Zine Ideas - Diaspora Digital
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Through this online zine, we seek to make our voices heard. We dare to shout out in a world where women are constantly being told to keep quiet. This is a matter of representation. We made our own space for self-expression and we wish you to become part of it.

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A History of Zines

Zines are basically DIY magazines. They come in a number of different forms. These publications first exploded into popular consciousness during the 1970’s, with the growth of the punk rock scene. They also became a major vehicle for the grunge rock scene in the 1990s.


Radical subcultures made the most of this zine culture as it essentially gave them a platform to the voices out their issues and concerns.  Now, during the internet age, we bear witness to its transformation and revival once again.

Zines and Creative Freedom

The thing about zines that is most interesting is that it is free from the constraints of form and content. It can literally be made from a collage of different ideas, viewpoints, and influences. Or it can follow one specific topic (see example). But most of the time, they just follow a central theme per issue, and the content just goes in wildly different directions from there.


It gives all the team members equal space to do whatever they want. This is the very essence of creative freedom. Zines embody this in the purest possible form.

Zines: Sticking to Your Guns

The thing most people fail to understand about zines is that it is more than a passing trend. Instead, it is a means of self-expression for individuals and groups who feel that they are marginalized and sidelined by society.


That is why it is vital for people working on a zine to know exactly what they want to say. Your zine is unique precisely because it is your own. It is your responsibility then to not break under pressure and say what it is you want to say.

Things to Do: Starting Your Own Zine

According to its definition, zines are a small circulation of self-published work comprised of texts and images. In other words, it is a DIY magazine that is aimed at a particular niche audience. The hand-crafted production is a vital element, along with the content which covers ideas and issues usually ignored by mainstream media.


By this definition alone, one can understand the inherent appeal of this particular form. It seeks to give people usually ignored the chance to make their voices heard. So, now that we have a rudimentary understanding of what zines are, how exactly does one go about making one? This article seeks to highlight the necessary things you need to do to get things started.


Decide on Your Purpose

The first thing that you need to do is to ask yourself what you want to achieve with your zine. You need to determine the main concept behind your zine and the specific means for you to convey your message visually. You will need to think long and hard about these questions as they will eventually shape the very zine that you are forming.


Keep in mind that deciding on your central theme and purpose will eventually determine your target audience, the zine’s overall aesthetic, as well as your choices for potential collaborators.


Choose your format

As you probably know, Zines are not limited by the constraints usually levied upon other printed works. That is why we suggest that you try to step away from mass-market methods conventionally used to produce magazines. Doing so gives you the creative freedom you need and makes it easier for you deliver alternative ideas and unusual pieces of art


Keep in mind that you should put emphasis on keeping your budget low. This goes beyond practical reasons. Rather, it should be part of your creative choice. After all, content and form go hand in hand when it comes to zines, and you can be creative in both arenas. One of the most common tricks zines do is by using photocopiers instead of printers. You can also explore the potentials of fold-outs as well as innovative ways to bind your zines.


Build Your Collective

Once you have answered the fundamental questions surrounding the central message and format of your zine, then you should proceed to look for potential collaborators. The first thing to do is to come up with names of other artists and writers who could potentially contribute to your zine. Keep in mind that this is vital in terms of ensuring that your zine is able to express the message you want to get out there.


It is vital that you and your collaborators are on the same page regarding what you want to achieve with your zine. Of course, as a bit of advice, it is vital that you keep the number of people in control. After all, you want your content to have variation but you would not want it to be chaotic.


These are just a couple of the basic things you need to consider when starting your own zine.

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