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!

Alan Kitching on Press at The Guardian

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We’re really pleased to have printed a catalogue for an excellent exhibition that’s currently on display in the foyer of The Guardian newspaper offices. Alan Kitching is a typographer who has been producing letterpress work for The Guardian for over fourteen years. (His first piece, on display at the exhibition, was for a Martin Amis article on the pornography industry.) ‘Alan Kitching On Press at The Guardian’ opened in January and shows a selection of framed original artworks alongside the print pages for which they were commissioned. The accompanying classic tabloid catalogue was designed by Alan Kitching and Daniel Chehade, who told us more about the newspaper:

‘Alan Kitching On Press at The Guardian’ looks back at some of the best work for the newspaper over the last fourteen years.

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To accompany an exhibition at The Guardian offices, a catalogue was produced to show a selection of the work on display. The newspaper format was the most natural and sympathetic solution for the content, all of which was first published on newsprint. Alan and I also decided to illustrate the work ‘how it was used’, within the context of the newspaper which allowed us to omit any captions.

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The catalogue includes the work for the major mural in the old Guardian office on Clerkenwell Road, using the words and phrases from the paper’s founding prospectus of 1821. Another work featured is the 2003 protest banner ‘Why Iraq? Why now?’. Conceived as a full-page advertisement in the newspaper, it was designed to be cut-out and used as a banner for supporters of the anti-War rally.

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Contributors to the catalogue include texts from Alan Rushbridger (Editor in Chief at The Guardian), Mark Porter (ex-Creative Director at The Guardian) and John L Walters (Eye magazine).

Th exhibition was set to end in February but has been extended until 5 March — just two more days to catch it! ‘Alan Kitching on Press at the Guardian’ is on display in the foyer of The Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Open daily 10am – 6pm, admission free.

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Filed under: case studies, classic tabloid, events, Newspaper Stories, typography

How do you like your eggs?

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…With a tiny, unexpected newspaper tucked in the carton, naturally. A nice touch from Vital Farms in Austin.

This has been a dispatch from the far-flung Texas branch of Newspaper Club.

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Filed under: Newspaper Stories

Happy Birthday to The Peckham Peculiar!

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Yesterday our friends at The Peckham Peculiar celebrated a big milestone one year of publishing their fantastic community newspaper. We chose their first issue as our Paper of the Month this time last year. They’ve printed all six issues with us and we couldn’t be happier to see the newspaper become such a roaring success, beloved by penguins and Peckhamites alike. Well done guys!

(Image via @imaliforbes)

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Filed under: case studies, classic tabloid, Newspaper Stories

Designing a Wedding Newspaper

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We’ve seen lots of wedding papers go through our presses lately. Invitations, orders of service, keepsakes for guests– all sorts. We’ve been meaning to write something about making a wedding paper and then we got a message from designer Adam Morris, who put together a digital tabloid newspaper when he got married earlier this year. He’s written an excellent blog post about creating a wedding newspaper, sharing all the thoughtful details that went into his design process. It sums up everything we would want to say, and has some lovely photos to boot. It’s a beautiful memento and great starting point for anyone thinking of making a newspaper for their wedding. Adam says:

We loved putting the newspaper together. It was a lot of effort, and it took a fair while to mastermind. But it was great to re-live our day and share the photos in this unique way with all of our guests. One of them even said it was the best thing they had received in the mail for years!

We really recommend hopping over to Adam’s blog to read the the whole thing. We love reading the stories behind well made papers, and this was a really nice thing to find in our inbox. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

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Filed under: case studies, guest blog, Newspaper Stories, weddings

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

How to Run a School Newspaper Project: Part 3

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Ian Vince is a writer and father who helped his daughter’s primary school class make a newspaper. He’s written about the process and today we have the final instalment of his guest blog posts. (You can catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.)

After my second session of writing workshops with Key Stage 2 pupils, a problem started to become apparent with the whole idea. The children – all between 8 and 11 years old – had been charged with writing all the copy for an 8-page tabloid newspaper and while a lot of progress had been made, there were huge holes in the project. For one thing, there simply wasn’t the volume of material that was needed. Things had to change.

Fortunately, as the weeks passed, it became clear that the challenges that remained contained within them the seeds of their own solution. While not every child had contributed something that would fit within the paper, it was decided to get them to try a different kind of writing that could exist in a space dedicated to it. The teacher was asked if she could get the children to contribute two or three bite-sized amazing facts for every planet in the solar system. These would be compiled into an infographic for the centre spread – a pull-out poster, in effect. The copy that came back was excellent, focussed copy, everyone had contributed something and two pages could be laid out in a funky, interesting way.

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Copy started coming in from another class in the school. Key Stage 1 pupils supplied me with recounts – essentially newspaper reports – of the event that kicked off the workshop, the staged ‘landing’ of a small, home-made ‘time machine’ in the school field. These were all essentially the same story, with individual elaborations written of different details along the way. The trick was to get as many of these stories in print as possible, so it was run as a newspaper story, complete with captioned picture and screamer headline, but sub-divided into a kind of eye-witness vox-pops-in-print, enabling everyone to have a shout.

In the end, all but the very youngest children had a piece in their own school newspaper and every child could take a copy home. The school gained not only a set of interesting challenges that could drive pupil engagement and a stack of left-over newspapers to show prospective parents, but a PR opportunity in the local newspaper. The writer, meanwhile, found new ways of working, a thoroughly fulfilling and worthwhile project and inspiration from some of the most imaginative minds on the planet.

What To Do Next

Get in touch with a writer, journalist or editor. In particular, find out if there is one among the mums and dads or on the governing body. You don’t even need to find a writer with design experience as Newspaper Club’s online ARTHR layout tool gives you everything you need to get the children’s words and pictures into print.

Thanks very much to Ian Vince for sharing his experience. If you’re thinking about creating a newspaper for your school, read about how it works and have a look through The Newsagent for some design inspiration. You can also get in touch with us at support@newspaperclub.com if you have any questions about the process.

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Filed under: ARTHR, case studies, guest blog, Newspaper Stories, students

How to Run a School Newspaper Project: Part 2

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Yesterday we introduced Ian Vince, who organised a workshop at his daughter’s primary school to produce a newspaper. Today we have the second of Ian’s three guest blog posts documenting his experience putting together The Longford Examiner with the students.

In the first part of this series of three blog posts, I told you about how I came to be leading a children’s writing workshop for Key Stage 2 pupils at my daughter’s primary school – workshops that I hoped would help them produce all the words required for an 8-page tabloid newspaper.

That’s quite a tall order for a class of a dozen or so children aged between 8 and 11 of varying ability, especially when it is important for every pupil to contribute something – no matter how minor – to the finished paper.

If you’re a teacher reading this, you’ll know all about the educational targets you are charged with getting your class to meet. If, like me, you are not a teacher then remember that it’s not your job to teach – you are there to provide light and shade, a different viewpoint and perspective that will give the teacher new opportunities to do their job. Non-teachers who haven’t observed just what happens in a modern classroom will also be surprised at how dynamic teaching has become, with attention switching from whiteboard, to pupil interaction, to active teaching – a continual rolling back-and-forth that keeps energy and attention at an optimum level for learning.

Inserting a writer into this mix and taking the lesson two-handed with the class teacher keeps everything on the move, but beware of talking too much as you don’t want the novelty to wear off.

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Lessons, which stretched across three mornings, started with a short whiteboard presentation of science fiction graphics – book covers, NASA conceptual artwork – and imagination-firing facts. We talked about the constellation Orion and the various supernovae that have occurred in it over millions of years and looked at the star Betelgeuse which will probably be the next to go ker-blooey – tomorrow, next week or in a thousand years’ time. After filling their heads with the explosions of distant stars, it seemed like a good time to set the brief for them to write speculative fiction – what would life be like in 1000 years from now?

It turned out that the newspaper itself was inspiring (never under-estimate the promise of getting your name in print) even among the digitally-literate under-11s. Having shown pupils a Newspaper Club sample at the outset, many of them decided that they wanted to copy its various elements. All of a sudden, ads, puzzles, news stories, captions and the like were all mooted and the project took on a life of its own. This proved to be a useful disruption of the original plan to publish a paper full of short stories and poems, as the medium of long-form creative writing wasn’t suited to all.

At last, I started to be able to leave school with suitable material, but I was aware that there were gaping holes developing and it would take some determined steering to get the paper back on course.

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Filed under: case studies, guest blog, Newspaper Stories, students

How to Run a School Newspaper Project: Part 1

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According to today’s Google doodle it’s officially the end of summer and it’s back to school for many. We thought now would be a good time to show off a brilliant newspaper project from Longford Primary School in Salisbury. Countryfile columnist Ian Vince put together The Longford Examiner with his daughter’s primary class and has written a series of guest blog posts about the process. This is first of three instalments that will be posted over the next week. And now here’s Ian:

It started with a simple idea – a newspaper project for my daughter’s primary school, a project that could be somehow connected to activities during Book Week, to link writing and reading together and make it fun. It was also designed as a way of encouraging reluctant writers – especially in Key Stage 2, the top three years of school – to develop the writing skills that would stand them in good stead as they moved towards secondary school.

If all that sounds like a tall order, that’s only because the outcomes of simple ideas can be amazing. It’s easy to make newspaper projects educationally sound, but if a project has a few disruptive elements to it, children – who love the suspension of the normal order of things – truly engage in the learning, which was the aim all along.

To achieve that, a science fiction theme was set and work began on the construction of a few props to kick off the fun with – details below. Newspaper publication was the reward that would spur pupils on in their writing, but a subject, a setting and inspiration was needed to get them to start without even realising it.

In short, a simple, convincing crash scene was mocked up in the school playing field and children were breathlessly summoned to view the wreckage as morning assembly came to an end. CDs were ‘discovered’ on the machine, one for each class and each with its own message from ‘Fiona’, a time-travelling, living computer from the year 3014. Fiona set the pupils their tasks, a speculative fiction challenge to write about what they think life will be like in the future. One class is given a more conventional newspaper brief, to report on the whole Fiona story.

The next stage was how to turn this craziness into an opportunity for the class teacher. A subject we will return to in the next instalment.

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Props and materials

How far you go with your set-up is entirely up to you, but in this case, a few cheap DIY theatre props went a long way to providing a bit of back-story and ensuring that the situation was unusual enough to catch and fire the pupils’ imaginations:

  • Time machine
    Made from an odd-shaped box covered in silver foil, bits of dead circuit board from redundant TV remotes and some steam-punk ducting.
  • Spare mobile phone
    A siren and warning klaxon were provided by a mobile phone, rigged up to battery-powered speakers with a custom ringtone knocked up in a software sound editor and triggered by discretely ringing the phone.
  • Christmas lights
    Two sets of flashing LED lights were installed to create a pleasing pulsing light display
  • Smoke in a can
    An aerosol of smoke in a can, available from Maplin, was buried up to its nozzle next to the wreck in a way that enabled it to be operated with a foot.
  • CDs of messages from the future
    Fiona’s script was recorded as it was read aloud by computer screen-reading software. The sound file was then manipulated in Audacity, a free PC/Mac sound editor.

In the next instalment Ian will talk about organising his class of students and generating content for their newspaper. Tune in tomorrow!

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Filed under: case studies, guest blog, Newspaper Stories, students

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