Introducing Russell, our new paperboy

Newspaper Club Russell Mascot

After 5 years of good service, we’ve decided to retire the old Newspaper Club logo and let our mascot (only ever known as “The Dude”) go to the great paper round in the sky. Choosing a new mascot was not a decision that was taken lightly, and we want to share some of the thought that went into it.

Ben told the story of the old logo when it was developed in 2009. Opinions were always mixed – some people loved it and others hated it. On a practical level, the details and mix of strong colours in our mascot made him difficult to scale and a challenge to print – especially on a newspaper.

After canvassing opinion, the consensus was that the paperboy idea worked, we just needed a new model. We approached D8 in Glasgow and asked them to create a paperboy with a simpler design, which was easier to adapt for different uses. We took inspiration from great character mascots like the BIC Boy, Mr. Minit, and MailChimp’s Freddie. We wanted our new paperboy to feel like he had a life of his own, and to use him in different ways across our website and printed materials.

Newspaper Club Russell Mascot

The challenge was to create a figure with a personality that is simple and clear enough to work online and in print. We learned what we could from old posters and adverts (and had fun collecting them on a Pinterest board). Classic illustrators like Daphne Padden and Raymond Savignac do this so well with the delicate curve of a line. We studied their work to develop a friendly character with a minimal amount of detail.

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After a few weeks of honing the design, we finally found our new paperboy. We’re pleased to introduce what we hope is a friendly new face for the company as we roll out some changes across our website. Thanks to the old joke, it wasn’t too difficult to find a name for him.

What do you call a paper boy? Russell.

Posted by Anne | Comments Off on Introducing Russell, our new paperboy

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Christmas and New Year Holiday Opening Hours

Here’s a note of our holiday opening times. Please plan ahead if you need anything for late December/January, or contact us now if you have any special requirements.

Last print runs
Thursday 10 December 2015 (2pm) – last date for Christmas delivery overseas
Tuesday 15 December 2015 (2pm) – last date for Christmas delivery to UK (except digital minis, last print date on 10 December)
Tuesday 31 December 2015 (2pm) – last print date of 2015

Christmas opening times
Open and printing as usual (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) except:
Thursday 24 December 2015 – no print run
Friday 25 December 2015 – closed
Monday 28 December 2015 – closed

New Year opening times
Friday 1 January 2016 – closed
Monday 4 January 2016 – back to normal schedule

After that everything is back to normal – printing on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2pm.

Posted by Sarah | Comments Off on Christmas and New Year Holiday Opening Hours

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Lucky number 7…million!

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What we’re holding here is a very special publication. It’s the order that included our 7,000,000th newspaper printed to date! Big, big thanks to all who have printed with us over the years and special thanks (plus a box of treats) to Wash Design who created this classic tabloid for Lakes College. The paper will be distributed to thousands of homes around West Cumbria as part of a campaign to promote apprenticeships at Lakes College.

Posted by Sarah | Comments Off on Lucky number 7…million!

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An End to the PaperLater Experiment

PaperLater by the pool

We launched PaperLater in June, as a big experiment for us. We wanted to see if there was appetite for a personalised newspaper service, both from consumers and from publishers.

It’s been running for just over 6 months now, and while we had a strong launch, we haven’t seen the kind of repeat usage we’d been hoping for.

As a small, predominantly bootstrapped business we have to make difficult choices about what we invest in, and right now, all our attention is on improving our site and ARTHR in 2015.

We’ve decided that the best thing to do is to call an end to this experiment and shut PaperLater. This week will be our last week of operation, and the last orders will go to print at 2pm on Monday 22nd December. The site will remain fully functional until then, but we won’t be inviting any more beta testers.

(If you’ve already got an account, and you want to give it one last go, there’s still time to get an issue for the Christmas holidays!)

After next Monday we’ll delete your PaperLater bookmarks and newspapers, but keep your account, as it works on the main Newspaper Club site too. If you want a copy of any of your data, please let us know and we can get that for you.

We’ve learnt a lot from PaperLater, and the concept of a fully automated, personalised newspaper is still fascinating to us, but this wasn’t quite the right product at the right time.

We hope to revisit some of the ideas in it in the future, but for now, thanks a lot to everyone who gave it a go.

Posted by Tom | Comments (1)

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Old-fashioned and radical

It’s great to see Newsweek relaunching their print publication, which they shut down only 14 months ago. This time around, they’re going for a luxurious premium product, perfect to sink into and enjoy at the weekend.

Nieman Journalism Lab has more:

The newest Newsweek strategy is both old-fashioned and radical. It’s old-fashioned in the sense that it is reviving a ghost print brand with printing presses on two continents. It’s radical in its pricing. Even the high-flying, high-quality weekly New Yorker only charges about $79 a year, while Time goes for $30 and The (monthly) Atlantic for about $25. Newsweek is going way beyond those prices.

The print launch is all wrapped up in a lovely package, led by magazine veteran Jim Impoco. In fact, that package — with design by Robert Priest and Grace Lee — seems almost anachronistic, a throwback to another era of plush and flush magazines. In a sense, the newest Newsweek is trying to create its own category: NewsLuxe.

From publishers like Pitchfork, to our own Long Good Read collaboration with the Guardian, it feels like 2014 is the year that the big ‘digital first’ publishers realise that print’s still brilliant, and does lots that the digital publication can’t.

Shameless pitch time:

You don’t have be Newsweek or the Guardian to give this a go. ARTHR, our very own newspaper layout tool, makes it easy to turn your blog into a beautiful newspaper. You don’t even have to handle the sales or distribution — put your paper in The Newsagent and we’ll do that for you, sending you your profit shortly after. And if you get stuck with anything, our friendly team is here to help. Happy printing!

Posted by Tom | Comments Off on Old-fashioned and radical

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The pleasures and possibilities of getting lost

Magazine design Hole & Corner magazine

There’s been some resonant coverage in the national newspapers recently about print publications. The Guardian posted a gallery of beautiful magazines setting out to prove print isn’t dead and considers the resurrection of the magazine in the digital age:

These magazines are…a result of the possibilities offered by the new technology that was supposed to kill print culture – they sell and distribute online, they crowdfund, they invent their own business models on the hoof.

We’re really proud to have been involved in some such crowd-funded and community-driven projects like The Peckham Peculiar My Favo(u)rite Magazine and Revealing Craft (to name just a recent few) – all of which have used the intersection of physical and digital to create something quite special. Print succeeds today in novel and unexpected ways, evidenced by exciting (and now full-time!) enterprises like Stack Magazines, a brilliant subscription service that posts you a different independent magazine every month. Buying a magazine or newspaper isn’t just about getting the news, it’s also a chance to experiment and discover something new – a way of bringing people and ideas together and creating something to be turned over and read again, not thrown away at the end of the day.

Not driven by celebrity or publicists’ schedules, the curated storytelling, often around a single theme, is closer to the storytelling of novels – they’re narrative journeys of ideas, pictures and activities…they offer the pleasures and possibilities of getting lost.

We’ve seen all sorts of orders go though the presses since we started Newspaper Club, and still so many surprise us. We’re looking forward to seeing what happens as we continue to develop the The Newsagent to help you find, and get lost in, some really brilliant newspapers.

Posted by Sarah | Comments (1)

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Right Now in Glasgow!

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It’s been a busy week of hammering and sawing and taping and printing and cutting and sticking, but we’ve finished and there are more things on the walls downstairs than I think I have ever seen. For one whole month you can now experience the joys of newsprint first hand at our retrospective exhibition, on the ground floor of Southblock, Osborne Street.

Map Here.

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We’ve managed to squeeze 47 newspapers into the exhibition, and you can read about all of them in our handy programme here:

There are also permanent, physical copies of these, and some of the papers on display for you to have a flick through at the exhibition, as seen here on the opening night!

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Preview night was lots of fun, and thanks to our generous sponsors we were able to feast on Tunnock’s Teacakes and Fyne Ales’ IPAs all night long. Here’s how things looked before we let the raging hoardes in.

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And here are some of Glasgow’s finest folk talking about paper and admiring some of our customers’ beautiful designs.

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You can also pick up a free copy of the Long Good Read whilst you’re here, and catch up on some of the week’s best long form reporting from the Guardian.

The exhibition is open from 9:00am – 5:00pm every weekday in February. We look forwards to seeing you there.

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Posted by Rosemary | Comments (1)

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Print’s Not Dead: the first Newspaper Club exhibition!

We’ve been helping institutions, individuals, designers, schools, communities, families, artists, experts, amateurs, gardeners, restaurants, engineers, dreamers, thinkers, and grandparents to print their own newspapers since 2010.

Our customers are a talented bunch – we find the newspapers people want to make can be beautiful, charming, funny and informative. This exhibition represents a little bit of everything we’ve found it a joy to print over the last four years.

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You can drop by at any time over the next month to the ground floor of our building in Glasgow for a browse through some of our favourite newspapers. You’ll also be able to pick up a copy of the Long Good Read, part of our collaboration with the Guardian, every week for the duration of the exhibition.

We’re now gearing up to cram as many lovely newspapers as we can into the exhibition space in our foyer downstairs – here’s a wee preview of my incredibly high tech hanging plan.

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Come along on Friday evening for a flick through some of the best papers we’ve printed, a drink and a teacake!

Sponsorship kindly provided by Wasps, Fyne Ales, and Tunnock’s.

Posted by Rosemary | Comments (1)

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Launching The Long Good Read

We’re very excited to be launching a brand new newspaper today: The Long Good Read, in partnership with the Guardian, exclusively for #guardiancoffee in Shoreditch, London.

The Long Good Read is an experimental, algorithmic newspaper, filled with a selection of the Guardian’s long form articles, interviews and more, all beautifully designed using Newspaper Club’s ARTHR tool for easy reading over a coffee.

The first issue is available for free today, only at #guardiancoffee.

The Long Good Read

About the Long Good Read

Each week the Guardian produces thousands of articles, of all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, the pace of change means some of the best in-depth pieces can be lost amongst the daily news.

A couple of years ago, Dan Catt developed a separate website called the Long Good Read, which used the Guardian’s API and website analytics to pick out a pair of long form, meaty articles per day which were getting good readership, comments or traction online.

These were great to read on the LGR site, through the e-reader edition, or via an RSS feed, but sometimes you want to step away from a screen, and enjoy the writing without distractions. We began to talk about a print edition, powered by Newspaper Club’s tools and infrastructure, and even made a prototype or two. But when #guardiancoffee opened up, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to launch it properly.

The Long Good Read

Producing the Paper

Because of the short print run, for just a single cafe, the economics meant producing the newspaper needed to be quick and easy: one person, one hour, was the goal.

We customised our free newspaper layout tool, ARTHR, to support the Guardian typography and design elements, making it feel part of the Guardian’s brand, while still distinct.

To gather the content, Dan and the team at the Guardian produced a small tool to quickly select content from their API, which was then flowed into ARTHR’s semi-automated layout using the ‘import from webpage’ feature.

After a quick thumbs up from everyone, it was despatched off to one of Newspaper Club’s presses on Friday, to be printed, packed and delivered for Monday morning.

The Long Good Read

The Future

This is an experiment for the Guardian and Newspaper Club, and we’re keen to hear what you think about it. There’s more issues to come, and plenty more ideas to try out.

Early next year, Newspaper Club will be launching more tools for publishers to turn their digital content into print-on-demand newsprint. If you’re interested in talking to Newspaper Club about something similar for your publication, or you’re a member of the press who wants to find out more about the Long Good Read, please email newspaperclub@newspaperclub.com. More photos of the paper in the wild are available in this Flickr set.

Pop on over to #guardiancoffee in Shoreditch to pick yours up today.

The Long Good Read

Posted by Tom | Comments Off on Launching The Long Good Read

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The Centurion – our 4,000,000th newspaper

Centurion newspaper programme for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Printed by Newspaper Club.

We blogged earlier in the week about The Centurion, a fantastic series of four newspapers printed for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The LPO have used traditional tabloid newspapers to great effect to publicise The Rest Is Noise, a series of concerts running through 2013, with each issue reflecting 25 years of music and 25 years of newspaper design.

Centurion newspaper programme for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Printed by Newspaper Club.

By a happy chance, the fourth issue of this great series was the 4,000,000th paper that we printed. Some printers print millions of copies every week, but we specialise in smaller runs. When you print newspapers in small quantities, each million is hard-earned so we always celebrate it, with a little present for the customer who orders it. So big thanks to Mia Roberts at the LPO, for 4 lovely newspapers and an extra special one!

Posted by Anne | Comments Off on The Centurion – our 4,000,000th newspaper

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We’re here to help everyone make and print their own newspapers.

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