Truffle Time Newspaper

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The nice people from Madame Truffles in Melbourne, Australia have written a blog post about their recent, beautiful, newspaper which we are reproducing here.

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I thought it was worth writing an additional post with a bit more detail about the truffle newspaper we’ve made this year. When I say ‘we’ve made’, it’s important to note this includes Ian who designed it so beautifully, and Newspaper Club who actually got the thing printed. (I thoroughly recommend anyone who wants to make a paper about, well, anything really, to use them.) The papers arrived this week and they look and feel great.

The paper will be available in store (to take home) for anyone wanting to learn more about truffles. Some of the pages are shown below. It’s been fun making it and we’ve had to do a lot of digging around ourselves (not sure if that’s a truffle pun, but if it is, it’s not intended) and have learnt a lot along the way.

There’s an interview with Simon Harvey – an ex military dog trainer who now trains truffle dogs in Tasmania. And also an interview with Peter Marshall from Terra Preta truffiere in NSW. Some of you may recall Peter from when we went truffle hunting with him last year. His approach to truffles is quite unique and he’s a fascinating man to spend time with, which hopefully comes across in the article.

There’s also hints and tips on looking after truffles, a few recipes (thanks to Tony, Kate and Andrew), some facts and figures about the industry, plus some other nonsense in there as well.

You can see the newspaper in the Newsagent.

Posted by Ben | Comments (1)

Filed under: art, case studies

Behind the zines – how we sell Ferment

Hello! I’m Sarah Plant and I work on a little zine called Ferment. The chaps at Newspaper Club have asked me to talk a bit about how we solved some problems with selling our zine.

Ferment covers

The idea behind Ferment is that for every issue we choose a theme that we hope will be as widely interpreted as possible, thus inspiring an extensive range of responses from our invited contributors. Initially writers respond to the theme, then illustrators respond to those writers’ poems or short stories. We then publish the paired-up results as a 12 page black and white newspaper. I design each issue, along with James Weiner, and our editor, Paul Askew.

Inside an issue of Ferment

Without Newspaper Club, Ferment probably wouldn’t exist. All of us were finding something lacking in our day jobs, wanted to do something creative together, that we had control over, and that was fun to do. We don’t intend to ever make any money from Ferment, but it does need to pay for itself. To do this, we sell it from our website, but we also sell it into shops around Oxford, where we are based.

Whilst online sales are reasonably healthy, the feedback we were getting from our stockists was that whilst customers were interested, it was hard to shift issues as Ferment could be mistaken for free music or illustrated magazines. This was obviously an issue that needed to be overcome. So how are we solving it?

We are attacking the problem in two ways for our next issue; a neat little bit of packaging design, and some simple changes to our masthead (the bit at the top of our front cover with our logo, pricing, etc).

Ferment rolled-up-issue

Things like shrink-wrap and cellophane didn’t really tickle our fancy as people wouldn’t be able to get a feel for the paper, which is important to how Ferment is experienced, plus it can seem a bit tacky. Instead, we decided to roll up each issue and wrap it in a black belly band – perhaps evoking the quality of a morning paper thrown onto a lawn in an 80s John Hughes movie. The band is then ‘sealed’ with a small matt vinyl sticker that we got printed cheaply, featuring our logo and website address.

Ferment belly band close-up

The other piece of the puzzle was to reinforce the value of Ferment, and to increase the desire for it. We came up with the idea of clearly individually numbering each copy of each issue, much like limited edition prints or records. The edition number will be positioned prominently next to our logo and price in the masthead, and can be seen even when the zine is rolled up.

So that’s it – feel free to rip off our ideas – although we probably won’t know how effective they’ve been until a few weeks after our next issue goes on sale in early February. The theme is ‘Cities’, and if you live in Oxford, you’ll be able to see the fruits of our (and our esteemed contributors’) labour in Comma, the Old Fire Station, and Blackwell’s book store or you can get it from

Posted by Ben | Comments Off on Behind the zines – how we sell Ferment

Filed under: case studies, zines

Good Times for Blue Monday

Monday 16 January is officially the most depressing day of the year. Those clever people at the Church of London wanted to do something about that. To combat the winter blues they’ve created a great-looking, colourful newspaper full of good news. Called what else but The Good Times, it’s available from locations throughout London today. To find a copy check out The Good Times website and turn that frown upside down.

If you can’t get a paper copy, the PDF is on the website along with a great account of how the paper was made in 7 days.

Posted by Anne | Comments Off on Good Times for Blue Monday

Filed under: news and press

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