Things I Want To Read Over The Summer

THINGS I WANT TO READ OVER THE SUMMER

For summer holiday reading this year I grabbed five articles from my delicious feed and popped them into an 8 page newspaper. I then packed the newspaper with my panama and found it made the perfect accompaniment to a G&T by the pool.

There are several interesting points here. Firstly, we are experimenting with newsprint and part of that involves thinking about what an individual (or a very small group of people) could do with a newspaper. As Matt Locke pointed out in January, newsprint is hard to be beat for reading in certain situations. On a packed train, or by the pool for instance. I didn’t want to take my laptop to the pool (we weren’t on holiday in LA) and the articles were too long to read on an iPhone.

Newsprint holds up surprisingly well after it gets wet and it’s durable enough to be folded and stuffed inside a bag at the end of the day. I took two copies with me just in case one got ruined, but in the end I only needed to use one.

THINGS I WANT TO READ OVER THE SUMMER

Secondly, I also wanted to experiment with templates. This newspaper wasn’t made with our automatic online newspaper layouter tool, but the designs I used could be incorporated into the system.

One of the design challenges is to create something flexible enough so that it can handle different sized article lengths and headline lengths and then automatically resize and still look good. The column width on the right hand article is obviously way to wide, but I’m really pleased with the spacing and the layout of the article on the left, which auto scales and balances and still looks good and readable.

THINGS I WANT TO READ OVER THE SUMMER

But the really big news here is about quantity. Newspaper printers are naturally geared up to print hundreds of thousands of copies very quickly. So when you ask them for a few hundred they look at you a bit funny. Recently we have found a digital newspaper printer who will print as little as five copies. Yes, just 5 copies.

This is a huge breakthrough and opens up many more possibilities for Newspaper Club, which we will explore and then diligently blog about here.

Posted by Ben | Comments (5)

Filed under: art, case studies, printers

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5 Comments

  1. Fri, 11 Sep 2009 at 3:18 pm
    Edwin Gardner Permalink

    he guys, just wanted to share that i find it incredibly exciting what you’re doing! I’ve been doing a project called prss release (although it’s a bit in coma right now) http://www.prss-release.org/ and i’ve been searching for this auto-layout-ing kinda of thing – that would look good no matter what. Also dreaming about actual print in small number instead of office printing your mag.

    thumbs up! and curious what is to come!

  2. Tue, 22 Sep 2009 at 9:50 pm
    Russell Permalink

    Thanks Edwin, Prss-release looks interesting, hopefully we’ll be able to help you out somehow. We’ll keep you up to date with progress here.

  3. Wed, 30 Sep 2009 at 3:52 pm
    Colin Permalink

    This project sounds exciting for so many reasons, but the fact that you’ve found a printer who will print as few as 5 copies is amazing. At the moment, my group of 12-14 year olds publish a paper every two months, but they typically publish 16-24 pages at a time, so I don’t think that the Newspaper Club will work for us at the moment. However, we currently get printed up in Lincolnshire and have the papers delivered back to London, and our minimum press run is 1,000 copies. We really only need 750-800. Any chance you’d be willing to share the name of this printer which will do so few copies at a time?

  4. Tue, 22 Dec 2009 at 1:16 pm
    eric Permalink

    info on the small run printer would be very appreciated.

  5. [...] to create a sudden flurry of hyper-local newspapers, creative fanzines, affordable catalogues, unusual teaching tools/reading lists, remarkable experiments in democracy and community, stunning one-offs in unexpected places, new [...]

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