This is sort of going to be a “how the sausage gets made” post. My friend, and zine subscriber, Scott, has heard a lot of this already. My process is not very complicated, especially compared with the online publishing places like Blurb.

I design the zine totally on my ipad pro. I do not even own a laptop anymore, so doing a Blurb book is not an option, and believe me, when I started this zine thing, I tried to figure out a way to do it that way, but it didn’t work. I have a photo to pdf app, it’s easy to work with, but is limited to certain formats that have to be consistent throughout the document. In other words, all the pages look the same, size of borders, portrait or landscape and so forth.

When I want to add text, I can either use the snapseed photo editing app, which allows me to overlay text, or I type text in the note app, screen shot it, and then crop it down to the right size. I like doing hand written text sometimes, and for that I use just plain paper and then take a photo of it and tweak it in snapseed. With the photo to pdf app everything has to be a photo of some kind first.

There have to be two pdfs for the final zine. To get the front and back covers, I create an edge to edge pdf for those two pages. Then I create a second pdf for the body of the zine using one of two formats depending on how wide I want the borders. These pdfs are uploaded to dropbox and then shared with a local printer. The equipment that the printer uses has its own limitations. Even though it goes to them in the usual 8 1/2 x 11 format, their printer is incapable of printing edge to edge or to the bleed as they call it. This requires them to cut the zines to eliminate the white edges for the front and back pages. The result is a zine that is 8 1/8 x 10 5/8, more or less.

I have only done one edge to edge zine, the second issue, but I would like to do more because I really like that look. Also, I am trying to make the zines not all look the same from a design standpoint. I have been playing with the double exposure feature on snapseed and I like the results so far.

Neither of these images will be in the next zine, but I intend to use some of the same techniques in the design for #8. Again, thanks for checking in.


6 thoughts on “design

  1. It’s early, couldn’t sleep, haven’t had my coffee. Do you have to do anything special with the “cover” PDF? Does the front cover have to be on the right page, or reversed?


    1. I don’t do anything special with the covers, except make a separate two page pdf document that is edge to edge. The printers work their magic and put them where they belong in the document as a whole.


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