The Big Z

Zines, as of late have seen an overhaul from DIY counter-culture micro mags to an exploitable marketing technique (Arnold, 2016). The most influential of these “Big Budget” zines would be Kanye West’s Season 2 Look-book. A calculated and dry approach to a previously handmade medium. This motion towards the clean, the crisp and the easily available is what I aim to challenge with “Digital killed the Analog Star”.

Yeezy Season 4 (West and Nickerson, 2017)

In keeping with this more aggressive, pointed approach to my digital artefact, I have also decided to make my message more direct. Though it would be easy and inclusive to involve digital and analog artists within the zine, I felt like the message of analog artistry maintaining relevance would be more direct if I were to include sole analog artists. This both cuts down the book and makes it more categorical.

Through much digging, I have discovered 3 core guidelines to producing a Zine. Note that these are not “Hard and Fast” rules, rather they are vague outlines as to what could easily be identified as a zine to an objective viewer. These guides are:

  • A small-circulation, self-published, and often inexpensive medium – Zines are the epitome of the DIY publication. The easiest way in which to distinguish it from comic books, magazines, booklets and other literature is the raw, handmade nature of the medium. I plan to execute this in a way that challenges the modern deliverance of the product by making it using my own two hands as much as possible. The plan for production is to print off each aspect individually (photos, text, borders etc.) then photocopy them in to the final product. this helps keep with the traditional formatting of zines in the 70’s (Perkins, 2012).
  • The 70’s Zine, though not the roots of the medium exploded within the punk scene and is the most renowned format of the medium to date (Perkins, 2012). It is a model I would find much comfort in appropriating to express the nature of analog art forms. Incorporating elements of punk, skate, surf and street imagery, This zine is planned to resonate with my fellow youths, inspiring a movement towards analog art tools and consumer mediums.

    Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 9.25.39 am.png
    (30 Rock, 2013)
  • Tactility is an important aspect of the zine, though often abandoned in the 21’st century, a physical copy holds truer to both my message and to the zines of the past. taking from issues such as “Artificial Insanity”, “Assault with Intent to Free” and “Endless Struggle” without disregarding the Riot Grrrl zines of the 80’s such as “Bikini Kill” by using as many dated techniques as possible (Oyler, 2014).
    Illuminati Girl Gang issue #3 (2016)So, with these characteristics in mind, I decided to venture in to a layout which would, in much the same way that the above imaged IGG did, harken back to the roots of zine culture while still maintaining a 21st century feel. So without further ado, I will attempt to outline the zine layout in words.

I am hoping to print the final copy of “Digital” on a 120 GSM creme paper, giving it a rustic hefty feel. The front cover will have the title of the paper printed using alphabet stamps with a photo underneath. within the cover will lie a quote from polaroid “Ideas in ink, photos in print”, with the table of contents on the accompanying page. From there I plan to mix the artist series up using various photos to collage their work with photos of their medium and themselves creating the art. This will be accompanied by a one page analysis and interview on the artist about their medium and why analog tools are so important. This will then close the zine with a collage of all individuals involved with hand written final note from each artist. I plan to scrapbook this on folded A4 paper (turning he zine into an A5 format) and then scan and do a final print.

Deciding to turn the zine in to a purely primary research work was an important part of maintaining the zine’s integrity as a medium. Though I will outline many secondary sources in my final report, the zine is not the place to incorporate such details. until next time, Dan out!

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 10.04.18 am.png
Assault with intent to fire (1970’s)


Arnold, C. (2016). A Brief History of Zines. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Apr. 2017].

30 Rock. (2013). Directed by T. Fey. Las Angeles: NBC.

Oyler, L. (2014). Top ten zines. [online] Dazed. Available at: [Accessed 27 Apr. 2017].

Perkins, S. (2012). Approaching the ’80s Zine Scene: The Counterculture and the Underground Press. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Apr. 2017].

West, K. and Nickerson, J. (2017). YEEZY Season 3-4 Zine. 1st ed.


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