Zine Making 101

A little bit about zines:

So what’s a Zine? Simply put a zine is a small circulation mini magazine. In fact ‘zine’ is just ‘magazine’ shortened. Zines in the western word started as a way for smaller, independent, sometimes underground communities to share their culture and experiences, to express themselves, and inform one another.

Zines are fairly easy to make. You can get started with a pen, paper, scissors, a glue stick and a copier.

Because they’re easy to make their popularity exploded and there are zines new and old on just about every topic: punk, feminism, horror, personal, mental health, social justice, comics, fandom, fiction, fan fiction, photography, smut, humor, technology, and on and on!

Frequently zine authors will use a pen name and this anonymity makes people feel freer to share things they might not otherwise. This freedom is a window through which you can view others’ ideas and experiences that the mainstream culture rejects and in some cases suppresses

pile-o-zines

pile-o-zines

Making a zine:

Probably one of the easiest jumping off points is How to Make Zines This is a PDF Zine that teaches you how to make it. It’s a single sided miniZine that you can make with just about any printer, scissors, and a regular stapler.

Once you have the mini-zine figured out, use this Zine template that has the same easy layout only you put your own content in!

Your content can be cut from other magazines/papers/books, drawn, photographs, typed, laid out in publishing software, however you want to do it. Once your content is finished, unfold the zine and take it to a copy shop. Each black and white issue will cost you maybe $0.10 and the cost of a staple. Boom! You’re self published!

Going even further into zines and zine making, The Public Studio Guide to Zines is an excellent resource put out by https://thepublicstudio.ca This guide will show you how to make half page zines, develop content and your zine style.

Participate in zine culture:

Don’t just focus on your zine making, there’s a whole word of zinesters and resources out there for you. Some zines are free to download and print (and share). Distros sell and distribute zines. Some distros sponsor us, check them out! Some zinesters sell their zines directly though their websites, on Etsy, and even on the Market Place forum on this site. Similar genre zine authors often are willing to trade zines.

The zine community is an impressive collection of enthusiastic individuals. We’d love to help you join us and share your passion!

Still looking for more to get started in making your own Zine? Check out our Zine 101 group or Zine Making Forum where you can ask questions and read more!