Paper of the Month: The Surreal Times

The Boy Who Eat Picasso, Oxford Playhouse. CREDIT Geraint Lewis

Our Paper of the Month for March is The Surreal Times, an interactive classic tabloid programme for an interactive theatre production. “The Boy Who Bit Picasso” is a new children’s play from Edinburgh Fringe award winners The Untied Artists. It’s based on the book by Tony Penrose (who did indeed bite Picasso) and it’s on now at the Oxford Playhouse.

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We love playfulness of the programme, which was designed by Gareth Courage. He told us why a newspaper made sense for a hands-on show:

The design of the paper has gone through several iterations. Over the past year, the play has been in pre-production and has been a collaboration between myself and the play’s originators, Jake Olershaw and Jo Carr. Another version of the paper from last year is being used as a prop in the play and The Surreal Times has been adapted to work as a programme that was both interesting and informative to adults as well as being something children could take home and play with in the spirit of the artists the play is about.

The Boy Who Eat Picasso, Oxford Playhouse. CREDIT Geraint Lewis

If people want a copy it will be given away free when you attend the play! So you will need to check if it is touring in your area.

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We think it’s really valuable to have a further interactive experience alongside our theatre show, and hope the newspaper will central to that. Hopefully it’s something that parents and children will both want to get their hands on.

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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.

Toca Magazine takes SXSW

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We’re huge fans of Toca Boca. They’re a play studio that makes beautifully-designed digital toys in the name of Pure Play: ‘Play for the sake of play. Play without rules, levels or predetermined outcomes.’

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Toca Boca had a booth at this year’s SXSW gaming expo, where they invited visitors to plaster their white canvas surfaces with Toca stickers. In the end it looked something like this:

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They also printed Toca Magazine for families to take home. It’s a classic tabloid newspaper edition of their online magazine that ‘engages parents and families on the topic of play in technology, culture and society.’

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Toca Boca producer Andrew Lovold tell us: ‘Launched in November 2014, Toca Magazine offers helpful articles, tips and expert advice on family life, kids’ development, and the positive impact play can have on creativity, social skills, physical health, cognitive development and more.’ The pages are populated with Toca’s delightful characters and it looks amazing. There’s even a pull-out poster!

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Toca is planning another print edition of their magazine soon, but for now you can sign up for an e-mail version of Toca Magazine Newsletter. Thank you for printing with us, Toca Boca!

Construction Castles and the architecture of scaffolding

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Buildings sheathed in scaffolding tend to be overlooked or condemned as urban eyesores. But Lawrence Richards believes they’re feats of architecture in their own right. Lawrence, a London-based creative designer, thinks we should take a closer look at these tarpaulin-cloaked structures and has assembled a collection of what he calls ‘construction castles’ in a digital tabloid newspaper. He published Construction Castles in The Newsagent last month.

Construction Castles began as photography blog about the unrecognised beauty of construction, demolition, and temporary structures in London. It features original photography, comments, and links to articles within the field.

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The blog was born out of the desire to document these transitory edifices in the manner of a new form of architecture, both metamorphic and evocative, and certainly something worth looking at; rather than to be seen as a blot between an otherwise normal group of structures.

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In documenting these temporary forms I hope to inadvertently document London’s skyline as it constantly morphs and develops in whichever manner takes place.

Construction Castles is for sale in The Newsagent for £5, including shipping to the UK.

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Filed under: case studies, digital tabloid, Newsagent, photography

A Collection

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Miriam Davies is a printmaker studying Fine Art at the Cardiff School of Art and Design. She keeps a beautiful online journal where she documents her visits to the beach at Southerndown and the wonderful objects and textures she finds there. She printed A Collection with us, a digital tabloid newspaper of some cherished (and mysterious) old photographs. We asked her to share the story behind her newspaper:

A Collection was created in response to a project brief where I had to take found objects and create a narrative. Although the brief was new, the project had in fact started two years previously. I started collecting photographs out of an unusual moral obligation I felt towards protecting them. Purchased at various markets across the UK, once I had found them it became very difficult to leave them behind.

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A Collection consists of 77 images; I do not know any of the people in the photographs nor where they originate. Any information I have gathered lies within the photographs themselves. As delicate, personal items I often wonder how these images were left behind and what strange fate led them into my possession.

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My objective in A Collection was to question the value of a photograph, the stories behind them and the private moments shared. Although I purchased the photographs they still do not belong to me. Therefore I do not have the authority to display them. I thought by creating a newspaper they could be shared in a more private, one-to-one viewing rather than posted on the internet or displayed on a wall.

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The photographs were later used to create a body of work, exploring the variety of ways in which you can adjust and display a photograph while protecting the identity of the people.

You can find more of Miriam’s work on her website. Thank you for printing your lovely project with us!

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Filed under: case studies, digital tabloid, students

Project 1251818

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Between 20 October and 4 November of 2013 Márton Kabai and his wife delivered newspapers as bicycle couriers in the Hague.

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They kept a dutiful log of each route — distance travelled, average speed, duration of journey, and even a weather report (‘rain’ on 28 October and ‘partly cloudy night’ on 1 November). Márton collected these notes and accompanying ephemera in a 64-page digital tabloid newspaper journal.

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Souvenirs from their experience, like the banana that became a routine snack to gloves inky from newspaper handling, are scanned in alongside squiggly route maps and detailed metrics. ‘It seemed appropriate to choose the newspaper format to tell the story of two newspaper deliverers,’ Márton told us. We agree, and salute this fantastically exhaustive diary project!

You can see Project 1251818 in its 64-page entirety in The Newsagent.

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Filed under: case studies, digital tabloid, Newspaper Stories

Gardening in Georgia

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Here’s a blooming lovely newspaper for the first day of spring: Gardenia tells the story of Zurab Shevardnadzes, a gardener in Georgia who runs a plant nursery located on the outskirts of Tbilisi. The digital tabloid newspaper is a project from Jan Weckelmann, a photography student at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund, Germany. We loved the photographs before we had any idea what the newspaper was about (the text is all in German) so we got in touch with Jan who shared the charming story behind Gardenia:

Gardenia is a semester project that I photographed in Georgia. I study photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund, Germany. My project is a reportage about one of the first gardeners in Georgia.

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Spring. In recent decades there were many wars in Georgia and no market for flowers. But Zura wanted to be a gardener in his homeland, so he decided to open a nursery by himself.

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The blue in the newspaper appears again and again in the photos. I took it for the title, the headings and captions, too. I wanted a simple design that puts the photos in the foreground. I didn’t want the text to be lost amongst the photographs so decided for a lot of white space. To prevent it form being boring, I changed formats but everything is aligned to a grid in order to avoid chaos. I made my favourite photos the biggest ones.

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You can also see the paper in action in a short video. Thank you for printing with us, Jan!

Workshops Are Beautiful…and (possibly) coming to a city near you!

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David McCandless is a London-based data journalist and author of Information is Beautiful and Knowledge is Beautiful. He has published over 500 infographics – but no pie charts. As he says: ‘Love pie. Hate pie-charts.’

This year David is sharing his dataviz process in a series of public workshops he’ll be giving around the world. He created a characteristically well-presented digital tabloid newspaper called Workshops are Beautiful as a handout of source material for the workshop.

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The workshops are hands on with ‘lots of paper and pens and sketching and sharing’ so newsprint was a good fit for presenting the material. ‘The size and the feel of newspaper makes a nice difference from laminated or bound handouts,’ David told us. And bright, bold infographics really pop in a double page spread:

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The only way to see the newspaper in full is to attend one of David’s workshops — tentative dates can be found on his website. You can also follow Information is Beautiful on Twitter for updates and lots of handsome graphics. Thank you for printing with us!

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Filed under: case studies, design, digital tabloid, events

The Anniversary after The Nuptial

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Yesterday we wrote about The Nuptial, a lovely newspaper Phil Dobinson put together for his wedding day. One year later Phil made another newspaper to celebrate his first anniversary, collecting photos from the ceremony and displaying them in a simple and thoughtful digital tabloid to surprise his wife. He tells us about it:

Paper is the traditional first wedding anniversary gift so one year on from our big day it seemed a perfect opportunity to build on the newspaper we put together for our wedding. Also we had so many great photographs it seemed a nice, accessible way of presenting them.

 

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We were fortunate to have the skills and experience of David Hares and he captured so many strong images that the biggest challenge was editing, and then re-editing the shots to get a number that would fit within 20 pages. I wanted the images to have a presence and stand out from the page so naturally didn’t want to resort to cramming too many in and having to display them at a postage stamp size.

 

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The content was pretty straightforward – pictures, no captions – so it became a fairly simple exercise of editing our favourite shots and placing them within a grid that ran throughout the publication. Each page reflected a particular part of our wedding day, beginning with the preparations and hair n’ make up and ending with the drinking and dancing in the evening. In between we also captured the arrival of guests, the belated arrival of the bride and the ceremony itself. Like most wedding there were a lot of moments that we’d planned and it was good to have them recorded for posterity.

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One nice feature of the newspaper format is that the middle pages open up to create one unbroken image. It works well to break the pace of the collection of images up and I choose my favourite image of the day to appear here.

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Emma had a suspicion that I was working on putting the newspaper together but even so she still managed to act surprised when I presented it to her on our anniversary. The print run was deliberately a lot, lot smaller than The Nuptial – this time only 10 copies were printed – so that it was only available for a more select audience. In fact the only people beside Emma who got their own copy were our parents.

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Thank you for sharing your wonderful newspapers with us, Phil and Emma!

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Filed under: case studies, weddings

The Nuptial

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Phil Dobinson is a graphic designer, photographer, and sometimes screenprinter (as proprietor of Inky Fingers Prints). He designed a lovely digital tabloid newspaper for his wedding day to go along wedding invitations he screen-printed himself. That was in 2010 — The Nuptial is a paper we never got round to writing about at the time but one that has stuck in our memory. When we got in touch with Phil about belatedly featuring it on our blog he was happy to dig out the paper and recall the process of putting it together:

When my wife and I first started planning the details of our wedding day one of the things we wanted to avoid was the traditional, co-ordinated and orchestrated event. Functional items such as menus and the order of the day were necessary but we felt they could be tied together in one format that would encapsulate the spirit of what we were putting together.

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Making a newspaper was not only practical but surprisingly cost-effective — I’d investigated printing more standard sized items but due to the small quantity it wasn’t financially viable. I’d also hand screen-printed the guest invites so didn’t face repeating that process for all the other wedding paraphernalia. We also liked the rough, unfussy paper newspapers are printed on – practical and straightforward yet also engaging.

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Having never designed a newspaper it was a bit of a leap of faith into the dark; the biggest problem was getting all the content together and ensuring that there was enough of it to go on the pages without looking lost. But the advantage of doing a job like this for yourself was being able to make quick decisions when appropriate to keep the project moving along and sourcing or creating content as required to help tell the story.

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There were lots of details that helped make the newspaper unique to us: A quiz ran throughout the paper that revealed quirky facts about the pair of us and the hen and stag party celebrations were displayed to provide everyone with a few laughs. Thankfully bright orange jumpsuits and day-glo orange wigs don’t reproduce that well in black and white so my dignity was only slightly dented.

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Once designed I printed out an actual size version, tiling pages together so that I see how the smaller letters and elements would reproduce and then asked several close friends to read through it and check for inconsistencies and spelling mistakes. This was a worthwhile exercise as several embarrassing oversights were removed and corrected.

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On the day of the wedding we placed copies of the paper on the seats in the registry office and watched with bemusement as people started to leaf through the paper as we waited for the ceremony to begin. They clearly hit the right note as most people held on to their papers throughout the day, appearing in many of the pictures of the day taken by our photographer.

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Phil printed an anniversary paper a year later — stay tuned for some photos from that next!

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Filed under: case studies, digital tabloid, weddings

My Warehouse Home

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My Warehouse Home is a well-curated resource for loft and warehouse dwellers, providing a careful selection of industrial, vintage, and reclaimed housewares. The newly-launched Warehouse Home publication provides a good dose of inspiration for the home decorator. The first issue of Warehouse Home came out in October 2014 and here founder and editor Sophie Bush tells us how the idea came about:

Three years ago, my husband and I bought our first home in a listed warehouse conversion in East London. We fell in love with its exposed brick walls, steel columns, galvanised piping and hardwood flooring. We were keen to decorate our flat in a way that was in-keeping with the rich heritage of the riverside wharf, but at the same time modern and stylish.

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Scouring websites, blogs, magazines, books and shops for inspiration, it became clear that ‘industrial chic’ is hugely popular. However, there didn’t seem to be a single place where we could find a carefully curated selection of the best furniture and accessories for a warehouse home. That’s how we were inspired to create mywarehousehome.com and publish Warehouse Home, to share special finds, news and inspiration with others living in warehouse or loft apartments or looking to inject a bit of industrial chic into their homes.

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Warehouse Home is a clever concept. On the one hand, it’s quite niche. Printed copies are distributed directly to residents of the UK’s most high-end warehouse conversions. But the industrial aesthetic is widely and enduringly popular – so a digital version of Warehouse Home is also available for anyone looking to inject elements of vintage, industrial or reclaimed style into their homes, whether those homes are country cottages or contemporary townhouses.

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The team at Newspaper Club were extremely helpful in the lead up to the publication of Warehouse Home. They worked with us to determine the best possible paper stock and finish for our newspaper, always answered our questions quickly and even sent the publication to print early for us. Delivery was on time and handled brilliantly. We were delighted with the service and certainly plan to use Newspaper Club again to publish Issue Two of Warehouse Home in June.

Warehouse Home is a classic tabloid that was printed on 70gsm Cyclus paper stock and stitched (stapled) —  a new printing option available on request for some traditional newspapers. (Just drop us a line if you want to find out more.) Thanks for printing with us!

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Filed under: case studies, classic tabloid

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