Ladies and Gentlemen, we might just be heading into a new age of the ’zine. In the good old ’80s and ’90s, people with more passion than money (or design skill) slapped together short-run magazines that were long on real-world cut-and-paste and photocopying, and short on polish – very much the punk rock of publishing. Most of these folks abandoned ship for the relatively inexpensive platform of the Web, and never looked back. (The uber-popular Boing Boing blog, for example, started as a ’zine.)
What makes us think the ’zine is back? Honestly, it hadn’t really occurred to us until we clapped eyes on Printed Pages, the new magazine from London design site It’s Nice That. This £4 (about $6), 84-page, saddle-stitched exploration of design in a variety of disciplines is an eye opener. It replaces the site’s self-titled magazine (see top) which itself was much closer to the traditional ’zine.
Printed Pages is an interesting little hybrid of slick magazine featuring a clean design, and a smidgeon of punk-rock attitude. Gone are the individual departments of its previous incarnation into which stories and photos were shoehorned, replaced by eight feature stories an issue today.
Perusing its pages with its odd page-number placement, minimalist cover, and occasional found-art vibe, you suddenly realize that this is what a ’zine looks like in the age of prevalent design tools and affordable printing. Most importantly, it liberates intriguing content from the ho-hum world of Web ephemera by returning to that medium that cannot be replaced: paper.