Burnt Coffee Shadows

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Burnt Coffee Shadows caught our eye in The Newsagent recently. It’s got a great title, for one thing, and feels like an old school zine — no wonder, since the ongoing project from Paul Richards features fax machine prints and journal pages from the mid-’90s. It’s very cool to see these monochrome experiments gathered together in a whopping 64-page digital tabloid newspaper. We wanted to know a bit more about these ‘typescapes’ and Paul obliged us:

Too many late nights and lots of caffeine have led to the design of a typographic journal entitled ‘Burnt Coffee Shadows’. This black & white, 64-page newspaper includes material taken from note and sketchbooks that date as far back as 1996. Featuring visuals generated from thoughts, scribbles and experiments with hardware (old fax machines feature prominently) this book uses impression and expression to create dark, brooding typographic landscapes — typescapes.

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These typescapes mirror the cacophony of noise around us, the visual and audio onslaught of the modern environment – be it amongst the sprawling mish-mash of London, the complexity of Tokyo, or the towering grids of New York. The constant barrage of half-heard conversations, snippets of thoughts, emotions and overlapping communications combine in a visual flux conjured from and inspired by the milieu.

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An on-going experiment, this newspaper is the first ‘pause’ in a continuous process. Taking inspiration from the music scene, this edition will be followed by a series of companion ‘remix’ titles, released as alternate versions including collaborations with other artists. Just like the contemporary website, blog or software, the material is in a constant state of renewal and versioning, with this initial release being the catalyst for additional volumes.

 

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Filed under: art, case studies, digital tabloid

Face Me

9Poppy Skelley is an illustrator who recently finished her final year at Cambridge School of Art. She put together a digital tabloid newspaper called FACE ME, a fine collection of faces drawn over the course of her studies. Her lovely black-and-white drawings look great in newsprint, and we asked her to tell us a bit about her work:

FACE ME is a self-initiated project based on the topic of the face. I was researching into masks, faces and sculptures for a project that I was doing at university where I intended to create my own 3D busts out of clay. I had a lot of sketches and illustrations from museums and books that I produced throughout my project and I wanted to display them in some way.

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Printing through Newspaper Club was the ideal way to show my collection of illustrations and I found the online layout tool ARTHR really useful for playing around with page layout and page order.

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This paper also includes sketches made at home of my friends, self-portraits and faces drawn from my imagination. I am continuously drawing people and faces and it seems to be something that captures my interest and inspires me.

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The illustrations are produced using black and white gouache paints, pencils and pens.  I usually work with a lot of colour and texture in my illustrations, so it was a challenge to put together something that was black and white. It proved to be refreshing to work in a different way to what I am used to and I am very happy with the printed result.

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You can buy prints of Poppy’s drawings, including sketches from FACE ME, in her online shop. She keeps a very lovely illustration blog, too. Thanks for printing with us, Poppy!

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Filed under: art, ARTHR, case studies, illustration, Newspaper Stories

The Assumption

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Fionnuala Doran is a student at the Royal College Art who recently won the British Library’s Comics Unmasked competition. Her work engages with history through simple, striking illustration — like this wonderful drawing of Tippoo’s Tiger from a series of sketches from the V&A. The Assumption is a 16-page graphic novelette printed as a digital broadsheet. You can see the comic in its entirety in The Newsagent. Fionnuala tells us about her project:

The Assumption is the end result of my first year studying Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art, and was developed initially as a very loose adaptation of Julian Barnes’ short story Shipwreck.

The Assumption tells the story of the almost forgotten 1879 death of a ten year old boy during a riot in the small market town of Lurgan, Northern Ireland, the attempts to define the circumstances of his death by both his family and the police and the subsequent events in the town, the truth of which has never been determined.

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Thank you for printing with us, Fionnuala! You can find more comic newspapers under the ‘illustration’ tag in The Newsagent.

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Filed under: art, case studies, illustration, Newsagent

Winter Wonderland

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There’s only a few weeks left of summer but never mind — this lovely photo book from photographer Takeshi Suga has us looking forward to wintry days. Winter Wonderland is a 12-page tabloid newspaper of dream-like Japanese landscapes photographed at the beginning of 2013. ‘The scenery I photograph is somewhat whimsical and delicate,’ writes Suga, ‘blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy.’ Limited to 300 copies, the newspaper has an introduction from Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley of similarly dreamy pop band Tennis. Suga writes about his project:

In Winter Wonderland I am exploring the idea of a wonderland in wintertime Japan. Despite our culture being increasingly westernized and Christmas becoming almost as important of an event to celebrate as New Year’s, “Winter Wonderland”, a winter-time song written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith, is relatively unknown in Japan. This reminded me of the fact that we imported the word ‘wonderland’ and while a number of imported words and cultural elements such as ‘Christmas’ have been assimilated into Japanese culture, ‘wonderland’ is a word many Japanese people have heard of but many people have never wondered what it is. This in turn raised the question whether or not a wonderland can be discovered in Japan.

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Through this sequence of imagery, I seek to convey that the idea of a winter wonderland, which was formed in the west, can also be applied to Japanese winter landscapes. Winter in some parts of Japan can be extremely harsh with heavy snowfall and fewer hours of sunlight than any other season but these images of landscapes show that becalmed beauty and wonder do exist in the moments of euphoric serenity the season also offers every now and then – that is where I believe Winter Wonderland resides.

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Winter Wonderland is currently available at bookshops in 7 cities in 6 different countries– Kobe, Tokyo, London, Barcelona, Brussels, Oslo and Amsterdam.

You can order a copy of Winter Wonderland online through Utakatado Publishing. See more of Takeshi Suga’s work on his website and keep up with upcoming projects on Instagram. Thank you for printing with us!

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Filed under: art, Newspaper Stories

Comic Sans for Cancer

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We’ve been very excited to help print a bad typeface for a good cause this week – Comic Sans for Cancer. Comic Sans for Cancer is an exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the typeface we all love to hate, and putting the proceeds towards a really good cause – Cancer research. We’ve printed a limited run of newspapers as a program to accompany the event, which can be bought from exhibition if you hot foot it down there!

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Over 500 artists and designers got involved to create a brilliant series of posters to commemorate the event which are now being exhibited at The Proud Archivist.

Entry is totally free but donations are of course very welcome, with all funds raised going to Cancer Research UK. 

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You can read all about the exhibition and find out how to donate here.

All photographs here taken by David Craik Photography.

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Filed under: art, events, typography

Enjoy the Ride

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Enjoy the Ride is ‘a fanzine dedicated to all things automotive, scootering, motorbikes, design, art and photography’ created by graphic designer David Hardy. It’s a beautiful publication for sale in the Newsagent for £6.50. Here’s what David says about his newspaper:

Enjoy The Ride originally started out as a blog inspired by my love of wheels. The site features mainly vintage racing scooters & motorcycles as this is a real passion of mine. The fanzine had been in the pipeline for some time and being a graphic designer I had a real desire to translate some of the digital media into print. Newspaper stock suited the archive imagery & 35mm photography perfectly.  The concept behind the delivery was to create something mainly visual and not text heavy. There’s also something about the disposable quality of a newspaper that’s really attractive. Once the pages are filled with typography and photographs it immediately creates tension.

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The first issue was dedicated to notions of adventure, voyager, gadabout (One who roams or roves about, as in search of amusement or social activity). For many of us the pleasure of riding is a means of relaxation, escapism or in some cases a kind of prozac. We ride to experience new places, meet new friends and sometimes push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. As the road broadens, so does our emotional states of mind.

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Work is currently underway on a second issue. Thanks for printing with us, David!

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Filed under: art, case studies, Newsagent

Paper of the Month: Everything for Breakfast

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Our Paper of the Month for July is Everything for Breakfast from Sheffield-based illustrator David Hill. Set in a brilliantly drawn universe, the 20-page digital tabloid starts off with an invitation to a birthday breakfast on a lighthouse. The story follows an adventurer in a fabulous jumper, making her way across the world one breakfast at a time — it’s our kind of comic. Just look at that bedroom!

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Unfortunately we can’t jump into the pages, but David was happy to tell us a bit more about his comic:

Everything for Breakfast is the result of my final university project, where I wanted to create something for children to interact with, to read through, and to implicitly receive the message of the importance of acceptance and tolerance amongst different cultures.

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I use my child protagonists – Scottish Explorer Aggie and Ghanaian food lover Kofi – to get the message across in their own unique way. In issue one, Aggie encounters the Tunnel Dudes, a grumpy set of postmen, who become both help and hindrances throughout. They reluctantly help her on her way south towards the Congo jungle so she can find the best present for Kofi’s birthday, while eating all the breakfast she can before setting off again.

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Children’s comics have been around for many years, though a gap seems apparent in educational comics for kids who are becoming more socially independent as they move from primary to secondary school. With this project I was hoping to bridge that gap with my contribution.

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I see the comic being read by kids in schools during the morning breakfast routine, or at break time, so I wanted the comic to be a larger format than the usual issued comic of today, and saw that our University’s graduation brochure was being printed through Newspaper Club. I’ve been aware of the company for a while so this was the perfect excuse to see what my work looks like as a newspaper. The results are great, and I didn’t expect the company to be so personal with the project! And now I know how to make Issue 2 even better.

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This is just the first of a planned four installments, and we can’t wait for the next issue. Thanks for printing with us, David!

About Paper of the Month

Every month, we give a £100 Newspaper Club voucher to one paper shared in The Newsagent. If you’ve printed a paper with us, share your paper (through the settings in your account) for a chance to win.

 

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Filed under: art, case studies, illustration, Newsagent, Newspaper Stories, Paper of the Month, students

Observe: Cambridge Edition

 

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It’s always tempting to sneak a look when you come across someone drawing in a sketchbook. But sometimes you’re lucky enough to be given a guilt-free glimpse in the form of a newspaper. Hannah Blackman-Kurz is a terribly talented illustrator — she’s written a gorgeous children’s book called The Qalupalik and designed posters for the Cambridge Arts Theatre – who has published bits of her travelling sketchbook as a 12-page digital tabloid. Observe is a collection of drawings she did in her local coffee shops, and she tells us a bit about the project:

Observe was a self initiated day project that was based in Cambridge coffee shops. It was a experimentation on how my images would feel placed on a newspaper format and if it gave a different quality to the images, it also fitted the theme of coffee shops and how newspapers are associated with them.

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It was great to see how they finally turned out, it gave the images more of a tactile approach where people can pick them up and don’t feel they have to be so precious with it unlike going through someone’s sketchbook. I’m going to keep experimenting hopefully there shall be a few more editions over the the summer! Thanks Newspaper Club!

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We love Hannah’s work and you can see more of it on her blog. Thank you for printing with us!

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Filed under: art, case studies, illustration, Newsagent, students

Splendid Vol. 1

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Splendid is a handsome collection of black and white ink drawings from illustrator  Samuel St. Leger. The 16-page digital tabloid includes a centrefold drawing of the Raft of Medusa and a wrap-around cover featuring this dour chap, Sea-weed Sad-face:

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It’s a great little publication available in The Newsagent now for £6.50 including delivery. We asked Samuel to tell us about the project:

The idea behind Splendid (in as much as it can be said to have any idea behind it at all) was that I wanted to collect together some of the illustrations I had made at the time. There isn’t really a coherent theme to the paper, and each image is printed large enough to be considered on its own, though in general I tend towards nostalgic images, often tainted/mutated/warped by the passing of time and all rendered in a harsh black and white line which borrows somewhat from woodcuts, engravings, and comics.

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I have always loved the look and feel of newsprint and this project seemed to finally be something where I could marry the two — my black and white illustrations printed in a newspaper. It hadn’t escaped my attention that several artists also used newspapers to produce limited run comics and the like (Chris Ware being the easiest one to spring to mind) and I think I hoped to make Edition 1 from a backlog of work, print it and sell the whole run, then move on to Edition 2, 3, 4 etc.

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I really didn’t have to search that hard to find Newspaper Club — literally just Googled ‘newspaper printing UK’ I think — and the site was the first to appear that was able to make short runs, in a good turn-around period and at a price I could understand and afford. Also, upon further investigation, Newspaper Club are very human, helpful and engaged — especially when I had a small flap about using process black or 100% CMYK black for my edition.

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I faffed around quite a bit with the ordering and layout of my paper, and having decided on a short run, set about making a wrap-around cover (combined with a centrefold image, both things I remember as massive selling points for comics and fanzines of my youth) and drawing a couple of new bits. Then I sent it to print and waited.

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The best bit was when the box arrived at my workplace and I scrabbled at it pulling newspapers out. As I work in a creative agency a fair few people there were interested in the paper and bought them immediately. I still love to look through Splendid and it brings me immense satisfaction as an object to be interacted with and as a record of my work at that time. I have a couple left on my shelves in my studio, and every now and then, if I sell something via Etsy or the like I will chuck a copy in as a bonus!

You can find more of Samuel’s drawings and musings on his blog. Thank you for printing with us!

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Filed under: art, case studies, illustration

A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz

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Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges published his short story “A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz” in 1949. The folk tale has been beautifully interpreted by Falmouth illustration student Christos Papakonstantinopoulos in a monochrome graphic novel– we think the bold black-and-white panels look brilliant printed in a digital tabloid newspaper. A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz is available in The Newsagent now for £7.25. Christos says about his project:

This illustrated newspaper was the result of my research on adapting short stories into the Graphic Novel format. It was part of my final project for the MA Illustration: Authorial Practice in Falmouth University. A limited edition of 22 numbered and signed copies was exhibited in the 2013 MA show in Falmouth, Cornwall.

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The Argentine Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most significant writers of the 20th century, dedicated a lot of his writings to telling stories about the life of well known folk heroes of his country. His short story “A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz (1829-1874)” is an example of how one of these heroes lived. It’s a documentation of customs, habits, and traditions related to the gauchos: the South American version of cowboys.

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Gauchos played an important role in Argentina ‘s struggle against colonialism, and became a symbol of courage and freedom. Living in the country’s wide plains (with sole companion a knife, a poncho, and a horse) was tough, and sometimes brutal. This explains, in a way, the reason why they were so popular among literature, and artistic circles all over Latin America. These features of the gaucho’s way of life, which reveal the unknown but very interesting world of the South American cowboys, are presented through the pages of this newspaper.

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By telling the story through the Graphic Novel medium I hope it will reach a wide audience of all ages as, in my view, the narrative potentials and the special aesthetics of the medium redefine the limits of contemporary literature.

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This visualized version of J. L. Borges short story was hand written, hand drawn and inked in Kathmor House Studios, based in Falmouth, and it is part of a collection of illustrated short stories under the title Kathmor Illustrated Series, which will be released shortly.

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My tutors, fellow students, and me agreed that the most suitable print form for my work would be the newsprint. The expressive character of the black and white drawings are perfectly presented through the material qualities of the traditional newsprint paper. When I received the package with the papers I was surprised to see the final drawings printed, and eventually work as a total visual composition. The newspaper fulfilled our expectations completely, and it was a big success.

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Thank you for printing with us, Christos!

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Filed under: art, case studies, illustration, Newsagent

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