Out with the old, in with the newspapers

Phil McMillan's dissertation

Photo: MA in Graphic Design dissertation by Phil McMillan.

Well, 2010 has been a massive year for Newspaper Club. It was our first proper year of trading, so there’s been lots to do and lots to learn. We’ve had an amazing time seeing what people do with newsprint and have printed everything from annual reports to wedding proposals. Check ‘em out in the Newspaper Club Flickr group.

We’re extremely grateful to those of you who have printed with us, blogged about us, given us awards (nice!) and generally got excited about what we’re doing. That keeps it exciting for us. We’re looking forward to another year and plans for 2011 are already underway.

So it’s a happy old year and a happy new year from Newspaper Club. If you’ve resolved to make a newspaper in 2011 you know where we are.

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Filed under: news

Hackers!

#551 in a series of Things That Have Arrived In The Post

Hackers! is one of my favourite papers we’ve made so far. And you can buy one.

Leila (the editor) says this about it:

Hackers! is a full-colour, 12-page, quarterly newspaper packed with entertaining creations and ideas, features on artists, scientists, and everything inbetween. Read about laser-powered bongs, hacking time, new games for old 8-bits, side- channel attacks, Victorian hackers, combination locks and plenty more.

“Why hackers? I kept seeing this very fresh, very motivated creativity everywhere, individuals quietly looking for possibilities to subvert and improve given systems and technologies with their ideas – and refusing to accept that it can’t be done. There was a shared attitude, but no single place to go to find it all. So I spotted a gap for a new publication, respectfully and professionally produced, but made in the spirit of hacking rather than simply reporting on it. Hacking has many meanings – it’s as much about ingenious problem-solving as it is about mischief. People are beginning to realise that, and that’s definitely something to celebrate.”

I like it because it sits in that lovely sweet spot between professional and amateur. A newly emerging sweet spot that’s better than both extremes. Or something. Anyway, it’s nicely DIY and quirky but it’s also got proper discipline – because it’s been well edited and it’s got a limited number of pages. So it’s all good. (Not in the American sense of it not being a problem, but in the literal sense of being entirely good.)  And you can buy one.

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You don’t just have to have news on newspaper

It will sound obvious to regular readers, but one of the reasons we don’t think “newspapers are dead” is because you don’t just have to put news on them. We’ve always been careful not to dictate what people put into the newspapers we print. We see ourselves as a platform that you can fill with whatever takes your fancy.

This lovely project from Flourish Creative illustrates that point beautifully.

Flourish Christmas Newspaper

They say, “Every year we like to send out a Christmas card with a twist, and 2010 was no different. We went for a newspaper-style approach, with the outside pages covered in a festive design so our friends and colleagues wouldn’t be caught short if the wrapping paper ran out.”

Flourish Christmas Newspaper

Flourish Christmas Newspaper

A few more pics here.

Flourish Christmas Newspaper

Newspapers – we’re as creative as you are.

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Filed under: art, case studies

Westward ho!

You might remember that back in the days of summer we started shipping internationally. This was, of course, our initial attempt to dominate the global market in helping people make their own newspapers. But whilst world domination remains on the ‘to do’ list, we’re pleased with how things have gone – it’s certainly done its bit in doubling our sales in the last four months.

Where are we delivering to? Well, the Nordic region has been a popular destination. I guess this may have a lot to do with quite a few people up there speaking English very well (often better than a lot of us), making our website easily understood. We’ve also delivered a disproportionate number of papers to Germany – but the reason why is mysterious.

We’re keen to do more internationally, especially as we’re not delivering as much as we’d like to the US (even though the delivery cost seems fairly reasonable). We’ve concluded that a better way to help more people over there make their own newspapers might be to partner with some US printers – we can then print locally and, like we do in the UK, absorb domestic delivery costs. We’d also then stir ourselves to bill in dollars.

We have a couple of interesting potential partners, but could do with adding some more candidates from around the country… which leads me to make a bit of a bleg: if anyone could recommend US newspaper printers we’d be very grateful. It’s been particularly difficult to find printers that can (or are willing) to produce newspapers digitally (i.e. in small runs that remain economic), so suggestions in this area would be even more gratefully received. Please email me at gareth[at]newspaperclub[dot]co[dot]uk.

It’s probably worth pointing out that just because we’re getting all excited about the US, it doesn’t mean we’re not also thinking about the rest of the world. We’re always interested to talk to people who have ideas about how we might work together in places we’re not, but should be…

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Filed under: developments, printers

Exciting New Product Launch

Newspaper Club Christmas special

As you may have noticed we’ve launched Newspaper Club Gift Vouchers. The perfect gift for someone for whom you can’t think of the perfect gift. Available in denominations of £35, £70 or £120 (equivalent to 5, 20 or 100 12-page black and white newspapers).

What you may not have noticed is that we’ve updated the pictures we use on our homepage. We like to show off the papers our customers have printed, so we’ve used pictures from the Newspaper Club Flickr group.

Music Hack Day newspaper

I’d like to thank Thomas Bonte who took the picture above at a recent Music Hack Day

these are patterns

And I’d like to thank m8roberto who took this picture above of his splendid Patterns newspaper.

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Hot off the presses

Here’s a round-up of some the newspapers we have printed recently.

Gerry Loves Records

Gerry Loves Records in Edinburgh got a standard black and white newspaper trimmed to create a square insert for a 12″ vinyl EP. The newspaper features original artwork from featured bands The Japanese War Effort / Fox Gut Daata / Miaoux Miaoux / Wounded Knee and is available from the Gerry Loves Records website.

Unreadable Writings of Unknown People by Tom Longmate

Unreadable Writings of Unknown People: A Type Design Project was designed by Tom Longmate as part of an MA in Graphic Design at London College of Communication. It’s very smart. More pictures and info on the KentLyons blog.

ATM Newspaper 10

And last but not least, Darren Leader Studio designed this fine newspaper for the Access to Music Day Open Day in Norwich. More photos in the Access to Music Newspaper Flickr set.

Thanks all!

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Filed under: case studies