Nonfiction

ZINES: DIY

13 February 2016

You want to insert yourself and your soon-to-be-famous creativity and wit into the underground zine culture? Not to worry, Farrago’s got your back with a step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Come up with a concept

Why do you want to make a zine? What topics are you passionate about? What would be the purpose of your zine? Who’s your audience? What’s it going to be called? These are important things to think about before you even begin creating your masterpiece.

Step 2: Brainstorm some articles and graphics

Planning is important! You want your zine to have some consistency – both in content and in graphics. Once you’ve come up with your concept you can brainstorm article ideas and think about the tone and style you want. Think about what style of graphics (photos, illustrations, memes, a combination of all of the above) you want to include. Of course, it will depend on your purpose and audience but you’ll want a balance of text and images.

Step 3: Block out a layout (and stick to it!)

Now that you (vaguely) know the articles and graphics you want to include, it’s time to block it all out. How long will your articles be? How can you fit the graphics around them? Get creative with your layout and stick to the word count or image size you’ve allowed yourself. If you’re working with a group, this is when you can delegate responsibilities.

Step 4: Get researching/writing/drawing/photographing

It’s crunch time. You’ve done all your planning and now you can put it into action. Be sure to keep referring back to your layout plan and stay on track.

Step 5: Bring it all together

Insert all your text and images into your layout. If you’re making your zine digitally, the Adobe suite is a great investment (hooray for student discounts!). Of course, if you’re not so tech-savvy, you could always use the trusty ol’ Word and Paint programs. For those of you who love to get your hands dirty, maybe making zines cut-and-paste style is for you (see Rookie mag’s sweet tutorial). Try to get someone else to proofread for you!

Step 6: Reproduction and distribution

Unless you’ve got an army working for you (or you’re making some zines for just a special few people), you’re going to want to reproduce your zine digitally. If you’ve created it digitally, then you can print multiple copies and if you’ve created it manually you can photocopy your work. If you’re not sure about the costs of this kind of reproduction, you can always publish online. The way you distribute your zines will be completely up to you and dependent on its purpose and audience.

Image Credit: Jesse Lynn McMains via Flickr

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