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

Pond Life Papers

For the last year, David Ross, Glasgow based designer (and NPC neighbour), has been working on a collaborative product to make beautiful flat pack lamps with a whole host other local illustrators, artists and designers.

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His pondlife themed designs were created to “restore a little love for self-assembly furniture”, giving owners “a connection with the object, a greater understanding of the design and an increased sense of ownership of the product,” once they’ve teased together the simple, elegant frames.

David says: “The shades and frames were inspired by an ongoing interest in ponds, particularly the creatures, plants and structures that make up a pond’s ecosystem.”

Pond Life Laser Lamps by David Ross Design on Newspaper Club

“I made the newspapers for my exhibition primarily because I wanted the opportunity to give a greater background to the product I was launching (including information about 10 collaborators!) without having to print hundreds of sheets of paper in my studio.
Secondly, the newspaper is a far nicer object to pick-up and read than a few sheets of A4, and I hope people will be more likely to hang onto it.
And thirdly, with the Pond Life Laser Lamps I tried to create an honest and fun product – I feel that this is mirrored with a newspaper.”

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The lamps are still on display now in an exhibition at the Lighthouse in Glasgow, and can be bought through the Lighthouse shop, Tojo, or David’s website here. They also happen to feature work by the great Chris Watson, who shares our office space, and one shade by yours truly.

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Filed under: art, case studies, illustration, Newsagent, Newspaper Stories, team

Printed Web #1

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Housed in a wooden display crate in Long Island, the Library of the Printed Web is ‘a collection of works by artists who use screen capture, image grab, site scrape and search query to create printed matter from content found on the web.’

The collection includes zines of Twitter feeds and photography books compiling images from Google Street View. The proprietor is Paul Soulellis, an artist and creative director based in New York who began accumulating ‘web culture articulated as printed artifact’ in 2013. Soulellis presented a very interesting talk about the Library of the Printed Web at the opening of 57th Venice Biennale and recently published Printed Web #1, the first publication devoted to web-to-print art and discourse. The 64-page tabloid newspaper is available in The Newsagent now for £13 including delivery. Here’s what Paul has to say about the publication:

In October 2013 I invited several web-to-print artists whose work I collect for Library of the Printed Web to contribute new work for an exhibition. The show would take the form of a 64-page publication. The result is Printed Web #1.

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These are artists who sift through enormous accumulations of images and texts on the web—hunting, grabbing, compiling and publishing. Nearly all of the artists here (Mishka Henner, Joachim Schmid, Clement Valla, Benjamin Shaykin, Christian Bök, David Horvitz, Penelope Umbrico and Chris Alexander) use the search engine for navigation and discovery, enacting a kind of performance with data. Additionally, pivotal texts by Hito Steyerl and Kenneth Goldsmith suggest a narrative frame for examining the work.

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Printed Web #1 does not define a movement or an aesthetic; rather, it implies something spatial, or a new way of working in the world. Perhaps these pages present evidence of an emerging web-to-print practice forming around the artist (as archivist), the web (as culture) and publishing (as both an old and a new schema for expressing the archive).

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See more of Paul Soulellis’s projects on his website and follow the ever-growing collection of the Library of the Printed Web.

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Filed under: art, case studies, Newsagent

St. Jude’s In The City

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There’s a lovely event happening now at The Town House in Spitalfieds. St. Jude’s In The City is an exhibition of recent works by artists Angie Lewin and Alex Malcolmson organised by St. Jude’s Prints.

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They printed a mini newspaper to go alongside the exhibition — a teaser edition for the second issue of their publication Random Spectacular. (The first smashing issue of Random Spectacular can be seen on their website.) It features works from the exhibition, including Alex Malcomson’s box constructions and Angie Lewin’s linocuts, as well as essays about London from Random Spectacular contributors.

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Free copies of the newspaper are available (while stocks last) at the exhibition, which runs until 5pm on Saturday 24th May (daily open times are listed online). They’ll also have a small number of copies available to purchase (for a nominal amount) online after the exhibition.

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Full exhibition details can be found on the St. Jude’s website. Random Spectacular No. 2 will be published in June, and as with the first issue all profits go to Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. You can follow St. Jude’s on Twitter and Facebook to be the first to hear when it’s out for sale.

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Filed under: art, case studies, illustration

The Little Emperor

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Joey Duong is an illustrator in her third year of study at Hertfordshire University. She recently printed one of the most brilliantly colourful digital tabloids we’ve seen, filled with her lovely drawings. Joey told us about her newspaper:

The Little Emperor was created for a university project. It involved finding a topic that we felt strongly about and creating imagery to hopefully inspire others to take interest in it. The topic I chose was based on the one child policy in China. Though the policy has recently been relaxed, I wanted to show my perception of what it’s like to be an only child in a Chinese family (being Chinese myself I understand the pressures).

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This idea was mostly inspired by an article I read, reporting that parents who are too busy to look after their children will typically leave the responsibilities to grandparents who live under the same roof. This then leads to the parents worrying about the child being too spoiled, what they call in China “Little Emperor Syndrome” — hence the title of my newspaper.

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From the age of 3, some parents choose to send their children away to boarding school so they can become more ‘independent.’ My main aim was to capture the sadness of this lifestyle — for the reader to feel sorry for the child and understand the downsides to this aspect of Chinese culture.

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I don’t usually base my work on sad topics, so it was a challenge for me at first. My style is quite childlike and cheerful, so I had problems trying to create work that communicates a sad topic but also trying to suit it to my illustration style.

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I enjoy using all types of media and materials, and for this newspaper I created images using a mixture of poster paint, watercolour, felt tips, acrylic and black fine liner. I then edited them on Photoshop and organised the pages on InDesign.

You can see more of Joey’s bright and wonderful work on her website Crazy Pot of Pencils and buy prints of her drawings on Society6. Thank you for printing with us, Joey!

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The leaves of London transformed

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Silke Spingies does magical things with leaves. She creates intricate, otherworldly sculptures by pressing leaves for up to three weeks and then sewing each individual leaf to a layer of fabric, creating textures that resemble feathers or wood. Throughout the delicate process she sprays the leaves with water to keep them alive. She created a digital tabloid called Leaves to accompany an exhibition of her sculptures in 2012. It is now available to buy for £5 in The Newsagent.

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Each piece has been shot by photographer Sam Scott-Hunter – an important part of the process to provide documentation of how the sculptures looked when first created, as they will deteriorate over time. As she writes: ‘The colour and texture of each piece will change over time, reflecting the changes that take place naturally in the wild.’ We asked Silke to tell us more about her sculptures and her newspaper:

I’m a freelance graphic designer and artist living in London. I’m glad to have found Newspaper Club. It was recommended to me by a colleague and it’s just right for me and the people I’ve designed a paper for. I love the large format, which gives me the opportunity to show my work in a larger scale. The paper is a great item to give to people and it also works really well as promotional material. It’s not too precious but fun.

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I’ve made the first edition of Leaves almost two years ago and have improved it ever since. I’ve done a single test copy first, just to see how the colours and contrasts of my images would come out in print. I really recommend this as there is quite a difference between the preview on screen and the actual result in newsprint and it’s also a last chance to spot mistakes. I’ve saturated the colours and increased the contrast in my images for further editions. Newspaper Club has a fast turnaround and the people there have always been really helpful and friendly.

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My first leaf artworks were done for a group exhibition in Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery in London in Autumn 2012. Months before the show I’d spend weeks and weeks collecting and pressing hundreds of leaves from trees in my neighbourhood. In the end I had a large collection of pressed lime, cherry, ginkgo, buddleja, and beech leaves filling up most of my studio. Surprisingly the colours of the fresh leaves were mostly preserved in the drying process.

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I then went on to lay out the beautiful dried Ginkgo leaves in a square just to establish the amount of leaves that I could use for my sculptures. The result looked so pleasing that I decided to capture that moment in a photo which led to a series of prints of laid out leafs – also featured in my paper. After the leaves are prepared, they are sewn one by one by hand onto a layer of fabric that is attached to a sphere. It’s a calm, relaxing process that requires a lot of patience and time.

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In the centrefold of the paper is a picture of my exhibition space at Smokehouse Gallery. It shows the installation with all sculptures and two leaf prints in the background.

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Silke is selling her leaf sculptures and prints on. Etsy. You can see more of her work on her website and also find her on Twitter. Thank you for printing with us, Silke!

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Paper of the Month: National Collective Zine

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February’s Paper of the Month is the National Collective Zine, a new publication from an arts movement ‘founded with the aims of arguing the positive case for Scottish independence.’ 

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It’s a limited edition improved tabloid (only 200 available) with contributions from a great collection of Scottish artists and creatives, including specially commissioned artwork from Alasdair Gray and an exclusive interview with Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite. There’s photography, fiction, collage, political and cultural commentary, poetry — all contained within 36 well-designed pages.

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Copies are available from the National Collective shop for £3.50, while supplies last. Thank you for printing with us!

About Paper of the Month

Every month, we give a £100 Newspaper Club voucher to one paper shared in our 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, illustration, Paper of the Month

Seven on the Spot

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Seven on the Spot was one of the first papers to go on sale in the Newsagent, and we couldn’t be happier to open shop with such a lovely paper on offer. It’s a collection of writing from seven author friends, all required to use the same set of seven words in their stories. Co-editor Anne Shewring says: ‘Even though we started work on the same day, with the same words in mind, all our stories are very different.’ We asked her to tell us more about the project:

Seven On, now in its second edition, is a collection of short stories, written by a group of writers and friends. Our first collection was born over a drink. Sandra Deeble and Anne Shewring were grumbling about how hard it is to get any short stories published.  Then it occurred to us – we could do it ourselves. Anne had already published a couple of newspapers with Newspaper Club, and the format seemed ideal for getting something done easily.

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I’m not sure where the idea for seven came from; maybe it was how many people we knew who were prepared to write a story and not get paid for it. Our first theme was austerity, the word of the moment in 2011, and we asked illustrator Mike Howard to design and illustrate the newspaper, which he did splendidly.

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Seven on Austerity looked great and it was lovely to see our work in print, so lovely, in fact, that we decided to produce another edition. We invited writers to send us stories on the theme of laughter, but then didn’t really enjoy anything that came our way. Abandoning that idea, we went back to the original seven, with one change, and went away for the weekend, to Anne’s tiny cottage in Derbyshire, one of our writers coming all the way from Gettysburg to join us.

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We took a walk around the village of Holbrook and, inspired by what we saw, each of us returned with a word. The seven writers then produced a story containing all of these seven words. The result is Seven on the Spot. Mike Howard has again illustrated, with help from a few friends, and has produced a really lovely looking newspaper.

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We’re happy if anyone reads our Seven On papers, and there are some great stories in there, but really, the fun is in the writing and publishing. We’d love to be able to afford to produce thousands and give them away to commuters to jolly up their journeys, but at the moment that’s not possible.  Maybe one day. In the meantime, watch out for Seven On number three.

Seven on the Spot and Seven on Austerity are available to buy in the Seven On shop in the Newsagent for £4.25 each, delivered.

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Filed under: art, case studies, illustration, Newsagent

Lichtspiele and cinematic typography

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“Lichtspiele” is the German word for the distinctive style of early 20th century cinema. It’s also the name of a fantastic typography newspaper from Stefan Huebsch, a graphic designer from Saarbruecken, Germany. Stefan is currently studying communication design at the University of Applied Sciences in Trier and wrote to tell us about his publication:

Lichtspiele is a diploma project about exceptional movie theaters in Germany, alongside interviews with movie theater owners, cinema operators and a bunch of real film nutcases. There are also pictures of the film theaters and infographics about cinema history.

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The  cinemas are all special in their own way– from the world’s oldest drive-in to a movie theater where the film posters are all hand-drawn.

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In addition to being a newspaper about these cinemas Lichtspiele is also a headline font. It transports you back to a time where neon lights and marquee letters decorated cinema facades. The fonts shown in the newspaper are reminiscent of 1920’s movie theater programmes combined with a double-sided movie-poster.

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It was a quite nice experience to create this newspaper, from test-printings to the final product, which was — by the way — delivered fast as hell. Unpacking the box of newspapers, the smell of paper and print brings you back in time where ‘digital’ was just something sci-fi.

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Head over to Stefan’s website to see more of his work, and you can also follow him on Twitter. Lovely stuff Stefan, thank you for printing with us!

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Filed under: art, case studies, students, typography

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