We will be selling the zines we have made online through etsy for now, setting up the shop now! Check it out!
I’m glad that for the main body of work that I produced was with someone I had worked with before and knew shared the same interests, from experience I knew Steph had a good work ethic as well which is the key I think to producing anything well. We originally thought we were in a larger group with other friends at the beginning because of lack of communication, when we found out to that they had actually wanted to work together in their own group, because we wanted them to be happy with what they we’re doing and were happy to work together anyway, we backed off.
Working in a small group worked out really well for us because it meant communication was easier and when we had other ideas for other things we could put them together without things getting confused. We had discussed this earlier today and agree that being in a smaller group may have actually been more helpful in producing a larger body of work, also because we get on so well a lot of the time working was fun and light hearted while still being productive because neither of of wanted to let the other down.
I also tried to help out with the organisation group because I wanted to get more experience in how events and fairs come together, I didn’t take charge in anything because it wasn’t really my intention but rather to offer help when it was needed, like printing the posters and contribute ideas where needed. I think I tried purposely to take a less authoritative role because I’ve had difficult experiences with large groups before where I’ve had to take charge and ended up with most of the work because people couldn’t be bothered. This group was different because everyone chose to be there so I wanted to get a different experience from it but I think partly I was worried about such a large responsibility as a whole units event, which I’m not happy about but I think after this I will have more confidence in myself and will put myself out there more.
I am glad that I decided to submit to another zine as well because I got to see my work next to other pieces that while given the same brief, responded to it such different ways. I also give me an in sight into want creating my zine that is bases on submissions because there where many people who said they would contribute and then didn’t have the time to which is fair but it meant the result of how the final product came together was not as controllable as our group zines.
We opted for making hard test copies of the zines when we tried out layouts and sizes for then put them together in photoshop instead of in design because it gave us more freedom we felt a and we were also more competent with this program then indesign.
We looked at what size we wanted by making macets of the different sizes we thought were appropriate and after this we could determine what was feasible and what was not, we originally wanted to make the zine in square A6 but because it didn’t fit into A3 perfectly it would mean we would have to get more sheets of paper to fit in the same amount of pages. It would have cost us more to produce the same zine and it would have also been much harder to get the pages lined up, front and back, so we stuck to a small landscape format.
We already knew the content and the order so then we made a tester booklet to determine how many pages were needed and how the layouts for each page should look. From this we could put together the content and images we had made into the layouts we wanted digitally ready for print.
I think it made a lot of sense to make it this way and test out how everything worked before printing the final things, it meant we could make adjustments, plan better for how we wanted to print and bind them.
Earlier on in the unit we went up to the Special Collections in MMU Library and they had put out for us a collection of punk zines, I thought they were really helpful for me to understand zines and their origins. My experience with zines before this were purely artist although I had come across ones that look at social issues like the ones show here but not with the same kind of collaged images and colouring.
Some of the zines that I own, I’m pretty sure I’ve accumulated most of these over the course of this unit as “research”.
Although I own these for enjoyment, they have been helpful to me seeing different size formats and layouts, different binding and printing in practise.
I feel I have learnt so much in the process of this Unit, things that maybe you have to do rather than just be taught.
The first zine we put together was the Face zine, with this we learnt how much decent paper costs from school. If we wanted to print 30 zines, with each zine taking up one A3 sheet (like the banana zine) costing 30p each thats £9 pounds straight away. Each colour/ master costs a pound on the riso but if you’re printing more than a few pages it is cheaper than printing on a school printer and depending on the image, it can look better however you don’t have the same colour options as regular printing.
With the Have a Nice Day zine we had to print with both riso and on the school ones because they had run out of black, so to get the part we needed in black we had to pay for each individual black print out. Both sides of a A3 and A4 cost 30p in total so it became £6 instead of £4 (for the 4 masters) to print out the black, it may not be that much of a difference but it would have been very problematic if we were printing a lot because the regular printing is for each and with riso you can get up to 500 prints from one, £1 master.
Instead that £2 could go to buying sticker paper, we got 20 sheets for that which was easy to make back and then we had to make sure we covered the price of the printing which was 20p each for the none riso printed ones. It doesn’t cost that much to make them so we’ve been able to price them quite cheaply so they’re more appealing to the people were trying to sell to, which is students who may well not have as much disposable income, yet still make a profit on them.
Because we were expecting to make a decent amount of money from this it meant that we could buy some things that we would not make money back from such as bags and business cards. For the bags we bought some simple brown paper bags and then I bought some small lino squares (about 45p each) and then used that to make the bags more personal and generally nicer. We originally wanted to buy business cards from http://uk.moo.com but we decided that we didn’t need that level of card for how much it cost instead we cut down the off cuts from our Banana Zine and then Steph letter-pressed them. If we decide to do more regular fairs and events then I think we should defiantly invest in some professional ones, I will defiantly be getting some for graduation from that site but for now it made more sense for us to recycle and print ourselves while we have the means to do so.
We’ve done really well financially with this unit and I like it been because from a very early point we’ve been keeping track of what money of our own we’ve been putting in and thinking of extra safety nets to help make it back if things don’t sell. As well as keeping a ledger of all our finances, we made sure we planned everything around our audience because we know from experience as students, that we can love a zine or product but if it’s over £5 or something we may not be able to justify buying it to ourselves. We knew if we priced them well more people could afford and enjoy them and we would still make money from selling them as well as covering the cost of producing them.
Because we finished with plenty of time we also set up a etsy store on tuesday however we’re going to wait how to see how many we sell after today and tomorrow before we list anything, I’ll be running the shop over the summer while Steph is doing Camp America!
Our final zine (but the first on we printed) came about by accident really when Steph was messing about with the off cuts from our layout out designs for the main “Have a Nice Day” zine.
Because the square zine layout test don’t fit into a A4 or A3 piece of paper perfectly, there was some left over strips of paper. Steph made the first images and we liked it so much and I filled in the rest and we went and printed them within the following days.
These are some of the facial features I drew, I did mine with black in while Steph did hers in colour pencil so they looked kind of different when printed on riso but it works really well and give them different textures and consistencies.
Cutting these to size was a nightmare because we didn’t want any bits to be cut off and even though I knew the size they were meant to be, the masters for each colour had to be place differently and they had no guide lines to work with. So I measured out one of each of the different colours (because each had used a different master) and just tried my best using some of the best measured as templates. For the most part they work out fine, they are not as nicely put together as our others but they look really cute tied together in their little bundles.
We didn’t bind or staple them, instead we stuck the black pages together using double sided tape which in hindsight might have been over complicated but it’s nice that you cant really see how they’re put together.
( The last two images were taken by Steph and the last on was cropped from the original.)
This Zine was very good for us I think because we made the originals in about an hour and managed to turn it into something good enough to market and sell. It also helped us get more familier with the riso printer before working on our big zines, and understand how to budget out money well.
Today was our Unit X zine fair! It went really well and we sold quite a few!
This is the little plan I made for what we wanted our table to look like, I made the bunting but it looked too busy with the fabric and even though I really loved the idea of displaying the banana zine in a fruit bowl, it was not feasible for me to bring one in with me on the train when I had to run in between uni and the location all day. It would have looked really good though so we should defiantly consider it for other events when we have more then one pair of hands.
This is how it looked in the end and while I think the fabric did look too busy, it was the first time I’d made a table display and it went pretty well.
Our main Zine sold really well, I’m so pleased, we may not even have any left to post on etsy if they sell just as well tomorrow. The Banana Zine seemed to impress a lot of people but the only ones we sold were to our tutors for the archive, so tomorrow I think we are going to bump the price down and see how it sells then because it is a good zine, in our opinion anyway.
We still have some exquisite corpse zines left and they were really well received as well. I’m feeling so positive about my work right now.
While working our main zine we got distracted by the health benefits of bananas and in a random tangent we actual made another zine, we made something that maybe silly but also really well done I think anyway.
We went for flat gold on yellow because it reflects a banana, the content on one side and a pattern of bananas on the other, which we also made into stickers and prints.
We managed to get them all put together in one afternoon, we had to cut each page out by hand because of the odd shape we chose so we couldn’t just put them through the guillotine and we had to put more work into making them but we worked quite fast.
They were the first zine we finished so we are so proud of these! They are going to be sold at £2 and we have our prints as well for 50p each. Bargin.
We were super efficient as well, the off cuts were cut down and printed on for our business cards and I made the bunting for our table from the off cuts. All that with our prints and sticker, there is a lot bananas.