Happy birthday to us

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Newspaper Club reached a new milestone this week – our 5th birthday. It’s amazing to think that in 5 years we’ve grown to a team of 9 printing over 5,000,000 newspapers for customers in over 30 countries.

We’ve learnt a tremendous amount along the way, both about newspaper printing and running a small business. It’s been great fun. The combination of customers who are excited about what they’re making and the variety of amazing newspapers that we get to see every day makes working at Newspaper Club an absolute pleasure. We’ve got lots of things planned for the future, and something pretty special coming next week.

We celebrated our birthday with cake, curry and custom-made CMYK loom bands (the closest we’ve ever got to a staff uniform). If this sounds like your idea of a good time, please consider our job ad for a new developer. We are looking for someone to help us keep growing for the next 5 years (and hopefully, beyond).

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Filed under: Announcements

Printed Web #1

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Housed in a wooden display crate in Long Island, the Library of the Printed Web is ‘a collection of works by artists who use screen capture, image grab, site scrape and search query to create printed matter from content found on the web.’

The collection includes zines of Twitter feeds and photography books compiling images from Google Street View. The proprietor is Paul Soulellis, an artist and creative director based in New York who began accumulating ‘web culture articulated as printed artifact’ in 2013. Soulellis presented a very interesting talk about the Library of the Printed Web at the opening of 57th Venice Biennale and recently published Printed Web #1, the first publication devoted to web-to-print art and discourse. The 64-page tabloid newspaper is available in The Newsagent now for £13 including delivery. Here’s what Paul has to say about the publication:

In October 2013 I invited several web-to-print artists whose work I collect for Library of the Printed Web to contribute new work for an exhibition. The show would take the form of a 64-page publication. The result is Printed Web #1.

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These are artists who sift through enormous accumulations of images and texts on the web—hunting, grabbing, compiling and publishing. Nearly all of the artists here (Mishka Henner, Joachim Schmid, Clement Valla, Benjamin Shaykin, Christian Bök, David Horvitz, Penelope Umbrico and Chris Alexander) use the search engine for navigation and discovery, enacting a kind of performance with data. Additionally, pivotal texts by Hito Steyerl and Kenneth Goldsmith suggest a narrative frame for examining the work.

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Printed Web #1 does not define a movement or an aesthetic; rather, it implies something spatial, or a new way of working in the world. Perhaps these pages present evidence of an emerging web-to-print practice forming around the artist (as archivist), the web (as culture) and publishing (as both an old and a new schema for expressing the archive).

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See more of Paul Soulellis’s projects on his website and follow the ever-growing collection of the Library of the Printed Web.

Posted by Sarah | Comments (1)

Filed under: art, case studies, Newsagent

We’re hiring a Ruby and JavaScript Developer

We’re hiring again! This time, for a Ruby and Javascript Developer, ideally based in Glasgow, but we also welcome remote candidates. If you, or anyone you know would fit the description below, we’d love to hear from you. And should you wish to spread the word on your social medias, that’d be very helpful. On with the blurb…

Newspaper Club helps people make and print their own newspapers. Since 2010, we’ve printed over 5 million papers, built a tool, ARTHR, for designing a paper in your browser, and launched a print-on-demand marketplace: The Newsagent. This piece on our Long Good Read project with The Guardian is a nice overview of some recent work. But, there’s still more to do!

We’re improving our site, so that anyone can design and print a paper, whatever their experience, and further developing The Newsagent. Alongside that, we’ve just launched PaperLater – a ‘read it later’ service like Instapaper or Pocket, but delivered to your door in a beautiful newspaper.

We’re looking for a full-time developer to join our existing engineering team of two. You’ll lead the development of our main site and tools, and shape the product and technology strategy. This position might suit someone who has few years experience as a developer and is looking to lead a small, but growing team.

Our language of choice is Ruby (specifically, modern Ruby on Rails), with an increasing amount of JavaScript (primarily Backbone.js). We’re looking for someone with proven experience writing modern, tested, production-ready Ruby, and to a lesser extent, JavaScript. Alongside that, you’ll need to be comfortable writing solid, semantic, HTML and CSS, but don’t have to consider yourself a front-end developer.

As part of the team, you’ll share responsibility for managing our Linux servers (Ubuntu, on a mixture of dedicated servers and VMs). You don’t need to have lots of systems administration experience, but you’ll have a good understanding of the basics and a desire to learn more.

Experience with some of the following would also be useful, but not necessary:

  • Working with payment systems, such as PayPal or Stripe
  • Using Git and GitHub to manage source code
  • Configuration management tools, such as Chef or Ansible
  • Monitoring and logging tools, such as Nagios and Logstash
  • Objective-C/Cocoa – the high-performance rendering engine for our layout tool is a server side OS X application (it’s not as bad as that sounds)
  • PDF files, and the printing process in general

We’re a small team, and you’ll coordinate between the operations and customer support team in Glasgow, the engineering team (London and remote) and external designers, to set priorities and lead the development process. As we’re a distributed team we use Campfire, Basecamp, and Google Hangouts along with other tools, so clear communication skills are a must.

You’ll be a pragmatist and will be able to balance the demands of a small and growing business, with the need to build well engineered software. You’ll know when to take on technical debt and when to pay it back.

This position is ideally based in our beautiful, always sunny, central Glasgow office, working closely with the team there. Remote candidates are welcomed, providing you can travel to Glasgow every few weeks. We also have a small London office, with the option of a desk there.

In return, we’ll offer a competitive salary (up to £50k for this position), flexible hours and a relaxed working environment. We believe in having fun, doing work we’re proud of, and going home on time.

If this sounds like you, we’d love to hear from you. Send us an email to jobs@newspaperclub.com, describing why you’d be right for this role, with a link to your site, CV, portfolio, GitHub page or similar.

Please, no recruiters.

Posted by Tom | Comments (1)

Filed under: Hiring

St. Jude’s In The City

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There’s a lovely event happening now at The Town House in Spitalfieds. St. Jude’s In The City is an exhibition of recent works by artists Angie Lewin and Alex Malcolmson organised by St. Jude’s Prints.

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They printed a mini newspaper to go alongside the exhibition — a teaser edition for the second issue of their publication Random Spectacular. (The first smashing issue of Random Spectacular can be seen on their website.) It features works from the exhibition, including Alex Malcomson’s box constructions and Angie Lewin’s linocuts, as well as essays about London from Random Spectacular contributors.

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Free copies of the newspaper are available (while stocks last) at the exhibition, which runs until 5pm on Saturday 24th May (daily open times are listed online). They’ll also have a small number of copies available to purchase (for a nominal amount) online after the exhibition.

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Full exhibition details can be found on the St. Jude’s website. Random Spectacular No. 2 will be published in June, and as with the first issue all profits go to Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. You can follow St. Jude’s on Twitter and Facebook to be the first to hear when it’s out for sale.

Posted by Sarah | Comments Off

Filed under: art, case studies, illustration

Students Revolt!

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Peter Basma-Lord is a photographer and filmmaker based in Glasgow. He is the co-founder of Petkid, an independent publisher and label specialising in limited editions of film, music, photography and print. He recently printed a digital tabloid called Students Revolt! documenting the student protests in London through some brilliant black and white photographs. It’s available in The Newsagent now for £12.50. Peter wrote to tell us about his project:

Students Revolt! is a series of photographs I’d been sitting on for a few years, having shot them during the student fees protests of 2010-2011. At the time they seemed to document a swell in the spirit of my generation, something that we’d been sorely lacking, however I wanted to hold on to the images and see what might become of our new found resolve in light of the vote for raising the fees.

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Now,  years later, I’ve gone back through the series and decided to produce something of an artefact of that spirit. When taken as a whole the images read almost callously, as the paper moves forward chronologically there is the initial burst of steam, then a weighty push and push back followed by an attempted regrouping that ends with a Big Mac and fries.

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The paper is not intended to be bleak (although it easily reads as such!). The movement of bodies, dateless in their black and white, aims simply to preserve the anguish, resolve, idiocy, and  determination of the course of a few short months. Something to regard decades in the future as just another spike in our collective conscience.

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The images selected hopefully make clear the sentiment of the time, the heady rush physical and lucid, and the sharp pang of sobering jolts. They were produced from scans of high-speed black and white film with the layout produced in inDesign before going to newsprint – a fittingly non-archival medium for such an ephemeral subject.

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You can see more of Peter’s work on his website and blog. Thank you for printing with us!

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Filed under: case studies, Newsagent, students

The Emoji Reference Manual

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Frankie Roberto is a freelance creative technologist and a web developer for Newspaper Club.  He also recently became a compiler of emoji and has put together The Emoji Reference Manual, a collection of over 700 emoji symbols and their unique hexadeximal codes. It’s a handy and enlightening 16-page guide and available in The Newsagent now for £5. There’s also a website for the project where Frankie introduces his publication:

Symbols and icons are everywhere we look, from hi-fis to washing machines. Once understood, their meaning is quickly communicated, but for the uninitiated they’re an intriguing puzzle.

Born in Japan to make it quicker to communicate via text message, Emoji icons have become a global phenomenon since being adopted into the Unicode standard in 2010. Thanks to this, you can now use emoji in tweets, e-mails, and even URLs.

The emoji graphics featured in this reference guide are from the Apple Color Emoji typeface, primarily designed by Willem Van Lancker. The emoji have been arranged in thematic groups, from people to objects.

Looking through the emoji, they reveal some of the preoccupations with modern living, and give a glimpse into Japanese culture.

We asked Frankie some questions about his publication and here’s what he had to say:

Why did you want to create an emoji reference manual?

I started seeing more and more emoji used all over the the place – in tweets, on websites, even in occasional e-mails – and so I was curious as to how many there were and what the full list looked like. I was astonished to discover that there are over 700. So many that it’s hard to get a sense of them on a mobile phone or laptop screen. Printing them all out seemed like the obvious thing to do.

It took way longer than anticipated because I decided to group them into categories to make the full catalogue easier to understand. Some of the categories are straightforward, like Animals, Nature and Food, others are more esoteric, like Gestures and Celestial Bodies. There’s also a whole category dedicated to cat emotions…

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How often do you use emoji in your day to day communication?

I try to slot them into text messages and tweets when I remember, but I’m not using them all the time. Sometimes it’s fun to try and compose a message solely of emoji as a kind of puzzle for the recipient to figure out.

What’s the most creative use of emoji you’ve found?

Emoji Dick is a complete translation of Moby-Dick, which has been published as a book. The original book was split into sentences, and workers on Amazon Mechanical Turk were paid to try and find the most appropriate emoji substitute, using funds generated through Kickstarter.

I’m not sure how truly readable the finished book is though.

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If you could create a new emoji what would it be?

There’s no giraffe, which is a shame, as they’re my favourite animals. I also think a Mars emoji should be added, in plenty of time for an astronaut landing on it, hopefully within my lifetime…

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take three emoji, which would you choose?

Well, if I could actually use them on the desert island to communicate with potential rescuers on the horizon, then I might pick

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Otherwise, if it’s just for personal enjoyment whilst I’m there, then I’d go with

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Posted by Sarah | Comments Off

Filed under: case studies, Newsagent, team, typography

IRISS On…Weaving Innovation and Evidence Together

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IRISS is a charitable organisation that promotes positive outcomes for people who use Scotland’s social services. They teamed up with Dundee-based illustrator Amanda Bataller to produce an eye-grabbing newspaper aimed at people who work in the social care and support sector. Company reports can be a chore to read but the illustrations here are wonderful, cleverly interpreting the newspaper’s theme of ‘weaving innovation and evidence together’ and getting the point across in an engaging visual way. Here’s more about it from IRISS:

IRISS On… is a newspaper series written and published by the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS). The newspaper aims to enlighten, inform and support people to change how they work using new knowledge and processes to develop the ways people are supported. The first IRISS On…was about innovation and improvement — this post is about the creation of the second editon, IRISS On…Weaving Innovation and Evidence Together.

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IRISS On…Weaving Innovation and Evidence Together is a 24-page traditional mini newspaper that was written by Fiona Munro and Gayle Rice (from IRISS) and illustrated by Amanda Bataller. The subject of the newspaper is an exploration into the relationships between innovation and evidence in the context of Scotland’s social services, as the way people approach innovation and evidence affects the outcomes and outputs of work. IRISS is using the newspaper to share this knowledge and encourage people to consider how they think about these two concepts, rather than seeing them as distinct and separate.

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Amanda created the illustrations using Photoshop. The images use the weaving concept to visually communicate the copy and make it more engaging. The ideas is innovation and evidence are represented by two different coloured threads: green for innovation and blue for evidence. The illustrations were used to narrate two characters using the threads in different ways and the copy provides examples of how innovation and evidence have been used in these different ways. The style is simple, clear and eye-catching.

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Fiona, Gayle and Amanda worked collaboratively, providing feedback to each other during each stage of the development process to reach a newspaper we are all proud of.

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1,000 copies of the newspaper have been printed by Newspaper Club, and are being delivered to IRISS champions around all Scotland in different social care and support services and organisations. The license of the newspaper is creative common, so everybody can download it and use it for non-commercial purposes. Please share it widely.

You can find out more about IRISS on their website and follow them on Twitter. Amanda has some more lovely work online too. Thanks for printing with us!

Posted by Sarah | Comments Off

Filed under: case studies, illustration

Our classic and improved tabloids are changing

Our traditional tabloids are changing. From now on:

  • All of our tabloids (digital, classic and improved) are the same page size – 289mm x 380mm (hooray!).
  • Classic tabloids (on 52gsm recycled newsprint) are available in runs of 300 and 400 (down from a 500 copy minimum order)
  • Improved tabloids (on 52gsm improved newsprint) are available in the 289mm x 380mm page size.

We’re phasing out the old improved tabloid size (295mm x 359mm) so if you’re planning a future order please use the classic tabloid template. If you’re working with the old size and have a file ready to go don’t worry – we can still print that for you.

This now means that:

  • It’s easier to switch from digital to traditional printing
  • ARTHR users who want to print traditionally can order 300 or 400 copies (down from 500 minimum), and can print on improved newsprint.
  • You can print an improved tabloid and sell it in the Newsagent without having to resize your file.

What’s the difference between classic and improved tabloids?

Our classic tabloids are printed on 52gsm recycled newsprint – similar to the off-white newsprint that a standard tabloid newspaper would be printed on (although our newsprint is slightly heavier than say, The Sun or The Metro). Improved tabloids use “improved’ newsprint, which is the same weight, but brighter and whiter. It’s great for getting more out of your colours and photographs.

Can I see one of the new improved tabloids?

Yes, you can! Just request a sample here and tick the ‘improved’ box.

Are there any changes to digital tabloids?

No, the digital tabloids are staying the same.

Any questions?

Please contact us on support@newspaperclub.com and we’ll be happy to help.

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Filed under: Announcements

The Little Emperor

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Joey Duong is an illustrator in her third year of study at Hertfordshire University. She recently printed one of the most brilliantly colourful digital tabloids we’ve seen, filled with her lovely drawings. Joey told us about her newspaper:

The Little Emperor was created for a university project. It involved finding a topic that we felt strongly about and creating imagery to hopefully inspire others to take interest in it. The topic I chose was based on the one child policy in China. Though the policy has recently been relaxed, I wanted to show my perception of what it’s like to be an only child in a Chinese family (being Chinese myself I understand the pressures).

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This idea was mostly inspired by an article I read, reporting that parents who are too busy to look after their children will typically leave the responsibilities to grandparents who live under the same roof. This then leads to the parents worrying about the child being too spoiled, what they call in China “Little Emperor Syndrome” — hence the title of my newspaper.

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From the age of 3, some parents choose to send their children away to boarding school so they can become more ‘independent.’ My main aim was to capture the sadness of this lifestyle — for the reader to feel sorry for the child and understand the downsides to this aspect of Chinese culture.

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I don’t usually base my work on sad topics, so it was a challenge for me at first. My style is quite childlike and cheerful, so I had problems trying to create work that communicates a sad topic but also trying to suit it to my illustration style.

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I enjoy using all types of media and materials, and for this newspaper I created images using a mixture of poster paint, watercolour, felt tips, acrylic and black fine liner. I then edited them on Photoshop and organised the pages on InDesign.

You can see more of Joey’s bright and wonderful work on her website Crazy Pot of Pencils and buy prints of her drawings on Society6. Thank you for printing with us, Joey!

Posted by Sarah | Comments Off

Filed under: art, case studies, illustration, students

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