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Keep connected in isolation with a Quarantine Zine

Making a Quarantine Zine newspaper

Andy Brown is a filmmaker based in Glasgow, working with clients including Channel 4, Red Bull and Scottish Ballet. Like many freelance creatives, Andy says his busy schedule “quickly ground to a halt” as the world shut down to combat coronavirus. “It’s been a strange time adjusting to staying inside and figuring out what’s next,” he says. 

Below, Andy shares how he used this unexpected downtime to make a Quarantine Zine, printing old photos as a digital mini newspaper to send to friends and family in isolation. "The project helped give me some focus during lockdown," says Andy. "It’s been a great way to reach out and everyone has been in touch to say they loved it."

Photo of statue printed in a newspaper

A NEW USE FOR OLD PHOTOS

When we went into lockdown, I knew I wasn’t going to see family and friends in person anytime soon. I thought making a photo zine with Newspaper Club would be a nice way to physically connect with people. Getting a surprise package through the letterbox is always fun, so thought it might cheer folk up, too.

"The project helped give me some focus during lockdown...It really kept the momentum up for me."

I keep a folder of photos that I’ve taken over the years saved on my computer. I sometimes drag and drop stuff into it, but have never gotten round to doing anything with them. Now seemed like the perfect time to finally print them!

Making a Quarantine Zine newspaper

I flicked through the photos in my folder and looked for any themes to jump out. Straight away, I noticed a lot of blue sky, which makes sense as I love taking photos outdoors. (In my experience it’s the best place for iPhone and disposable cameras to work well.)

"I thought making a photo zine would be a nice way to physically connect with people."

I used Newspaper Club’s InDesign template for digital minis, which made it super easy to arrange my photos without worrying about setting up bleed, margins, etc. I didn’t want to take too long making this, as it’s nice to just do it in one go and see what happens! The layout was arranged, double checked and uploaded to Newspaper Club all in an afternoon.

Making a Quarantine Zine newspaper

Two days later, the Quarantine Zine arrived! It was amazing and really kept the momentum up for me. This was the first time I’ve ever made something like this, and it was so cool to open the package and see my photos on a newspaper. The tactility of the paper, the way the colours came out and the physical size of it were all perfect. 

"This was the first time I’ve ever made something like this, and it was so cool to open the package and see my photos on a newspaper."

I made a list of family and friends up and down the UK who I thought would like a copy. I kept the package simple and attached a wee handwritten note explaining that I’d finally managed to print some of my photos, what with all this time I had on my side now.

Making a Quarantine Zine newspaper

SPECIAL DELIVERY

I’m so happy with the response. It’s been a great way to reach out and everyone has been in touch to say they loved it and that it cheered them up in these gloomy times. I’ve had a few people comment on their particular favourite photos from the Quarantine Zine, and some friends saying how honoured they are to receive such a beautiful item in the post!

Making a Quarantine Zine newspaper

The Quarantine Zine project helped give me some focus during lockdown and motivated me to do something with photos I’ve always wanted to get printed. The theme for Issue One was “Light”, but I don’t think Issue Two should be “Dark” — we’ve got enough on our plate at the moment, so now I need to gather a similarly light-hearted collection of my photos for the next issue!


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