The Art of Self Publishing 2012

Independent Study | Topic Proposal

Zines: The Art of Self Publishing

Short Title: Zines
Course Number: ART-399, 499 [Jr., Sr.]
Credits: 3.0

BLOG: The Art of Self Publication

This course may be substituted as a department ART studio selective.
Prerequisite: DES-220, DES-310

Current Alternative Class Options

DES-210 Letter Form Design (3 cr.)

Design of letterforms, figures, and visual symbols; history and development of type; calligraphy; page composition for various formats and audiences. Prerequisites: take ART-100, ART-101

DES-388 Typographic Design (3 cr.)

Design of grid-based, hierarchical and expressive typographic structures; analysis of historical and theoretical precedents.
Prerequisites: take DES-360

DES-386 Publication Design (3 cr.)

Design and production of sequential print medium. Examining the principles common to multiple page formats such as; book and magazine design, annual reports, newsletters, and brochures.
Prerequisites: take DES-360

Subject Introduction

Publishing is a direct form of graphic expression and inherently a collaborative medium. Its primary concern is words and the form they take; on a page, a collection of pages, or a computer screen—and how that form contributes to the meaning of those words.

Today, many designers are initiating their own projects, wielding their visual skills and knowledge of the publishing industry to become their own producers. These designers are at the forefront of the indie publishing movement. The designer as publisher is in a unique position to unify text, imagery, layout, and final production into a whole that is greater than its parts.

Every book has been put together by creative people who have paid attention to every aspect of its making, from the size of the pages to the design of the cover to the choice of the binding and paper. Book design is an art form. There is a long tradition of book making, the book design process is closely intertwined with production and manufacturing—how your book is physically constructed. This class will examine advanced principles of sequence, design, typography, and illustration. As you begin the design process, you will also need to keep in mind how your zine will be produced.

In this course, the act of publishing works is examined from the perspective of a variety of visual systems. Typographic, design theory, principles of composition; alternative publishing methods will be explored through reading, research, writing exercises, formal projects, and production. Sequential studies follow the design process: problem-solving through exploration, experimentation, selection, critique, and refinement. Words, phrases, and bodies of text will be manipulated to develop an understanding of how layout, hierarchy, and compositional principles effect readability and legibility  –  and ultimately the creation and conveyance of meaning. Along the way, craft, presentation and research skills will be refined.

The primary goal of the class is to develop students’ confidence and abilities with publishing as communicative medium, an informational system, and as contemporary mode of visual expression.
Course Description
Advanced practice, methodology, production and expressive medium of self-published topical zines. Course will emphasize the experimental, expressive and collaborative process developing both the content and means of production to create a series of collaboratively published zines. Students will explore and develop hand lettering, expressive typography, design, and illustration skills to convey their unique artistic voice as graphic designers.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course student(s) will have:
•    Research existing zines, their subjects and process of production, in order to drive the medium to new forms of artistic expression
•    To engage students (individually and as collaborative teams) in creative development and design
•    To develop a critical perspective on the technological, cultural and social qualities of publishing.
•    Apply expressive hand drawn type and lettering principles for the creative inclusion to a self-published zine.
•    Develop critical thinking, ideation practice, and design conception skills related to the production of a sequential narrative form
•    To engage students (individually and as collaborative teams) in creative development and design To develop a critical perspective on the technological, cultural and social qualities of publishing.
•    Encourage students to create strong design concepts off-line and confidently transfer their ideas into digital solutions
•    Appropriately utilize Adobe application(s) to execute advanced digital techniques to develop and actualize designs for the print medium
•    Understanding conventional printing and binding production methods involved with executing a multiple page publication
•    Compositions combining image and type in narrative sequence, with the goal of expression and entertainment.
•    Use illustration in a creative and expressive way.

•    Work collaboratively to co-author content and determine production requirements and restrictions
•    Research what subject matter pertains to both class topics of zines, and desired subject matter and content to inform and influence aesthetic and editorial decisions.
•    Extend the process of ‘Design Thinking’ to formulate and develop innovative ideas, concepts, formats, subject matter, materials, and narrative structures.
•    A systematic examination of form making as an aspect of design thinking
•    Examine personal aesthetics and systematically explore the unknown and unfamiliar
•    Use the collaborative process to advance your personal aesthetics through (in)formal discussions and critiques.
•    Examine the practice of creative writing techniques to inform and structure content within a narrative story arch
•    In depth topical analysis and research
•    Formulate conceptual artwork through a series of both macro and micro visual exercises
•    The simultaneous practice of design, writing, research

Student Assessment
Students will compile both collaborative and personal works through a series of publications. A portion of these will be collaborative in nature, with additional contributions and decisions made collaboratively by students/authors/artists. Students will produce a combination of written, verbal and visual material. Critical examination will address participation alongside fellow students. Direct outcomes for each student will vary based on their personal exploration and translation of the print medium. Each student is responsible for proving their contributions through the presentation and documentation of research, visual analysis, experimentation, methodology, ideation, revisions, and production. As determined by the class, other forms may include an exhibition, incorporating artwork and the final forms in publication, a final object, or event. The final zine will be a synthetic collation of “bits and pieces to create a semblance of the whole” via Lawrence Weiner, creating a cohesive document illuminating the efforts of the group as a unified whole.

Suggested Reading:
Lupton, Ellen. Indie Publishing; How to Design and Produce Your Own Book. New York, Princeton Architectural Press. 2008.

Triggs, Teal. Fanzines The DIY Revolution. San Francisco, Chronicle Books. 2010.

Lupton, Ellen. Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture.

Armstrong, Hellen. Graphic Design Theory: Readings From the Field. Princeton Architectural Press, New York, NY. 2009.

Lupton, Ellen; Jennifer Cole Phillips. Graphic Design: The New Basics.Princeton Architectural Press, New York, NY. 2009.

Heller, Stephen; Ed. The Education of a Graphic Designer, 2nd Edition.

Leslie, Jeremy; Blackwell, Lewis. Issues: New Magazine Design. Ginko Press. 2000.