Thoughts

Getting back on it; UPDATE

I’ve not done any work for a while due to health reasons but I’ve been spending today going back over everything and getting back on track. Onwards and upwards from here; I think my health problems will not be problems for much longer.

I’ve began designing ideas for my mini book series “plant these to help the bees” and I think I’ve finally decided upon a design and format: It will be an artist’s book, or book of sorts, as opposed to a zine and will likely be screen printed and editioned (though I’m not sure how many). I’ve decided I’m going to try and sell them with the aim of giving 50% or so profits to a bee charity (I will need to get into contact with one to discuss this, and will also need full prototypes before sending any real ideas to them).

The books will be a continuous A0 illustration that will be transformed into a book using the “foldy” book bind. It will consist of one large layered screen print as opposed to different pages, allowing for easy and cheap(ish) reproduction.

I think from this point onward I finally have a focus and an aim to work towards. I was feeling uneasy and very uncertain this last month about everything so REALLY needed this day to just sit down and go through everything.

I’ve got a project description FINALLY: “A collection of handmade books and prints, highlighting the importance of bees. These will aim to raise awareness and educate people in an effort to save the endangered species.”

As for the title, I’m working on that. I think “Save the Bees” perfectly sums up the entire project but it is a bit boring, a bit vague and unoriginal. I think the title needs to get as much attention as the work itself does, otherwise no one would give it a second look.

From this point out, I’m going to treat this project as if it were for a real client (even if no one wants to get on board with my ideas) and just focus on producing factual, engaging and illustrative books and prints to sell on behalf of a bee charity/organisation. I can still donate the money myself even if they do not want to get involved.

Now I’ve just got to gain the courage to email people and produce work to show them! I’m still going to update this blog in a seemingly random way as I tackle through my research and discover new things.

Wish me luck!

Printmaking · Technique

Handmade Prints book scans

CLICK TO ENLARGE EACH IMAGE

Examples of alternative printing techniques – I’m going to try every single one!

Source:
Desmet, A. and Anderson, J. (2005) Handmade prints: An introduction to creative printmaking without a press. London: A & C Black Publishers

Book · Bookbinding · Example · Thoughts · Zine

Zine examples from UoP’s Zineopolis

“Horse”dsc_0483-1dsc_0484-1

A5, 8 page stapled book containing a collection of illustrations depicting humorous events and nonsense jokes. The zine contains hand drawn illustrations and type, printed with an inkjet printer on whit paper and glossy card for the cover.

This book is purely for the enjoyment of the reader, giving them something to read and laugh about. Nothing else. It is simple, quirky, humorous, crisp and clean and can be enjoyed by a variety of audiences. The bind has been considered as it does not affect the pages or the opening of the zine. Nice use of spot colour to emphasise a joke or a pun.
I chose to look at this zine as it shows how a zine can simply be used to spread joy and bring laughter into someones life and nothing more.

“He bought me  ANOTHER soda and he tried to molest me in the SAME parking lot AGAIN”
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A5, 28 page saddle stitched book containing illustrated song lyrics that get stuck in your head all day. The zine contains hand drawn illustrations and type printed in black and white or colour on a laser printer. It has a textured and hand painted cover with end papers on the reverse.

I think this zine is beautiful and funny. Again it is purely for the enjoyment of the reader as it’s only purpose is to share funny illustrations and popular song quotes that everyone gets stuck in their head. The bind allows the zine to open easily and the size comfortably fits in your hand. The cover offers a different texture to the rest of the zine and adds to the fun. This shows that zines can be fun, a bit odd and a laugh. It doesn’t have to be a serious subject choice.

“Dead End Jobs”
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20×20 cm, editioned zine containing illustrations of dead end jobs, paired with a “Dead end job Survival Kit”, which contains a miniature version of the zine, a wage slip, matchsticks to keep your eyes open, cotton balls to stick in your ears and paracetamol. The zine has hand drawn illustrations and type which have been screen printed in black and red onto thick and warm white paper.

I love the addition of the survival kit – adds something that you wouldn’t usually get in books. It is playful and imperfect, which I think sums up zines quite well. I love the thought of hand printing my own zines as I am very keen on printmaking, or even adding bits of prints to it. The use of red and black dot monotone throughout helps blend the artworks together (this is a collaboration) and is very engaging.

“Pick your nose”

A7, 6 page single sheet “foldy” bind containing a continuous illustration throughout all pages. It is entirely hand drawn and screen printed onto a piece of paper, which is then cut and folded to create a book. It is held in an opaque and fitted plastic covering.

I chose to look at this zine as a good and bad example of design. The bad is simply the plastic sleeve the zine is placed in; it is such a tight fit that it is difficult to remove the zine without tearing the stitches on the cover, which has unfortunately happened.
The good, however, is the clever design utilising a single illustration over 6 pages, a cover and a back cover. It is very small scaled, showing again that zines are not necessarily a specific size.

 

NOTE
All of these zines are NOT my work and are part of the University of Portsmouth’s Zineopolis collection, found here   —->   http://zineopolis.blogspot.co.uk/

Bookbinding · Zine

What is a ZINE?

I never really understood what a zine actually is so stayed away from them previously. Now I want to learn everything about them – what do they contain, how are they made, what format are they, what binding do they have, what is their subject matter, are they considered a book, and so on.

DEFINITIONS:

  • Zines are cheaply made printed forms of expression on any subject. They are like mini-magazines or home made comic books about.. anything.” (Todd and Watson, 2006)
  • A zine is usually a non – commercial, non professional publication, kind of like a magazine but with a twist. The main difference between a magazine and a zine is that zines are not out there to make a profit but, rather, to add other, often unheard voices into the mix. (AGO Blog, 2005)

Zines can be created by a singular person or multiple people and can be read by anyone of any age and any profession. Some are exchanged, mailed off or left for others to find (FREE ART FRIDAY?)

The Zine is not a new concept; they have previously been named Chap Books, Pamphlets, Flyers, etc. They have been around since the dawn of the printing press. As long a speople could self-publish, zines could be created.

A zine can be about anything IN THE WORLD. Literally. And figuratively. They could be about your favourite music, band, tv show, food, drink, holiday, city, country, animal, jumper, pair of shoes, your dog,  and so on.

A Zine can be created out of anything you find laying around. Photocopiers make it easier to re-use items over and over, and most zines are simply photocopied. They can also be screen printed, hand drawn/written, and so on. There is no right or wrong material to use when it comes to Zines, same as subject choice.

Once you’ve picked a subject, you can write about fiction, poetry, rants, diaries/journals, reviews, interviews, articles and  so on, and they can all be completely made up. Zines are made solely for arts sake and getting an unheard voice out there.

I could literally make a zine out of my blog posts here.

I could make a zine about random thoughts that pop into my head throughout the week.

I could make a zine about bee puns! Bee-utiful.

Zines can come in different formats, each having their own advantages to the purpose it serves. Some examples:

  1. 1/2 page, center fold (stapled, sewn or not)
  2. Folded sheet of paper (foldy)
  3. 1/4 page mini
  4. Accordian folds
  5. Concertina
  6. Stack and wrap (singular sheets held with a belly band)
  7. Folded paper containing a freebie (sticker, temp tattos, posters, etc)
  8. Micro-mini (single sheet of paper)
  9. Fold and bind (sewn, stapled, spiral, etc)
  10. Or anything else you fancy!

Consider the type of pen or pencil or brush or ink you use when photocopying – not all lines will be picked up and some may come out darker!

ALWAYS keep a master copy so you can easily produce more zines if and when needed

The zine can easily be altered thanks to photocopying technology; you can alter the colour saturation, black and white, zooming, cropping and so on.

You could photocopy the whole book and just print the cover – adds a different texture.

 

OVERALL
Zines are cheaply made mini-magazines on a range of subjects using any materials close to hand. They are usually non-profit and simply meant to get your voice heard. Could have quite a niche market, so consider this.

 

Sources used in this blog post:
-AGO Blog (2005) WHAT IS A ZINE? Available at: http://artmatters.ca/wp/2008/08/what-is-a-zine/ (Accessed: 21 February 2017).
-Todd, M. and Watson, E.P. (2006) Whatcha mean, what’s a zine? The art of making zines and mini comics. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Artists book · Book · Bookbinding · Example · Thoughts · Zine

Social Awareness Leaflet example

National Trust Leaflets; text by Adrian Tinniswood, designed by Bob Linney.

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A Series of leaflets from the same organisation, same illustrator and designer, looking at similar but different subject matters. Shows that they belong to a series, as a set or part of something bigger, an organisation or event perhaps. Collectible?

These are all beautifully made with detailed illustrations and hand drawn text. They’re quirky and fun to look at/read, which is perfect for engaging the audience – it could appeal to both younger and older generations as the images could stand alone in explaining each page.

The whole design, how it opens, how it feels and even smells is just beautiful and coincides with the purpose of the leaflet – it is even printed on 100% recycled paper using a limited palette.

As I am thinking about producing a leaflet/booklet for a social awareness issue, I need to consider these elements in order to be successful.

Each one is or looks screen printed so can easily be reproduced quite cheaply and quickly.
Things to consider:

  • The look of the leaflet/book
  • The format
  • The size
  • How it will be produced
  • Will there be digital elements
  • Will it be available online
  • The paper/card/etc type used
  • Colour Palatte
  • Tone of the writing
  • Packaging (if any)
  • Possibility of a series
  • Audience
  • Distribution
  • Purpose
  • All hand-drawn, digital or a mix

Lots to think about!