As we’ve ranted on about loads over the past few weeks, we got a newspaper done for Playful with the kind and gracious help of the folks at Newspaper Club. This was exciting for loads of reasons…we like those chaps, we’ve been collecting the papers they’ve been doing and watching closely for Alpha invites in our inboxes, and we like doing stuff.
I think the Playful programme was the first EVENT paper they’d done (we were closely followed by The Rebel Alliance who did one for Saturday’s Spurs and Arsenal game) and we thought we’d weigh in having a newspaper versus a paper programme…
Designing a newspaper is fun. Really fun. There are big pages and the knowledge that this pure white InDesign background will come out slightly faded and inky and everything that’s good about physical stuff.
Designing a newspaper is hard. Pretty hard. Those big pages can be hard to fill. Luckily, we had lots of great speakers to nick material from that we copied and pasted in. In hindsight, my favourite page was the Jim Rossignol page seen here:
I think the Newspaper Club super-auto-website-power that they’re building will be a bit like the way this page was produced – take a big load of copy, fit it onto the page in a way that looks good and reads well, put a nice headline in a big font, print. It’s simple and, because of that, I think it’s the most effective.
Photos come out a bit dark. I made some fake polaroids for the speaker pictures and boosted the colour to make them less digi-polished. These came out the best. The digital photos and screenshots used elsewhere came out a bit darker than expected. Again, this might be something that will be fixed behind the scenes when you press PRINT on the Newspaper Club web-machine. Or it could be my fault.
Getting 500 newspapers delivered is really cool. I had a morning paper round, and an evening one, and occasionally a Sunday one. I also worked in a petrol station where I had the distinguished responsibility of counting newspapers when they were delivered, snipping the lethal plastic wire stuff that they come wrapped in, and putting them in piles for display. All the best bits about this history came back to me on the morning of Playful. Maybe this is a personal thing, perhaps even a stupid thing, but it’s a good thing. I don’t think I’m alone in this one.
Newspapers are expensive. Well, custom niche ones are. We couldn’t have done the Playful newspaper on our budget without the help of Newspaper Club. The chaps have written on their blog frequently about thinking very carefully about doing a newspaper. I’m really really looking forward to seeing the price list for the different launch options. I hope that the deals they’re doing with printers make it possible for more people to use the newspaper medium for their print projects. I’ve designed magazines, zines, books, posters, record sleeves, stickers, t-shirts in the past, but nothing has ever equaled the feeling of chuffed-ness that I got from unpacking the Playful newspapers, handing them out, seeing people read them. There’s something about the newspaper that makes it more portable than other print formats. You can fold it and screw it up and drop it and leave it somewhere and pick it up again and, somehow, it’s still there, it’s still readable…
Massive thanks to Newspaper Club for working with us on this. Massive.