11 Newspapers we loved in 2021

11 Newspapers We Loved in 2021. Printed by Newspaper Club.

Well, 2021 was certainly... a year. Another year of challenges and bright spots, with different experiences for everyone — as the diverse mix of newspapers we printed shows. Here are 11 projects that stood out from over 2 million newspapers that went through our presses in 2021.

One of the highlights was seeing the return of live sports, weddings and exhibitions and the continued emergence of fascinating passion projects that flourish when the world is tilted on its axis.

Thanks for keeping our presses fuelled with creativity — and here's to another year in print!

10 Newspapers We Loved in 2021: Wilfrid Wood People exhibition newspaper. Printed by Newspaper Club.

Face time

“We’re getting so used to seeing everything tiny on a screen,” says British artist Wilfrid Wood. His portrait paintings, by contrast, are BIG and he reproduced them at almost life-size in this catalogue for his People exhibition in London. We love the exquisite corpse-style poses (like the one above) folks created using the newspaper.

Coat Paints zine printed by Newspaper Club.

DIY digest

With the metaverse making waves, paint brand COAT “paused and decided to make something tactile instead.” In a series of zines, they guide readers through DIY painting at home – everything from choosing the right shade of white to prepping your walls for a fresh colour. Communicating through print “feels more real,” they say. “It's been great to see people taking a break from their screens and flicking through our newspaper!”

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allhy crosby wedding

Newsworthy nuptials

“After postponing and canceling and re-planning, sharing our final wedding plans felt newsworthy!” says writer and editor Allison Considine, who got married in the Catskills this summer. She created this zine with her (now) husband Crosby and designer Melissa Gutierrez to “hype up our guests” and help them plan their trip.

Allison says the idea was inspired by coverage of their grandparents’ weddings in the local society columns – scans of the 1940s newspaper clippings are included in the zine, along with wedding memories from both sets of parents. 

 "The process of putting together the newspaper offered a glimmer of hope while planning a wedding amidst a pandemic,” says Allison. “The printed zine made the event feel real. And guests said that it was the most exciting mail they’d received in months!”

Will Sanders newspaper

Vivid snapshots

London-based photographer Will Sanders works with clients like The New York Times, Wired, IKEA and the Victoria and Albert Museum. This large-format portfolio, designed by his agency PLEAT with creative studio All Purpose, is a 44-page collection of his vivid images. Highlights include a bartender juggling bright yellow lemons and a double-page spread of 4 fluffy sheepdogs in a row.

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Origin by Gwen Smith. Exhibition catalogue printed by Newspaper Club.

Family histories

The inspiration for artist Gwen Smith’s project ORIGIN came to her in a dream: “I witnessed the birth of my great-grandfather, Reverend Edmund Oxley, the first Black man to graduate from Harvard Divinity School,” she explains. Expanding on this image, she collaged photos from her childhood with paintings to show “ancestors emerging from psychedelic wombs.”

“The project pays homage to the power of the Black mother as a giver of life, the wellspring from whom history emerges,” says Gwen, who designed this catalogue to accompany an exhibition of the work at Justine Kurland Studio in Brooklyn, NY. “Newspapers feel like they hold memories, which really resonates with the family-album quality of my project.”

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The Modern House zine printed by Newspaper Club. Designed by Studio Small.

Modern living

“Our rule when it comes to print is not to produce anything immediately disposable,” says estate agency The Modern House. Steering clear of glossy flyers, they publish a mini newspaper, featuring popular articles from their online journal, to connect with clients offline. It’s “a tangible, beautiful publication that people are proud to have in their homes,” says senior director Emma Mansell. “Our appraisals team often find it sitting pride of place on coffee tables when they go to meetings!”

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The Grassroots Post amateur football zine. Printed by Newspaper Club.

Feel-good football

The Grassroots Post is a free football publication championing the amateur level of the sport. “Grassroots football is crucial to the physical and mental wellbeing of the nation and we aim to give it the coverage it deserves,” says their website.

With six issues so far, the publication has put a spotlight on clubs you won’t often hear about — like those for veterans, for people with disabilities and for players over 50. It also celebrates the referees, volunteers and “unsung heroes” who keep the game going. "We're sharing human stories," says editor Mike Backler. "It's all positive, warm and relatable content."  From January 2022, the Grassroots Post will be available in 150 venues across the UK.

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Courage Over Comfort zine by Potli. Printed by Newspaper Club.

Food for thought

Potli, makers of hemp-infused honey and other pantry staples, celebrated this year’s AAPI Heritage Month with a special care package supporting non-profit Alma Backyard Farms. It included this zine, featuring stories, recipes and interviews that transform “feelings of collective grief with the rise of Asian hate crimes into something beautiful,” as editor Ujin Kim explains. “Readers love it. It is so validating to share it with people who may be seeing their stories in this format for the first time.”

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Peter McDonald exhibition catalogue printed by Newspaper Club. Designed by Abake.

Colourful catalogue

This colourful catalogue accompanied an exhibition of new works by Tokyo-born artist Peter McDonald. In the paintings, McDonald’s abstract bubble-headed figures attend gallery openings, play basketball and watch puppet shows. The newspaper is published by Kate MacGarry, designed by creative studio Åbäke and includes a conversation between McDonald and Andrew Maerkle, a writer based in Japan.

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Gritted teeth student newspaper printed by Newspaper Club.

Stand-out students

Gritted Teeth is a celebration of the BA (Hons) Illustration Class of 2021 from Plymouth College of Art. “These illustrators worked through a seemingly endless pandemic to produce work which is outstanding, independent of circumstance,” says subject leader Benjamin Wright. “This exhibition is more than a showcase of work — it is a showcase of tenacity during a time that has tested all of us.”

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Black Magic broadsheet from Nicole Nicole Cardoza. Printed by Newspaper Club.

Making magic

Black Magic Quarterly celebrates the contributions of the Black community to the field of stage magic. lllusionist Nicole Cardoza distributes copies as part of her live performance and a corresponding NFT allows readers to invest in Black magic virtually.

“Magic is an art that's best experienced in the moment,” says Nicole. “I liked the idea of contrasting a live show, which ends when the curtain closes, with a physical takeaway that the audience can savor for days to come. It's been incredible watching people carry the conversation forward on social media after the show.”

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