A zine, short for magazine or fanzine, is most commonly a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier. Usually zines are the product of a single person, or a very small group. Zines first emerged in the US, where the photocopier was invented, and have always been more numerous there.
Popularly defined as having a circulation of 1,000 or fewer copies, in practice many zines are produced in editions of fewer than 100. The primary intent of publication is to advance the views of the editor rather than profit, since the time and materials necessary to create a zine are seldom matched by revenue from its sales. Zines have served as a significant medium of communication in various subcultures, and frequently draw inspiration from a 'do-it-yourself' philosophy.
Zines are written in a variety of formats, from desktop-published text to comics to handwritten text (an example being the hardcore punk zine Cometbus). Print remains the most popular zine format, usually photocopied with a small circulation. Topics covered are broad, including fan fiction, politics, poetry, art and design, personal journals, social theory, riot grrrl, and intersectional feminism, single-topic obsession or sexual content far outside the mainstream, enough to be prohibitive of inclusion in more traditional media.
Zines are typically experimental cultural fragments defined by being created and distributed outside of the mainstream publication centres. They have the opportunity to reach selected, specific audiences and often create pockets of intimate, subcultural communities.
In recent years, the number of zines has risen to prominence or professional status and have found wide bookstores and online distribution. Notable among these are Dazed & Confused, Bust, Bitch etc.
The zine below is an extract of a zine created in the 1990's by Riot Grrrl. The zine was created by photocopier. It's a beautiful design, and very postmodern. The effect of the photocopier is really classic of zines of its time, as each zine had a similar aesthetic and was printed in black and white to keep printing costs to a minimum, and therefore more zines could be put out into circulation.
These days, however, zines are very different and often printed digitally. This particular design is created by Shaz Madani for the publication 'No Zine'. The design is beautiful - it's very modern and slick, and very different to a lot of zines that I have seen before.
|No Zine, Shaz Madani|
This is a zine that I saw when browsing through VILLAGE in Leeds. It was a photography zine, however it is clear the focus on layout was crucial in the production. Each page is completely different, however tells a story through the images and focus on negative space.
|Sodden Bloom, VILLAGE|
This is a zine I found online called 'The Comment Section' by Rory Blakemore. This particular zine is very reminiscent of the style of Riot Grrrl zines, however is digitally printed and uses basic colour. It's in quite a postmodern style compared to other zines of current day that I have seen.
|The Comment Section, Rory Blakemore|
I am going to create an A4 poster design as I want my poster to be a full bleed image for the people who purchase the magazine so that they can cut it out and hang it up on their wall.