If you have a burning desire to share your ideas with the rest of the world, zines (pronounced zeen) are a fantastic way to go. Your creative ideas, tips, illustrations, graphic design, photography, poetry, artwork, recipes, comics, stories – in fact nearly any idea that you wish to share with the rest of the world – can be turned into a small publication. While the zine world is expanding, it is really seen as a niche publishing opportunity for you to share your unique perspective with like-minded people of the world. Here are a few things you need to think of during your zine making process.
Who is the zine for?You also need to determine the reason why you want to put your zine out into the market. Is it for exposure? To share ideas? Or is it a portfolio of work or a way to showcase your talent? Perhaps you just want to collaborate with other like-minded people who you may ask to contribute. Set your intentions behind the zine early. Is it a one off or do you see a series developing? Zines may change over time, however having a clear focus and setting goals upfront is critical.
The titleThis is obviously one of the most important decisions you will make during the zine process. The title becomes the masthead of the zine. You also want to think about the tone you are creating, and then design a logo for the zine title in accordance with that tone.
SizeA4, A5, A6. What size you do want the zine to be? Often zines are small, however this doesn’t have to be the case. You can use A3 paper and fold it in half, and there is your first 4 page zine! Or use A4 paper and fold in half, and you have a 4 page A5 zine. Fold it again and there is your 8 page A6 zine. Simple! Play around with size and feel the difference in the publication you will create. Do you want a pocket book, or something larger that people can read leisurely at home? Play around with how the zine could be laid out.
Number of pagesIt is all about the content! Remember, content is king. This is what will get you noticed and have people coming back. You need enough content to make the zine interesting and engaging, and not too much information that it turns the reader away (if they were looking for a book, they would have got one!). When choosing the number of pages, be sure that you know you can fill them all. You don’t want to be struggling for content if you decide to create a series of zines. Map out what will be on each page in pencil first. Where it will sit, how big will it be, etc. Ask yourself:
- What is the information you wish to convey on each page?
- How much content do you already have, or need to create?
- Will there be a mixture of graphics and text?
- What is the call to action, if any, on each page or throughout the zine?