Last month, we partnered with magazine gurus Stack for a contest celebrating print. We asked you to share an image you’d put on the cover of a publication about your summer and tag it with #summerofprint. (more…)
Wednesday, September 7th 2016
Tuesday, August 30th 2016
Damp Squib is a shape-shifting comic zine that changes theme, format and editor each issue. Published “sporadically” by the Comix Club at the Glasgow School of Art, Damp Squib brings together an energetic range of comic styles from a rotating mix of contributors (including, in the last issue, the editor’s mum).
The third issue, which came out in June, celebrates summer getaways with an “Action, Escape, Adventure” theme. Printed as a digital broadsheet newspaper, the latest edition of Damp Squib is just 4 pages but packs a big (if slightly chaotic) visual punch when folded out into a 750mm x 520mm poster.
We caught up with Comix Club president Peter McKenna and this issue’s editor Shona Spalding to find out how they put the zine together and what the future holds for Damp Squib after they graduate.
Peter: Damp Squib started as a response to what I considered was a lack of printed visual storytelling in circulation around the Glasgow School of Art campus.
I felt that comic art was being underrepresented at GSA in spite of there being a strong community of artists and designers who I knew were engaged with the genre. To rectify this I – alongside my fellow 4th Year Illustrators –established the GSA Comix Club as a society for the production and appreciation of comic media. We held a meeting, wrote a manifesto, browsed a long list of firework names and resultantly Damp Squib was born.
The first issue, “The Pilot Episode”, was a chance to test the waters and unsurprisingly we got loads of dead good submissions!
Peter: We made the decision early on that we wanted Damp Squib to be edited and produced by a different society member per issue to keep the publication diverse and ever-changing.
Comix Club members propose their concept for the next issue at one of our meetings: they detail their idea for the theme, print method, colour scheme etc. and then we take a vote. The newly-elected editor then goes about producing the next issue, starting with a call for submissions.
Submissions are welcomed from anyone and everyone – not limited to GSA students – and it’s the editor’s job to collate this content into whatever printed format they see fit.
Peter: It’s the duty of the Squib editor to distribute the comic – so it’s up to them where they wish to put them. Usually we circulate them about campus: in the Student’s Association, the Reid and Tontine buildings and recently we had the opportunity to showcase them at the East London Comic Art Festival (ELCAF) in Hackney as well as our own Communication Design Degree Show.
The comics are free and so far each issue has been produced in a limited run – so when they’re gone, they’re gone! As a society we’ve archived copies of each issue and likewise the GSA Library holds a copy of each. Other than that, if you’re after a copy I’m afraid it’s a case of having to beg, borrow or steal.
Shona: We’d had two different formats already so it was clear that the club should keep experimenting. I decided on newspaper because I really liked the idea of it folding out to two big pages of assorted comics.
Keeping the submissions thematically linked doesn’t tend to result in a lot of coherence visually, and having them all on one page keeps things busy and promotes my kind of comic ideal.
Peter: Well, given that myself and the other core Squib members have now graduated from GSA, the future of Damp Squib is relatively undecided.
In its short lifespan I think the comic has made a bit of a name for itself so we plan on passing the comic over to some current students and hopefully they can continue to populate GSA with more sequential narrative publications. We did briefly discuss stealing Damp Squib and continuing to run it from outside the walls of GSA but I feel like that’s its home now and to take it with us would be down right greedy.
There’s definitely also a lot more to be done with Damp Squib. Like I said, it made it’s debut at ELCAF this year when a group of us ran a kind of pop-up-wheel-of-fortune-performance-mask-making-comic-generator-workshop down there (which we’ll be running again at this year’s Fresher’s Week) so I guess Squib is already moving into a more multidisciplinary realm and hopefully that will continue.
Damp Squib is currently accepting submissions for a special “Cautionary Tales” issue aimed at incoming GSA students. If you have advice about “the sticky ends and how not to meet them” send an email to email@example.com by 31 August 2016. Keep up with Squib news on Facebook.
Learn more about our digital broadsheet newspapers. Our biggest format makes a big impression. Great for pull-outs, posters, and portfolios.
Thursday, August 25th 2016
You can learn a lot about a person from their kitchen. That’s what illustrator Lucy Payne came to understand after creating several studies of her own kitchen. “I realised what a personal and unique domain it is,” she says. “I wanted to see what other people’s kitchens meant to them.”
Payne, a student at the Glasgow School of Art, put out a call on the Scottish Women’s Institute‘s Facebook page, asking strangers to let her draw their kitchens. The response was surprisingly positive. “People I didn’t know welcomed me with open arms into their most private, domestic sphere,” she says.
10 Kitchens by Lucy Payne
Payne ended up visiting, and sketching, the kitchens of 10 strangers. She’s collected these illustrations in a digital tabloid newspaper, 10 Kitchens. She chose newsprint because it allowed space for her big, colourful drawings. “It was also a cost-effective way to print a large quantity,” she says. “And I like the traditional, tactile feeling of newspaper.”
“Each drawing session lasted around 2 hours,” Payne says, “during which time I made multiple A3 sketches. Some people stayed and chatted throughout my visit and some left me to it – even leaving me alone in their house! I admired this trust and openness.”
“With those who stayed, I found 2 hours provided a small, intense block of time in which to get to know the person. Some people played music, others fed me samosas and biscuits – all made me a cup of tea.”
Copies of 10 Kitchens are available on request – send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like one.
Thursday, August 18th 2016
In August 1904, the first Olympic Games outside of Europe took place in St. Louis, Missouri. This historic Games is perhaps best remembered for its scandalous marathon, which was marked by a series of bizarre events.
For example, a former mailman from Cuba who, the Smithsonian writes, arrived at the starting line “in a white, long-sleeved shirt, long, dark pants, a beret and a pair of street shoes. One fellow Olympian took pity, found a pair of scissors and cut [his] trousers at the knee.” And it only got stranger from there.
Illustrator Jen Leem-Bruggen presents surreal scenes from the marathon in a digital tabloid she printed last year. With a lighthearted touch she depicts runners chased off course by wild dogs, poisoned by rotten apples and, finally, carried over the finish line (following a disabling dose of rat poison and egg whites). What a race!
Leem-Bruggen included the newspaper in her graduate show at the University of Hertfordshire in 2015. It looked great spread out alongside the rest of her degree work, including charming studies of temptation.
You’d be remiss not to be keeping up with this excellent illustrator on Instagram. Thanks for printing with us!
Thursday, August 4th 2016
The digital tabloid documents Raupp’s time in Spain and Portugal last summer, incorporating hand-written notes, drawings, collages and photographs. Printed as part of her main postgraduate project, the newspaper included a postcard with a link to videos and experiments with sound collected during the trip.
Raupp is the co-founder of new publishing collective La Perche Carrée, which produces zines inspired by travel and urban walks. We caught up with her to talk about these publishing projects and her favourite music to listen to when travelling.
The best moment of my travels was probably when I got to Faro in the off-season. The atmosphere was kind of strange. Early in the evening, I went into a tiny bar. There only were a few friends chatting together, no tables or chairs but it was too late to turn back. An hour after, I was still siting of the fridge with some fresh beers, laughing along with them!
I developed an interest in urban concepts such as psychogeography and dérive while reading Situationist texts. I also got interested in “urban safety” through interacting with homeless people. I started thinking about the way I discover an area. For example, in Granada I decided to walk through the same streets (Albayzín hill) three times: in the afternoon, in the middle of the night and the next morning, writing down new details. I grew gradually more attached and familiar with the place.
When I moved to Toulouse, I met my friend Zelda in art school and we thought the best way to discover the city would be by walking around together. We wanted to share our rambles and pretty soon every trip became a pretext to make a small publication. La Perche Carrée is the logical follow-up to converge these publications and set up a dynamic structure.
In the past few months, we’ve published projects for our post graduate degrees: Ultramar and Balade à Balma (which recounts a group walk in the suburbs of Toulouse) but also Porte France Souvenirs. For that one, we went to the Spanish border with a friend for three days and we each made a contribution : comics, pictures, poetry… We like to get diverse contributions.
I usually think of a few albums before leaving. For example, during the Ultramar trip, I just had my Walkman and several tapes (it’s not a smart thing to do, as every case broke in the bottom of my bag) including Camp Counselors, The Soft Walls and a summer compilation by Track and Field records. Mostly lo-fi and dream pop.
A notebook, a camera and some anti-mosquito lotion!
Every month, we give a £100 Newspaper Club voucher to one newspaper shared in The Newsagent. If you’ve printed a newspaper with us, share your newspaper (through the settings in your account) for a chance to win.
Friday, July 8th 2016
We print all sorts of designs every day at Newspaper Club, and our poor presses have all manner of fine patterns and delicate lines to contend with every day. However. One of the things we continue to struggle with the most is accurately reproducing images of humans.
The problem with printing people is that we all know very well what a person looks like, and what range of colours we think of as “normal” flesh tones. As a result, the tiny colour inconsistencies that you maybe wouldn’t notice on say, a picture of a kettle, seem suddenly so huge when viewed in the face of a person.
I printed a newspaper at the end of last year as a present, filled with photos of my last year. I couldn’t get the result quite right the first time, so I came back and tried to improve the results. (n.b. these images are all of caucasians but the same advice does apply to all skin tones).
Here’s an image I wasn’t happy with from my first print. The image I sent to print is on the left, and the printed image is on the right:
You can see the original image looked pretty good. A little bit red, but it’s not so noticeable on a bright, backlit computer screen. The printed image is a little bit more lobster-y. This is because our print process adds some extra magenta ink into the mix to try to make the dark areas darker. You see how the black bits on my t-shirt aren’t really a proper black? That’s because it’s hard to get a really deep, dark colour in printing, and it’s why we add the extra magenta in the first place – it makes everything a bit richer looking. The downside to this is my poor sunburnt face.
So how can I make this better? It’s quite simple actually – just by removing some of the redness from the photograph.
Here’s my adjusted image, and the new print. The image I sent to print is on the left, and the printed image is on the right:
There are pros and cons to this – the background is now very pale because it’s too subtle to be printed. But the image of the person, which was the focus of this print, is much better – there’s much more definition in the face.
Firstly, please note this advice is just for digital printing – traditional printing doesn’t boost magenta levels to improve the appearance of blacks.
I use GIMP to edit my photography (it’s free and does almost everything that Photoshop does, except did I mention that it’s FREE) but you can use any other piece of photo editing software – the controls will be broadly similar.
GIMP doesn’t support CMYK colours, so I’m working with these images in RGB. This is not a problem at all for working with photography before printing – you can let your publishing software convert the colours to CMYK for you when you export the final PDF.
First of all I opened up the Hue/Saturation dialogue, and selected just the reds in the image from the dialogue.
Then I reduced the saturation of the reds by just moving the saturation slider. This image was really red so I reduced them quite a lot!
I hit ok, and opened up the levels dialogue. You can use this to increase the contrast in your image. Very dark areas and very pale areas don’t have so much detail in print, so I dragged the black arrow across to the first noticeable peak to make the blacks blacker, and did the same with the white to make the whites whiter. I then moved the grey arrow across towards the left to make the midtones in the image a bit paler, so the details will stand out more.
Here are some other images from the same newspaper I’ve tried to improve.
This image had lots of detail onscreen that completely disappeared in print. Printing newspapers just isn’t great for dark images like this.For photos like this boosting the contrast more to make the mid tones a lot paler can help to make details stand out.
This image was really red in print – much more than I expected. When you look closely at the first photo again you can see how orange it looks. A little tweaking to desaturate the red in the image and the final result was much better.
The sunset in this image was a little bit too intense in my first print so I really knocked back the reds in the image.This image now looks much calmer, but with hindsight I maybe preferred the first image after all!
Sometimes it’s good to just embrace your inner lobsters.
For any questions about printing colours in your newspaper, please get in touch with us at email@example.com and we will try our best to help.
Thursday, June 23rd 2016
We love helping students make newspapers and many customers (and Newspaper Club employees!) come to us from the Glasgow School of Art. We look forward to checking out their work at the GSA Degree Show every year. Our Customer Assistant (and GSA alum) Hannah visited the exhibition earlier this week and rounds up highlights from the soon-to-be graduates:
It’s that time of year again! Summer’s here and the talented students of GSA have produced another standout show. The Degree Show 2016 opened on 18 June and continues until 26 June, with work from graduating students across the schools of Design, Fine Art and Architecture.
Like last year, the shows are split up due to the fire that devastated the Mackintosh Building in 2014. Fine Art students are set up in the Tontine Building in the Merchant City, while Design students have taken over the Reid Building in Garnethill (a building I’ve always thought resembles a marooned spaceship). Despite the distance between shows, there’s a unique spirit tying the students together through the impressive work on display.
I was excited to see how the Fine Art students adapted to the Tontine Building, an odd and somewhat confusing maze of studios. My first impression was that the students are confidently making use of the space, with bold installations and larger works. Striking prints by Rowan Flint were the first works to catch my eye. A mix of acetone and collage, her prints are bold but sensitive – a Timorous Beasties vibe with a bit of Hieronymus Bosch thrown in. Because, why not?
There was a high standard of painting throughout the show, but ethereal oil paintings by Ash Kitchen and graphic works from Laura Gaiger were my favourites. Kitchen’s oil painting are so subtle and sensitively handled they almost look like watercolours, with portraits of eminent women juxtaposed with delicate sculptures of bra cups and fur. Gaiger, on the other hand, is bolder with the paintbrush, producing abstract images of domestic objects that leap out with joyfulness and confidence – something I appreciate when trying to wrap my head around complex concepts.
Moving on to the Design show at Reid Building, the famous Textiles department – which has produced such talents as Jonathan Saunders and Pam Hogg – didn’t disappoint. I was particularly drawn to the work of Akash Sharma, who layers colours to produce kaleidoscopic patterns printed on a range of fabrics including jersey, sweatshirt, poplin and cotton drill. Other standout print designs came from Emily Stopford, whose playful, childlike fabrics evoke fond memories. If she ever decides to turn these samples into lil’ oversized sweatshirts – I’m there!
Communication Design is always a highlight for me (I’m biased –I studied it!) But the work on show here was genuinely fantastic. Walking into the room, you’re instantly hit by a wall of photographs by Sean Bell. Bell documents Glasgow nightlife and clubbing subcultures, capturing the eclecticism of youth in bold portraits of worse-for-wear partiers. A brave piece of work that summons the singular nature of Glasgow’s nightlife and its revelers.
Other highlights include character studies by Peter McKenna, reminiscent of John Kricfalusi‘s dynamic cartoons. Mckenna’s draughtsmanship is effortless and stands out for its simplicity and boldness – a real treat! I also enjoyed the work of Mari Campistron, who produced possibly the largest screenprinted book I’ve ever seen. It was huge! I didn’t trust myself to flip through the book, but happily observed from behind a friend’s shoulder with my glass of red wine a safe distance from this glorious work!
There’s so much great work at the GSA Degree Show, it’s impossible to cover everything. One highlight from Architecture was the large train station design by Ewan Whittle and from Product Design don’t miss Harriet de Wet, who designed a digital service to help bring stability to the everyday lives of Glasgow asylum seekers.
All in all, another fabulous and eclectic show from a group of future stars. I’m proud to see the beginning of your creative journey. The Degree Show 2016 ends on Sunday, so go take a peak before then! Full details and opening hours on GSA’s website.
Monday, April 4th 2016
Photo courtesy of Collectif Blanc
A Japanese Air in Venice (subtitled “The Story of a Beautiful Collision”) explores the intersection of two distinct styles of architecture, as seen through the work of architecture student Sungju Lim.
Last year Lim staged a temporary architecture installation in Venice, Italy, inspired by the style and philosophy of self-taught Japanese architect Tadao Ando (who most recently designed Venice’s beautiful Punta della Dogana Museum, in 2009.)
The digital broadsheet newspaper is laid out like a work journal, with sketches, photographic studies, and notes in French and Japanese.
The newspaper was designed by Paris-based creative studio Faye & Gina, AKA Rocio Ortiz and Helena Kadji.
Kadji tells us: “We discovered Newspaper Club two years ago and found the concept easy and fun. Everything worked out very good, and the delivery was fast. We were very happy.”
A few copies of the newspaper are still available – request a copy of A Japanese Air in Venice by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about our digital broadsheet newspapers. Our biggest format makes a big impression. Great for pull-outs, posters, and portfolios.
Wednesday, February 17th 2016
Newspapers aren’t just for reading. They’re also for drying shoes, wrapping gifts, sharpening knives, and wearing on your head. So there’s no reason why you couldn’t put makeup on them, too. It’s Makeup Time! is a digital tabloid that’s designed for just that – though crayons can stand in for lipstick and eyeshadow.
It’s Makeup Time! was created by Amy Lesko, makeup fanatic and graphic design student at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK. Newspapers are always fun to scribble on, but Amy’s wonderful illustrations make the experience extra joyful. She tells us more about her project:
It’s Make Up Time! is a disposable activity book for a younger audience. It features playful imagery with spaces for the reader to join in. From drawing on a funky hairstyle to coloring in a lovely big face – it’s a make up adventure!
The process began from a university brief – “dot dash”. I have always loved illustrating cosmetics and beauty items and considered the way people apply make up. The way we dash on mascara and dot on our blusher all seemed to fit with the initial brief.
I chose a newspaper format out of pure intrigue– I have always wanted to see my work in newsprint! The activity book quality worked hand in hand with the size of a tabloid.
Printing with Newspaper Club has been an absolute pleasure (never a chore). The site is easy to use and the InDesign templates make everything straightforward.
Learn more about our digital tabloid newspapers. Our most popular product, great for everything from weddings to portfolios, props and posters. Easy to try out – print one copy or print hundreds.
Tuesday, January 5th 2016
Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2016 with a newspaper that celebrates all that was fantastic in 2015, created by publishing startup Lost My Name — with the help of some clever young imaginations.
The Amazing Fantastic Year in Review is a traditional tabloid reporting big events through the pens of little journalists. It covers the US Elections, the birth of Princess Charlotte (The Royal Baby: She Weighed the Same as a Hedgehog), the Pluto mission, and more. The newspaper also features Rules for a Happy Future, including sage advice from Lola (age 6) to “wrap yourself in tape every day, in different colours.” That’s our resolutions sorted.
The team at Lost My Name got in touch with some kind words to say about printing with us: “Just wanted to say thank you for helping us create something so wonderful that people LOVE! We’ve had hundreds of congratulatory comments from newspaper requesters and happy recipients… and we had thousands distributed by people in London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Toronto, and Vancouver! Your product is amazing…we’ve been wondering how to follow this up next year!”
They also passed along this lovely comment from a happy newspaper recipient: “I sat down with a coffee, got the newspaper and read it from cover to cover. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it surprised me! All in all, it’s totally brilliant and there should be a weekly edition! Life is too short to be miserable, so I never read newspapers, but this one, I would have a subscription to! A HUGE thank you!”
We’ll leave you with a video of the hardworking, wagon-pulling distribution team in action:
Thank you for printing us, Lost My Name — here’s to another amazing and fantastic year ahead.