Final zine evaluation

I used different images, combining photos of my figure with photos I had taken around Oxford. This allowed me to express different elements of the narrative. For example, printing the brick wall image over the image of the figure’s face expresses a stubborn or trapped state.

Black and white is suitable for a zine generally because it cuts down printing costs, but I also feel it helped to create the mood I wanted in this story. The zine begins sad and the greyscale helped me to show this.

I pulled inspiration from a variety of sources, such as the song lyrics, personal experience and zines I have seen in the past.

Looking at graphic design books was also helpful in informing my ideas. Books such as The graphic design idea book : inspiration from 50 masters, Fanzines by Teal Triggs, The fundamentals of creative design by Ambrose/Harris, Behind the zines self publishing culture, and Visible Signs : an introduction to semiotics in the visual arts . Buying 2 zines from was useful because I could see how another artist would approach zine-making.

Looking at photos of zines on the internet was important because it allowed me to see how a physical zine can be constructed. I didn’t take every idea on board but absorbing these ideas allowed me to be creative and apply my own methods to zine making. For example, I looked at the posterzines by people of print and although I liked the way all the information is compact on the one sheet of paper, I did not want to go down this route with my zine. Since my zine is about a story of change, I wanted it to physically read like a book, with pages that could be turned and a narrative that could be slowly revealed to the audience.

I considered the bookbinding methods we were introduced to in Ruth’s workshops for module 002. These methods informed the direction of the physical format of the zine.

The use of cut-out text reflected the theme of the zine. My zine is about breaking and fixing. Both emotionally, physically, and metaphorically. The way I glued the words together, forming them from separate found letters, helps to represent this narrative.

I used exclusively collage for my zine. (I did not use drawing or digitally produced images). I stuck with analogue methods for this extended project as I wanted the zine to feel handmade and personal. The cut and paste method I used for the images gives the same impression as the repairing theme mentioned above.

Once I got into the making of the zine, I took it in my own direction. I was still reading and looking at research material throughout but I felt like I needed to tell my story in my own way. There was a point in the process where I did not feel the need for outside input anymore. This was after I made the draft zine. My research period was more near the beginning of the project.

I have avoided copying any one design, but have been influenced by elements such as the distortion used by Sofia Clausse in her zine about ‘the windy city’. The distortion in her zine was a reference to the windy weather. In my zine, the distortion represents change and mental health.

I struggled with knowing how long to spend on each area. For example, I did a lot of experimentation because I felt I needed to explore my object and how to present it on paper. This was not much of a problem in this semester but did lead me to feeling overwhelmed. If I had set time limits for each task, it might have helped me keep on top of the module overall.

Collage experimentation

Isabel Reitemeyer

Collage artist based in Berlin. What I find interesting about her work is the variety of techniques she uses in her collages. Each collage is different and surprising. She experiments with the physical quality of the paper. Sometimes folding it like a fabric and other times cutting the paper with a scalpel.

Images from isabel reitemeyer (@isabelreitemeyer) • Instagram photos and videos

In this image, she has cut the paper carefully into a smooth curved line. The area of the face stands alone on the page. Cutting an area out is an other way of concealing an area, this adds mystery.

I like the choppy style of cutting within this collage. It reminds me of a smashed window. Some lines are parallel but the piece is asymmetrical.

The white area hides the image behind. Because of its shape, we see glimpses of the figure between the branch-like shapes. The flat quality of the white area balances out the depth and blackness of the photograph.

Cutting out sections of an image means you can re-arrange them on the page to your liking. The medium of collage means you can be selective with what to include. In this image, I am drawn to the shape of the negative/white space.

I like the way Reitemeyer plays with layers in this piece. The shape she has cut from the yellow paper acts as a frame for the image behind. The choice of plain yellow draws the focus to the figure. If she had used another image for this top layer, it might look confusing or flat.

I like the way she has broken the image into sections. To me, this symbolises something broken or unsettled about the character or narrative.

When starting the project of making my final zine, I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I needed to generate more ideas about the context, layout and visual elements. Having experimented with format, I was happy I had 3 possible formats to work with.

I began to take photos with my phone camera. I focused loosely on the themes of water, home, fragments and seasons. I took the following photos:

I converted some of the images into black and white before printing them. I used these photos as collage pieces to incorporate into my sketchbook along with the image of my chosen object, the raincoat girl.

Before & after photoshop/ camera RAW

Softening this image make the photo look smokey and dream-like.
Collage experimentation

Within my sketchbook, I began experimenting with collage as a way to play with ideas for the zine.

I printed the photo of the raincoat girl figure in black and white. I photocopied the photo while moving it around on the scanner. I liked the effect because it gave a wavy underwater feeling.

I placed the photo back into the paper compartment of the printer. I then printed the image of the puddle on top. I found that the combination of the dark areas and lighter image underneath worked well.

This experiment wasn’t as effective because the background is darker than the photo I printed on top of the background.

I printed this page from the book The Unofficial Countryside by Richard Mabey. I chose this text because of its reference to seasons and the idea of rebirth. I like the combination of colour with black and white.

Intro to Zines!



Zines have:

A DIY approach, cut and paste style, a chaotic design, hand lettering or computer generated lettering, like-minded fans.

Zines are:

self-made, independent, Immediate and informal, Very low cost, can be made collaboratively, Not slick like magazines, Outside the mainstream, anti establishment., usually Responding to a theme.

Zinesters are:

People who make zines, less concerned about spelling, grammar, punctuation.

An artist can share their work by replicating it.

You can break the rules.

History of Fanzines

The first zines were science fiction based. They were called fanzines, first named this by Louis Russell Chauvenet, as they were made by the fans of science fiction. They allowed fans to communicate about subjects that the mainstream was not interested in. They were first printed in the 1930’s, there were no photocopiers back then but they had other means of copying the pages.

They contained poems, letters from fans, fan drawings and quirky stories. Some were based around Star Trek, which was popular at the time. The Comet was the first ever zine in the USA and Futurian was the first UK zine.

Next came the comic book zines:

These featured fantasy characters and superheroes.

Music zines

In the 1960’s, music zines emerged. These were mainly around rock and pop music of the time. They featured Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors. They used cut out photography and photocopiers. Music fans would cut out articles about their favourite bands from newspaper and collect them together into these zines. Crawdaddy! was an American zine and the most popular music zine of the time.

This article is from earlier this year (2021) and celebrates 55 years since the start of Crawdaddy!

1966-1978. A true legend among rock mags, the New York City-based Crawdaddy!‘s first 14 issues were printed on an old mimeograph machine. Crawdaddy! differed from other magazines of its era in that it took rock ‘n’ roll very seriously. In its first few years, it tended to focus on politics and the radical views of the time. Each issue contained a number of music articles and interviews, as well as many ads for new albums.

These are my favourite Crawdaddy! front covers. They are bold and inventive. I like the limited use of colour and flat texture:

Punk zines

In the punk era Sniffin’ Glue was one of the most popular punk zines. Punk started in the 70s and carried on until late 80s. Punks were anti-establishment. Starting in Britain’s economic depression, people were angry and against the politics of that era.

They embraced any sort of anarchy. The way they were dressing and thinking about politics connected them. They generated the graphic language of resistance, rejecting what was mainstream.

Sniffin’ Glue was started by Mark Perry in 1976.

“Fanzines embraced punk’s do-it-yourself attitude. As one member of the punk community reflected, ‘our fanzines were always clumsy, unprofessional, ungrammatical, where design was due to inadequacy rather than risk.'”

Fanzines by Teal Trigg

With the layout there was no rules, it was chaotic and they experimented. Each zine looked different from each other. Some used felt-tip hand writing. Every zine has its own identity but all shared the same approach/ attitude.

In another punk zine Chainsaw ,each issue was different.
This front cover of Cobalt Hate uses intentional mistakes. I like the amount of small details cut from newspapers. They have used multiple staples to bind the pages together.

Post-Punk zines

The Black Panther movement

Working for the rights and freedom of black people in America. To fight for justice, access to decent housing, better education and to fight against police brutality, free meals for children. The Black Panthers education people about their legal rights.

The weekly newsletter Black Panther was printed from 1967-1980. It was a way for the movement to spread their message and unite people across the country.

Special notice must be paid to Douglas’s amazing facility to combine black plus one spot color on each cover to rich, diverse effect.


Archigram was a Group of architects in the UK. The zine opened architecture to popular culture. They had a utopian way of designing buildings. The group were critical of modernism. They were Inspired by comic books and science fiction books of the time.

All images from


Psychedelic and garage rock zine from the 1980’s. Introducing colours and a lot of patterns.

Cover of Issue 6

Freakbeat was not published in any regular intervals of time.

In the layout there was a generous use of Op-Art and psychedelic patterns, which is great, but it can also be annoying , as it makes reading quite difficult.’

words and images from:

Contemporary Zines

Contemporary fanzines have re-emerged since the 1990s. The craft tradition re-emerged in this time and zines along with it. The world saw a re-fashioning of crafts. In the 21st century, people seek an escape from the digital world. I believe people will always want something that can be held and experienced ‘in the flesh.’


Ker-bloom! is a contemporary zine created by graphic designer Artnoose. Their method is time-consuming, as they use a letter press and lino printing for their zines.

Artnoose began letterpress printing the zine Ker-bloom! in the summer of 1996 and has been making it every other month since then, never late, never missing one.

‘Issue number 126 of the letterpress zine Ker-bloom features a Giant Pacific Octopus linoblock on the front cover. It’s about the octopus, but it’s really about parenting and how exhausting it can be.’

I like the way the design wraps around from front to back cover.


Buffalo is a fashion (non-fashion) zine. They use images from archives, re-purposing images from the past. The zine explores ways of seeing fashion and beauty.

Images from Issue #2 at

Thought bubbles add meaning to an image.
Manipulation of magazine images.
hand-painted text.
I like the use of drawing to reflect the photographic image.

Hato Press Zine Series

‘Café Deco Frieze by Artists Harry Darby & Anna Hodgson is the ninth zine in the Hato Press zine series.’

I really like the combination of photography with illustrations. Text is placed subtly on these pages:

‘Based on paintings for a frieze in a restaurant interior located in Bloomsbury, this zine draws on Virgil’s The Georgics, a romantic poem about agriculture. With a playful approach and paying particular homage to Elisabeth Frinks illustrations of The Illiad for colour inspiration, the zine conveys Harry & Anna’s connection with the poem and restaurant space. 

Published by Hato Press, London

Printed on Evercopy 80gsm
Pages: 16
Dimensions: 14 cm x 20 cm
Format: Softcover / Saddle stitch binding’

Sofia Clausse

‘Argentina-born, UK and US-educated, Portugal-based Sofia Clausse makes work as colourful and varied as her nomadic life, as her bright, bold website shows. But unusually for us, it wasn’t the vibrantly-hued projects that most impressed us, but a seemingly unassuming monochrome zine. Entitled The Windy City Zine, Sofia’s creation is an ode to her time spent in Chicago. “The distortion of the building windows and the Cloud Gate sculpture served as inspiration for the warped images and type,” Sofia explains.’