was a popular pastime. Zines are created all over the world and there are a number of conventions held where zine publishers gather to sell and trade zines to collectors. One such gathering is held in Richmond each October, called Richmond Zine Fest.
Let’s Get Started on Your Mini-Zine!
Here’s what you’ll need…
-Piece of copy paper (8.5 x 11 makes an 8-page mini-zine)
-Something to write with
-Anything that you might want to use to embellish your zine. You could use markers, paint, stamps, colored pencils, crayons, collage, washi-tape, etc.
When it comes to creating and embellishing your zine, the sky is the limit. However, the point of a zine is reproduction. If you plan to reproduce your zine for distribution, make sure that the materials you use will remain flat when placed on a copier and won’t cast severe shadows when copied.
If you do not plan to reproduce your zine, you’re making a “one-off”…feel free to go wild!
Fold your sheet of paper in half, then into quarters and finally into eighths. Now unfold your paper completely. When you do, your piece of paper should look something like the image below.
Fold your paper in half and cut a slit halfway across the middle from the fold, as shown in image below on the left.
Fold your paper along the crease that has the slit and push the ends in towards one another. The sections will fold in to form a booklet with eight pages. You might need to straighten out some of the folds as you do this step.
You now have an eight page mini-zine to fill with your amazing ideas! What will you fill your zine with?
Some things to consider:
-Do you plan on reproducing this zine? If so, how will you reproduce it? Photograph and manipulate in a computer? Make copies? Scan it?
-Are you going to make a series of related zines? What will the concept be and how will you layout the content?
-Are you planning on making this a “one-off”? If so, make sure to document your process through photographs so that you can share the creation of the zine with the recipient.
If you’re interested in learning more about zines and how to make them, there are many wonderful references available online. We Make Zines is particularly helpful website as it served as our reference for this post, and even provides several templates, in case you find yourself lost or want to try different styles of zines.
As always, if you make a zine, don’t forget to post your finished works on social media and tag us (@GloucesterArts) on Facebook and Instagram so we can see what you’ve created. If you’re not on social media, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we just might feature you in a future Weekly Roundup email!