Simulating flight with cardboard and newsprint

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Justin Ramsden has a brilliant job — he gets to build LEGO for a living. He’s a professional model designer, but when he’s not creating famous faces out of tens of thousands of bricks, he’s making newspapers. He recently printed a digital tabloid with us documenting his project to design a simulated Spitfire flight experience. Too cool. We wanted to know more and asked Justin to tell us about it:

On visiting the Grandma Flew Spitfires exhibition at the Air Transport Auxiliary Museum in Maidenhead as part of my third year project research whilst on the BA Design course at Goldsmiths, University of London, I was interested in engaging with the ‘most sophisticated Spit simulator available to the general public,’ and being filled with numerous emotions (along with fulfilling a childhood fantasy of flying a Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane); ultimately, I wanted to experience the thrill to fly such an iconic aircraft. However, what was placed in front of me was a lackluster version of a computer game in which one gentleman commented whilst I was observing that, ‘I only wish it gave you the sensations.’

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Entitled the Cardboard Spitfire Simulated Flight Experience, I designed a ‘crash simulator’ that was tested on various participants and performed in front of an audience. This ninety second experience was a multi-sensory display that combined multiple digital projections, pyrotechnics, a variety of emotions that the participant had been ‘designed’ to feel and a cardboard and Gaffa tape one-one scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia fighter plane cockpit in which the user was seated.

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Additionally a newspaper was created to compliment a video of the experience. Having printed with Newspaper Club on previous occasions, I knew that not only would I receive a fantastic service with a fast turn around on printing and delivery, but the aesthetic of a newspaper matched my cardboard lo-fi fabrication. I am extremely pleased with how the newspaper turned out and have received numerous positive compliments from those that have seen it  — cheers Newspaper Club!
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You can see more of Justin’s work on his website and follow him on Twitter. Thanks for sending such an unusual project our way, Justin!

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Filed under: case studies, Newspaper Stories, students

The pleasures and possibilities of getting lost

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There’s been some resonant coverage in the national papers 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 anymore, 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 come through our system 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 Newsagent to help you find, and get lost in, some really brilliant newspapers.

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Filed under: media, news, Newsagent, Newspaper Stories

The ghosts of Krantje Loulé

foto-3Marjan Van den Berghe is a visual artist based in Antwerp. Her newspaper, Krantje Loulé, is a rather haunting collection of black and white photographs taken in Portugal in the 1980s. The ghostly nature of the images really comes through in newsprint– it feels a bit like looking through a long lost scrapbook. We asked Marjan about her project:

I made this paper for my Portuguese friend, Fernando Correia Mendes (pictured below). He had an exibition in Antwerp, Belgium, where you could admire some of his daily drawings. I thought it would be nice if visitors could find out about his splendid photographic work too.

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I found a book too conventional and expensive and looked for something more fragile, more enchanting, something that is more appropriate in look and feel. A journal, ‘een krantje’ as we say in Flemish, would be perfect! I teach graphic design at an art school in Brussels and we had one made for our summer exibition last year, so I already knew about Newspaper Club and their excellent services.

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Fernando has thousands and thousands of photo negatives and it wasn’t easy to choose. The sometimes bizarre pictures that ended up in the paper are all from one specific period in the 80s, of the places and people in a small town in the Algarve, Loulé. A lot of these places have been demolished since then– people, ants and dogs died or left. Fernando’s dream is to have an big exhibition in this town with a range of the best pictures he took, invite everyone, and confront them with the ghosts of their past.

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The pictures are accompanied by writings of Fernando Pessoa, Portugal’s best known poet.

We found this poem particularly lovely:

To be great, be whole: don’t exaggerate
Or leave out any part of you.
Be complete in each thing. Put all you are
Into the last of your acts.
So too in each lake, with it’s lofty life,
The whole moon shines

You can look through Krantje Loulé in the Newsagent and see more of Marjan’s work on her website. Thank you for printing with us!

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Filed under: art, case studies, Newspaper Stories

Paper of the Month: The Peckham Peculiar

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January’s Paper of the Month is The Peckham Peculiar, a brilliant new community newspaper put together by four friends who work in publishing and journalism (and sometimes write Sunday Times bestselling books).

Duncan Barrett, Nuala Calvi, Mark McGinlay and Kate White funded the project through a successful Kickstarter campaign and are planning to publish six issues of The Peckham Peculiar this year. Since handing out the first issues on 18 January outside Rye Lane Baptist Chapel, they have assembled a cracking squad of stockists and a very happy readership– their Twitter feed is filled with photos of Peckhamians having a quiet read over a pastry  or juggling the paper with a packet of crisps. It’s fantastic to see a project that so brings out the character of a community– a big reason why we love printing local newspapers.

We asked The Peckham Peculiar for the story behind their hyperlocal newspaper:

We’ve always had a huge love for local newspapers and the important role that they play within communities, and have dreamt for many years of setting up our own paper for the area we live in.

Other parts of London including Brixton, Kentish Town and Croydon already have their own papers and we felt that Peckham deserved its own hyperlocal publication, dedicated solely to the SE15 postcode and featuring the word ‘Peckham’ in the masthead.

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We have lived in southeast London for a combined total of about 30 years and love the area for its huge diversity and strong community spirit. We wanted to celebrate the uniqueness of Peckham with a newspaper to be enjoyed by everyone who lives and works here. We also wanted it to be free and therefore accessible to all.

Having decided to call our paper The Peckham Peculiar, in September last year we managed to raise more than £5,000 on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to fund the printing and distribution of our first two issues. We had 150 donations ranging from £1 to £1,000, from local people to someone in the United States.

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We wanted to create a newspaper with unique stories about real people, devoid of celebrity-led drivel. Having a strong and eye-catching design was important to us because, aware of the number of free publications around, we knew we had to stand out from the crowd. We also wanted the paper to feature excellent photography.

Although we are all writers, none of us have ever designed a newspaper before and didn’t know much about CMYK colours, bleed, margins and other technical terms. We were therefore over the moon to discover the Newspaper Club website, which contained lots of useful information and seemed to be aimed at people exactly like us.

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The other publications on the Newspaper Club website looked so brilliant and boldly designed. Other titles that inspired us included a local newspaper called The Bedford Clanger, which we loved the sound of, and the beautifully-designed Tomorrow’s Chip Paper and Root & Bone.

When it came to designing The Peckham Peculiar, Newspaper Club were so helpful, checking pages for us in advance and flagging up any potential issues that might be problematic at printing stage. They were always on the end of an email and the help they gave us was invaluable.

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Now we’ve finally printed 8,000 improved tabloid copies of The Peckham Peculiar and are so pleased with the results. It is stocked at more than 50 shops across Peckham and Nunhead and we’ve been giving it out at local train stations too. It’s so exciting to see our paper around town and people reading it in cafes or on the train.

We were even invited to film a segment for the BBC Breakfast show about hyperlocal newspapers. Having a BBC camera crew turn up our flat, seeing The Peckham Peculiar on BBC One and hearing Bill Turnbull mention our name was surreal to say the least.

Stories in issue one include a photo essay on the legendary hairdressers of Rye Lane and a feature on the Peckham Liberal Club, a local working men’s club that is fighting to stay open. Pick up a copy when you’re next in Peckham or view it online on Issuu

For up-to-the-minute Peckham news, and information about the next issues of the newspaper, follow The Peckham Peculiar on Twitter. 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: case studies, Newspaper Stories, Paper of the Month

Issue #7 of The Long Good Read out now

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We’re happy to announce that another six-issue run of the Long Good Read, an algorithmic newspaper created in collaboration with The Guardian, starts today. Issue #7 is available for free at #guardiancoffee in Shoreditch, London while supplies last (which wasn’t very long last time around, so don’t dally if you want an issue!)

We wrote about the Long Good Read on our blog when the first issue came out in November and there have been some good overviews written since then. If you’re in the area pop by and pick up a copy and let us know what you think.

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Filed under: Announcements, ARTHR, Newspaper Stories

Pure and honest craftsmanship

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Some more images of Revealing Craft, courtesy of Sheffield-based design studio dust. Designer Alexandra Jenkinson had this to say about putting the project together:

Having worked with newsprint in the past we knew it would pair up perfectly with the content of the book—the everyday. Mixing this with different stocks and printing methods (for the pull outs and cover) created something really special.

It has been interesting to hear peoples opinions regarding the newsprint as we have created a book that looks and feels like a newspaper. I think a lot of people are pleasantly surprised with the outcome and it has opened their eyes to how newsprint can be used.

Two editions of the book will soon be available to buy online, contact editions@du.st if you’re interested. They’ve also recently opened up an Etsy shop and it’s well worth following their blog to keep up with some really stunning work.

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Filed under: case studies, Newspaper Stories

Revealing Craft

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The Sheffield-based company Folksy – who run a website where you can buy handmade work from a community of UK designers and artists – are long-time friends of Newspaper Club.

They printed their first newspaper with us, a festive ‘sampler’ of some of the lovely craft items available for sale on the site, back in December 2009, not long after we had first launched.

In December, Folksy worked with us again, this time on an even more ambitious project called Revealing Craft which tells the story of some of the people who make the products on sale. They worked with photographer India Hobson and raised funds through Kickstarter to produce a book which combined newsprint with other printing types.

We asked Folksy CEO James Boardwell to explain how the book was put together and why they chose newsprint:

We used the Traditional Mini format, as we wanted a fairly standard ‘book’ size, and it has a slightly higher gsm than the other formats. We chose newsprint as we like its texture and quality – it denotes humility and a rawness that we think pairs with the images beautifully. Inevitably there are small defects and blemishes that occur to make each book a little different from the others and we like that.

As well at the newsprint, we included a pull-out contianing India’s journal entries which was printed on bible paper and an fold-out print insert which was printed on digital paper. The book also has a slip cover which was screen printed for some editions, and the whole thing was enclosed within a cardboard case. When you open it for the first time it has that ‘unboxing’ experience, one thing unveils itself after another.

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The book was designed and assembled by the studio dust, also in Sheffield, to an un-moveable Christmas deadline! We helped them meet their tight schedule, and both Folksy and dust were happy with our service:

Newspaper Club were brilliant. We needed to get clarification on weight and timings and lots of other things and they were super helpful. Key to the project being successful was getting the deliveries on time and we trusted Newspaper Club to deliver.

The book received a great reaction, with many people unwrapping it on Christmas Day. It’s a good example of how versatile newsprint is, and how it can be combined with other products to produce something very special indeed.

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Filed under: case studies, Newspaper Stories

A Fish Out of Water

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Last year we printed a newspaper documenting the building of a ship– here’s a paper we’ve printed recently that shows what happens at the other end of a ship’s life.

London-based photograher Tim Mitchell spent nearly two years documenting the ‘breaking’ and recycling of the RFA Grey Rover in Canada Docks in Liverpool between 2009 and 2011. These photographs are now on display at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland as part of his debut solo exhibition A Fish Out of Water, which opened 11 January and will run until 23 February.

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To accompany the exhibition Tim created a very unusual improved tabloid. It’s made to be taken apart, a tactile rendering of the dismantling process depicted within the images. One page featuring a grid of photos taken from his two-year time lapse (see video below) can be used to create a flick book.

In addition to being available in the gallery, copies of the newspaper have been posted out to every primary and secondary school in the Tyne and Wear area– nearly 500 schools– along with educational material for teachers to use in the classroom and in the gallery.

We asked Tim to tell us a bit more about the newspaper:

The publication is intended to be an oblique, experimental newspaper, where the form of the newspaper itself echoes the subject matter within– a document made up of contrasting forms and perspectives, all looking at the same subject matter. The sheets of paper become like the sheets of steel, the structure of the newspaper inviting the reader to pull it apart– as has happened with the ship it portrays– in order to reveal the ‘bigger picture’. Once disassembled the newspaper can then be reformed into another order– much like the act of recycling the steel from the ship. No page numbers on purpose.

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The addition of the Sunderland Interviews sheet is specific to the occasion of the exhibition at the National Glass Centre. It is intended to give the publication a broad and oblique sense of the life and death of not just a ship, but of our Nation’s relationship with ships themselves. The interviews are also intended to carry the ‘voice’ and perspective of those who worked on ships locally to Sunderland; to give a counterpoint to the artist’s perspective and even that of the academic or expert. The individual anecdotes from men who worked on ship building in Sunderland hopefully bring a human voice to the sheets of steel within A Fish Out of Water.

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It’s fun watching how people interact with the newspapers. Opening them. Starting to look through. Realising what’s going on and pulling them apart and then realising they can’t remember quite how it came. Then they have to really engage.  

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It was designed by the wonderful Brighten the Corners after lots of discussion and play. It’s the second time we’ve made a book together. A lot of fun.

While supplies last, A Fish Out of Water is available on Tim’s website for just the price of postage and packaging (which works out at £1.70 for the 28-page newspaper if you’re in the UK and £5.20 outside the EU.)

You can see more of Tim’s work on his website and find him on Twitter. Thanks for printing with us!

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Filed under: art, case studies, Newspaper Stories

Newspaper Photo Filters

Before a recent trip to Berlin I wanted to experiment with printing a newspaper to use as photo filters.

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A single copy of a digital tabloid with a shape, pattern or colour on each page.

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The pages then work as filters. To do this I expose each photo twice: the first exposure with my camera pointed at the thing I want to photograph and the second exposure pointing at the newspaper. This can be done with any SLR/DSLR or a smartphone (may require an app).

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The newspaper is ideal for a portable set of filters– light, easy to fold into a pocket. Plus the texture of the newsprint adds to the charm of the overall effect.

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It’s easier to shoot the subject first and the newspaper second. Anything white on the newspaper page will be obscured in the final image, with detail appearing in the dark areas.

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I tried to remain experimental with these photos, not anticipating the effect the filter would have on the image and enjoying unexpected results.

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As an experiment it worked well. On the next paper I’m going to keep the patterns to a minimum and use simpler shapes and colours.

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Filed under: case studies, engineering, Newspaper Stories

Lampedusa in Hamburg

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Lampedusa in Hamburg is a final project for the Danish School of Media and Journalism by photographer Maria Feck. It documents refugees from Libya currently seeking asylum in Hamburg. The layout was designed by Lars Borker.

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We asked Maria to tell us the story behind her project:

Since June this year, St. Pauli Church [in Hamburg] has been home to approximately 80 refugees from Libya. When the revolution began in Libya in 2011 and war broke out, many of them tried to leave the country. They fled to Lampedusa [part of the Italian Pelagie Islands], but in Italy they lived in inhumane conditions. Overwhelmed with the refugee problem, Italy gave several thousand Africans a Schengen visa and a few hundred euros– an indirect offer to leave the country.

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They lived for months on the streets of Hamburg. Since the Dublin II agreement says that Italy is responsible for the refugees, the German government sees no reason to provide humanitarian assistance. Just after the elections, the senate of Hamburg started to put pressure on the refugees; they see no future for them in Hamburg. But the refugees do not want to return to Italy, where their situation was even worse, and returning to their home countries is not a choice. This topic is a  European question– not only an Italian issue.

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Every Wednesday the group, who call themselves Lampedusa in Hamburg, demonstrate in front of Hamburg Central Station. The number of public supporters is growing and the European parliament has invited two of the refugees to report on their situation. For now, the city has offered tolerance for half a year and the church has rented some container homes for the wintertime. The fight for a better solution will continue.

You can see more images from Lampedusa in Hamburg in our Newsagent. Thank you for sharing your project with us, Maria.

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Filed under: case studies, Newspaper Stories, students

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