A small circulation, non-commercial publication of
original or appropriated text and images. Any self-
published work that takes advantage of the photocopier
and/or small-run printers.
The idea is that circulation would be 5,000 or less. Probably 100 would be more like it.
These are Zine covers from Artcore, the longest running and one of the most popular
Written, designed, and published by their creators, zines are grassroots publications
made simply on home computers and printers or copy machines.
Image from the Philly Zine Fest
An underground feminist
art movement started in
Girl Germs - their Zine
Notice is was FREE. Much of the content of
Zines was/is appropriated, and also may
contain subject matter not always appropriate
for mainstream media. In that vein, Zines are
mostly freely distributed publications.
Some magazines, like BUST,
started out as zines, made
in garages and bedrooms,
and found distributors
after solidifying an
With the advent of the copy
machine, zines became a
very popular format of
personal expression and
communication beginning in
the late 1960’s.
Really, zines can cover content in just about
any area - art, politics, sci-ﬁ, music, personal
With the advent of the internet as another
tool of expression and communication to a
mass audience, zines have fallen out of the
realm of function and into the world of art.
Today, zines can be considered artists books, a
pice of art that the artist ask the audience to
Open pages of a zine laid-
out before the binding is
Israeli Political Zine
Still, many people,
especially avid zine-makers,
believe that the internet
cannot compare to
physically holding the
“object” in your hands.
As you can see, Zines are a wonderful tool
for expression. Be creative, be inventive!
BUT, for our purposes and for understanding
the rules of laying out, we will want to
consider the idea of the underlying grid and
how to use this grid in design. You will want
to understand the concepts of white space,
margins and gutters. What images will you
use? What is the purpose of your Zine? How
can the FORM and IMAGERY of the content
reﬂect the meaning?