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Collins Library Zine Collection: Making Zines

Getting Started: Zine Making Guides at Collins Library

Anatomy of a Zine

There are no hard and fast rules for creating your own zine, BUT the creative choices you make will have an impact on the overall appeal of your creation and the effectiveness of your message. Below are some elements to consider in your design.

 

VISUAL
  • Text: Handwritten/drawn, silk-screening, letter pressing, cut-and-paste, or text from a word-processer
  • Graphics: Photography or artwork, drawings and illustrations, cartoons, collage, stencils, silhouettes
  • Use color, fonts, lines and space to organize information
 
WRITTEN
  • Interviews
  • Essays / Articles / Rants
  • Poetry or short narrative (fiction)
  • Advice columns
  • DIY, how-to, or instructional writing
  • Journal or diary entries
  • Reviews (book, film, etc.)
  • Lists
  • Comic strips
  • Style / tone: some zines invoke humor, emotional writing, protest and political language, etc. How do you want to affect your readers?

 

ORGANIZATION & LAYOUT
  • Front cover / back cover
  • Creative title
  • Contact info (pen names or pseudonyms are ok)
  • Table of contents
  • Page numbers (for your readers and for you when you’re collating)
  • Author bio, letter to readers, or manifestos – basically, a statement explaining who you are, why you’re writing this zine, and what sort of personal, social, or cultural significance it has
  • Bibliography
  • Copyright statement

 

PHYSICAL
  • Sizes: Mini-zines, quartos, folios, or full-size
  • Bindings: Hand-stitched, string or yarn, staples
  • Brads, rubber bands, paper clips
  • Paper weights
  • Multi-colored or textured paper
  • Folded paper, origami constructions, or pockets

Supplies

Zine makers use all kinds of supplies to create their zines. Below are some typical examples. The Makerspace maintains a supply of assorted craft paper, glue, glue sticks, scissors, scrap fabric, and assorted craft items for use, and individuals are encouraged to bring their own (dry) materials for specific project needs. 

 

Common Supplies:
  • Typewriter or computer with a word processing program (FYI: Microsoft Word offers a booklet template which might help you arrange some of your content, but Google Docs does not)
  • Printer and scanner or photocopier
  • Writing Supplies: Sharpie pens, markers, pencils, ink, stamps, white out, ruler
  • Art Supplies: label maker, images or photos, magazines or newspapers for collages, patterned paper, fabric, washi tape, stickers
  • Cutting Supplies: cutting board, scissors, x-acto knife, paper trimmer, silhouette cutter (available in the Makerspace)
  • Construction Supplies: glue stick, tape, long arm stapler, other binding materials (needle and thread)

 

Cut and Paste Text & ​Images:

The Makerspace has a supply of old books and journals for individuals to use in collages or cut and paste crafting. Additionally, some of our favorite sites for images include:

Online Guides to Zine Making

How to Make a Zine

Collins Library Makerspace

Collins Library Makerspace

Create your zine at Collins! 

The Makerspace is a collaborative creative space for Puget Sound students, faculty and staff interested in doing hands-on projects in an informal setting at the Collins Library.  It’s a collaborative work space for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools. 

All members of the Puget Sound community are welcome in the Makerspace. All makers must review, print, and sign a Makerspace User Agreement. Check the website for the Makerspace Open Hours. If you are interested in visiting the Makerspace outside the posted times, please email us at makerspace@pugetsound.edu

Layouts & Templates

Laying out your content for photocopying or printing is usually the most challenging part of the zine making process. Imposition refers to the process of arranging your pages so that once the printed sheets are folded and assembled, the pages will appear in the correct order. 

One way to layout your zine is to fold up a blank booklet, number the pages, then take the book apart and create your content. You might also create individual pages and then cut out and glue/tape them onto a blank sheet of paper. Most zine makers find a way that works for them, and there are many templates out there to help you out! Below are some common options.

 

8 Page Mini-Zine:

This is an 8-page mini zine made from a single sheet of 8.5’”x11” or 11”x17” paper. This is a great beginner project for first-time zine makers and individual projects.

 

Folio or Digest-Size Zine

The most popular style is a digest-sized zine, which is made by folding sheets of 8.5”x11” paper in half. For easier copying and printing, your total page count should be divisible by 4. Each piece of paper will have four page segments – two pages on each side, with a margin in the middle.

 
Quarter-Size Zine

This is a 1/4-size zine with eight page segments (four on each side) on one full-size sheet of paper. 

 
Helpful Tips:
  • Include some organizational elements: front/back cover, title, table of contents, page numbers*, statement of purpose, etc. 

    • *Page numbers will help you assemble your zine in the correct order once it is printed.

  • Consider the look and feel of your zine. Balance images and illustrations with text placements, white space, and other elements on the page.

  • Leave a 1/4" margin around your pages so nothing gets cut off when your zine is printed. 

  • Light text and images don’t always reproduce well, so bold or high contrast is best! If you have access to a scanner, try scanning your original copy to a computer and printing instead of photocopying.

  • Layout, especially the first time, will take much longer than you expect. Make a mock-up (or several!) that you can read through and edit before printing.

  • Relax and make it your own! There’s no wrong way to make a zine. :)

Binding

There are many ways to bind your finished zine! Below are some common methods for putting it all together.