We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

Dipping my toes into the zine-making water...

Don't know if you get many people on here just entering into the whole dipping-my-toes-into-the-water phase of zine making/reading (i'm attempting to do both) but my first attempt at making my own zine turned out...let's just say, amateurish. Truthfully, i mishmoshed it all together collage-style (clippings from magazines and papers) in two days, and put it together with a paper-mache-like glue, and thread binding.

I tackle things headlong and without finesse.

Anyway, the point of this my first blog post was (other than establishing myself as a rambling geek with big words and little skill- okay, no skill) to ask if anyone had any tips for me regarding techniques, format, tips, tricks, methods, anything you think might help my following zines be a little less, um...ripply and disorganized?

If you've managed to wrangle my meaning out of the maze of parentheses and ellipses, thanks a million for anything you can suggest. ;)


Views: 3

Tags: art, beginner, first, help, making, timer, tips


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Comment by Nichole on April 30, 2010 at 3:59pm
I agree with Trashy & Obsessive on buying Stolen Sharpie Revolution. It's updated in its second edition. I think you can get it on Etsy for $5.

I'm pretty new with zines myself, and I learned a lot from making my first one, especially when margins came into play. Make sure you're always compensating for them!

I like hand-drawn illustrations too, even if you aren't the best artist. I certainly know I'm not. Personally, I'm a little tired of all the retro clipart everyone seems to like using, but to each their own. Content was always the winner for me.

Let me know when you've made your second zine. I would love to see it. Maybe we can set up a trade. :)
Comment by Shannon Fargel on March 31, 2010 at 10:44pm
thanks! i'm still testing different methods and things, but the info's been a help. i've defintely learned the error of my glueing ways. ;)
Comment by Tee Rex on March 30, 2010 at 6:50pm
oh nice! i just do mine on my home printer at the moment - using the copier function and even THAT manages to chomp off the sides!
Comment by Saling Pusa Distro/closed on March 30, 2010 at 6:38pm
interestingly enough, the copier in my university doesnt cut any of my sides... it even shrinks the copy by like id, 1-2% which leaves a bout a 1/8 in margin that i always like cutting off. XD
Comment by Tee Rex on March 28, 2010 at 11:28pm
:D hooray for big zine hauls.

(another tip - always make sure you leave margins, the photocopier always cuts a decent chunk off the sides!)
Comment by Shannon Fargel on March 28, 2010 at 11:02pm
thanks guys! i've probably bought my own weight in zines over the past few days, so i'm hoping to soak up some skill by osmosis. ;)
Comment by Tee Rex on March 28, 2010 at 4:24pm
As Saling Pusa Distro wrote, zine-making is a type of journey. Get that first one done, and then move onto the next and as you go, you'll learn what works for you and what doesn't. Be critical, but not so critical that you put yourself off (so easy to do). If you like it, then there's bound to be at least some other people out there that will like it too. Start buying zines, and reading them, and studying them and figuring out which ones you like and why you like them. Use them as inspiration.

My zines are pretty disorganised. I want to change that too. But you'll notice the better zines out there, are ones that have been around for a while and they've had a lot of practise. In terms of format - pick a size that you like - it seems that a popular one that people like is 1/4 size. It's fairly easy to fill the page, and they fit nice and snugly in your hand. If you do some hunting on google, you can find some good tricks on how to layout various size zines (like using one piece of paper, folded up to make a 16-page mini zine).

And I guess, just edit. If there's something that isn't quite right, take it out. If something needs to be rewritten, do it. Plan out the layout on paper so you can get a nice flow of content. If something isn't working for you, change it (I recently stopped using the computer to try and lay out mine and found it inspiring to get back to basics with pen and paper)> Stolen Sharpie Revolution (the mini book) might help you out. But there's also plenty of info on the 'net (and on this site too) about how to/what to and so on.

Basically, just do it. Then do the next one. Then the next one. The more you make, the more you read, the better they will be. xx
Comment by Saling Pusa Distro/closed on March 28, 2010 at 11:46am
I may not be the best person to give an advice since I am relatively new too, but if there is one thing that I have learned through my many trial-and-errors is that, zine-making is some sort of a jouney... you find the style the works for YOU and your niche--the kinds of zines that you feel good and competent in making.

read zines. trade, and ask what people think about it. Yes, it is difficult to start out and establish your zine, BUT the more you read other people's zine and be involved in the zine community, the more you learn about zines and genetal and the type of zine you aspire to make. AND trust me, your zine cannot be THAT bad, it's your 1st so cut yourself some slack :)

AND know that even when you're already starting to make a zine that you feel good about, not everyone will like it... i guess that isn't what zines are about (primarily). Zines are a form of self expression,and it's good as long as it is good enough for you. You will always find people who will appreaciate what you make. :)

--- s-p

(and you thought you ramble a lot?)

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