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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. If you are interested in visiting the Makerspace or scheduling a workshop, please email us at makerspace@pugetsound.edu

Layouts

While you are creating your zine, you will need to carefully plan the layout. The total number of pages you’ll need to plan content for depends on the size of your zine. Below are some common options.

 

8 Page Mini-Zine:

 

Full-size zine

8 1/2" x 11" printed on both sides

 
Folio

A standard 1/2 page zine. If you are creating a half-size zine, the page count should be divisible by 4. Each sheet of paper will have four page segments - two on each side, with a margin in the middle.

Quarto

This ia a quarter-size zine with eight page segments (four on each side) on one full-size sheet of paper. 

Helpful Tips:
  • Give yourself a half-inch margin on each side of your page so you don't lose any content when putting your zine together.
  • If you are using a photocopier to produce multiple copies of your zine, color pictures and shading may not turn out well (depending on your copier's settings). Black and white originals with bold lines or contrast often turn out better than a glossy image. If you have access to a scanner, try scanning your master copy to a computer and printing instead of photocopying.
  • Layout, especially the first time, will take much longer than one would expect. Make a mock-up (or several!) that you can read through and edit before printing your run. 
  • HAVE FUN! :)

Binding

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