Thursday, February 18th 2010
This is a short message from the Engineering Dept.:
If you’ve already got an account, you might remember that we only asked you for an email address when you signed up. We hate long signup forms, and wanted to keep things as quick and simple as possible.
One of the things we’ve noticed from the beta programme is that lots of people want to collaborate on newspapers and to produce something in a group or a team. This sounds like a great idea and something we’re planning on supporting in the future.
But if we’re going to do that we need a way of identifying you to others, whilst respecting the privacy of your email address.
So, starting from today, we’re asking everyone on Newspaper Club to pick a username – something they’d like to be known by to others. If you’ve just received an invitation this won’t affect you – you’ll be asked for a username when you sign up. But if you’ve already got an account, when you next visit the site you’ll be asked to pick one before you can continue using the site. It’ll take just a few seconds and you can continue on your way.
As always, let us know if you spot any problems.
Wednesday, February 17th 2010
The Engineering Dept. went to the Design Museum in London last night, for the opening of the Designs of the Year exhibition. That’s because we’ve been nominated in the Graphics category, which is nice.
The blurb says:
The seemingly unstoppable rise of digital communication has seen many people predict the impending death of print. The Newspaper Club flies in the face of this, by enabling anyone to produce, not just their own newspaper, but anything that can be made with ink on newsprint. To keep costs as low as possible on print runs from five to 5000, The Newspaper Club utilises downtime at printing presses. Files can be uploaded to the website, enabling prompt printing and delivery, and there are even tools to help the enthusiastic amateur arrange text and images in attractive page layouts.
We’ve been given a little space in which to show off Newspaper Club, and we wanted to make something friendly and interesting that people could actually do something with. So we printed lots of single sheet newspapers that people could take away with them.
On one side, a big logo. That’s not very interesting. But on the other side, James Bridle produced a map and an essay for a walk starting at the Design Museum. It’s called A Wide Arm of Sea. The walk takes you east along an imaginary shore line, towards the history of Bermondsey and Rotherhithe. As James writes:
Somewhere along the way I had the realisation that Bermondsey and Rotherhithe form not a riverbank, but a coastline: a starting point for voyages and expeditions, a strand of possibilities. All the world embarked from this point: Conrad’s famous opening lines to Heart of Darkness – “What greatness had not floated on that ebb into the mystery of an unknown earth!” – look out from here; as do the mad expeditions of Brunel and Captain (Saint?) Christopher Jones. And so: we have a walk, a story, a history.
James has written all about it on his blog booktwo.org, so to save me just copying and pasting, go and read it over there. It’s a fine thing indeed.
A Wide Arm of Sea is available at the Design Museum for the next couple of months. If you follow the walk, we’d love to hear your stories and see your photos – stick a link in the comments.
As usual, more photos on Flickr.
Monday, February 15th 2010
Engineering were whisked away this weekend on a romantic trip to Margate, on the Kent coast. Margate is undergoing a bit of a reinvention as an arts centre. Just around the corner from the building site of the Turner Contemporary, we stumbled across this in a cafe, just lying on the table where we sat down:
It’s a great little newspaper, promoting Margate’s happening during the winter season.
The design is gorgeous, and they’ve used the newspaper format much in the same way that Newspaper Club does. Not parodying it, but respecting it and the details that make a newspaper feel… right.
The centre spread is a poster, ready to be pulled out and stuck up in a window:
It’s not one of ours, but it shows why newspapers are a great format for events. Well done Margate.
More photos on Flickr.
Friday, February 12th 2010
It’s been a busy couple of weeks at Newspaper Club HQ. Lots of you will have been receiving your invitations to try out the beta, and we’ve been ironing out bugs in ARTHR and making sure everything is running as smoothly as could be.
The Engineering Dept. managed to squeeze in the time to make a newspaper of their own. It’s made entirely with ARTHR, our online layout tool, as a bit of a demo of what’s possible.
Atoms For Peace is a bit of a collection of articles about nuclear power. Lots of stuff that I’ve been meaning to read, but not got round to yet. I knocked it together in about 90 minutes, over a couple of sittings.
It’s got Eisenhower’s original speech:
An article from Wikipedia about the next generation of reactor designs:
Some pictures from the Library of Congress, found through Flickr Commons:
As you can see, it’s a black and white newspaper, and I printed five of them. The typography is crisp and clean:
And punchy images seem to work quite well:
Most of the articles were imported into ARTHR using the “import from web” function – you simply paste in a URL and ARTHR fetches the web page and grabs the content for you. Then I scoured around Wikipedia and Flickr for images I could use under license to break things up a bit and make the pages a bit more interesting. Such as this Uranium element, from Wikipedia:
Once everything was together, I spent a while rearranging everything and making it flow properly.
And then I went to print. I got in a couple of hours before the Tuesday printing deadline and received it in the post this morning (Friday).
If you’re interested in making something similar, or even entirely different, stick your email on the list and we’ll try and get an invite out to you shortly.
There are some more pictures over on Flickr.