Zines are small, self-published and, often, nonprofit magazines. Zines are usually topic trending orientated, making them too controversial for main-stream media. They are often read by the creative mind rather than the academic.
The great thing about Zines is that everybody can make them. From art students wanting to express their rage at the effects of Brexit, to the stock broker whom wants to show the world the stress of keeping up-to date with the stock market. It’s quick, easy and cost-effective.
Zines are creative outlets. Somewhere to put all of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. There are no rules as to what makes a ‘good’ zine which is the great thing about them. They are about being creative, not to follow the crowd. This means that every zine is individual, no two are the same in any way. They will always be original and that is something that appeals to everybody in the creative industry as originally is key to good design.
Fanzines are also a form of Zine, usually produced by amateurs, for fans of a particular performer, artist or any ‘famous’ individual. I found a really good example on I-D dedicated to the Italian denim brand, Fiorucci. As you can see, there is bright colour, no specific layout to follow and, overall, it has a very do-it-yourself aesthetic.
After reading up about zines and their uses, something hit me (metaphorically). Zines are a low cost, mass produced artefact that you can create either digitally or traditionally and it really made me think about how I could use a zine in my creative practice. After some research I discovered that a few top universities are starting to create their own zines to showcase their students work and fundraise for final shows. I think it would be extremely beneficial to us, both as a university and as a course, to apply this method as we are a creative bunch and we could have some really interesting outcomes.
Personally, I like political and fashion zines. They are both interests of mine and I like how easily they can merge and/or overlap. Here are some zines that I researched and really took interest in:
SORT : SORT is a self publicised zine based on severe London. Usually, I wouldn’t really take much interest in things like this but something really caught my attention whether it was the mix of DIY and digital or just it’s complete disregard of the norm. As I said, zines are very subjective and personal, and I think this is the perfect example.
CLOG: CLOG are modern and current zine makers. They write about both societal and cultural issues which is something I really take interest in. They have just the balance between written word and graphics, making them easy to read for individuals of all ages and developments. This is the about section on their website which I believe sums them up perfectly ‘CLOG — founded in 2011 and now in its 15th issue — is an international publication that critically explores one topic at a time from as many perspectives as possible. While online press, blogs, tweets, social media, and other digital forums have drastically increased the speed at which information is distributed, debated, and consumed today, the ceaseless deluge of facts and opinions can make it challenging to assemble a holistic view of any topic. CLOG slows things down. Each issue explores, from multiple viewpoints and through a variety of means, a single subject particularly relevant now.’
Young, Fresh and Relevant: I personally really liked the ideology behind this zine as they cater to young writers whom believe that their work may never be published. Not only is it clean, innovative and helpful but they also use the risograph to print some of their issues which is something we had excess to at university and could very well use this if we decide to make a course zine for fundraising. I’m going to get into contact with the creators of YFR to see if they would be interested in visiting university and giving a guest talk as I think it would be beneficial to hear from some professionals.