Newspaper Club — 11 Creative Uses For Newsprint

posted by Marcroy February 9, 2017

Newspapers aren’t just for news anymore. In fact, newsprint is one of the most versatile formats out there – it can feel familiar and experimental, sophisticated and DIY, all at once. And it’s a pretty no-fuss process as far as printing goes. If the next wave of publishing is going to be “fast, cheap and fun”, as AIGA predicts, then newspapers might just be the way forward. We asked our friends at Newspaper Club to round up some of the most creative examples they’ve printed. From portfolios to cookbooks to zines – scroll on to see some of the many uses for newsprint, then get some free samples!

Year in Refuse
An anti-portfolio of sorts, Year in Refuse is a collection of illustrator Alex Westgate’s rejected concepts – ideas “too weird, unsettling or abstract” to be published. Westgate describes his style as “both optimistic and irreverent” and here he deftly toes that line, with cheery characters in awkward situations (posing nude atop a towering hamburger, for example). He includes 21 discarded illustrations, and we love them all. Proof that one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

XXL: The Extra Extra Large Sights of Portland
Portland, Oregon has a pretty illustrious history of zine publishing. So when Travel Portland launched a campaign to promote the city, they stuck with a tried-and- tested format, collaborating with local artists on a series of zines to introduce visitors to the unique sights of Portland. This one features supersized landmarks, shot by photographer Danielle Delph. It’s printed on a broadsheet – our biggest format – to give readers a sense of the scale. It’s tough to do justice to a 25-foot- long loaf of sliced bread in print, but it still makes a great double-page spread.

Camberwell Cookbook
Highlighting the diverse cuisines of London’s Camberwell district, this community publication, funded by the Camberwell Arts charity, features recipes like Cypriot stew and Nigerian porridge. Crowd-sourced from Camberwell’s local restaurants, cafes and residents, it dishes up a “world of eating from one eclectic neighbourhood.”

The Chimpington Post
MailChimp sends more than 1 billion emails every day, but when it came to their recruiting materials, they chose newsprint. “No glossy, uninspired pamphlets would come from us,” says designer Jane Song. “We would create an entire newspaper ‘bout that MailChimp life. And we would make it awesome.” The Chimpington Post is the result – a tabloid newspaper that feels distinctly of the digital age, with a bold, gradient cover and playful ads page, promoting perks like coffee hour (donuts included!) and MailChimp University.

Washed Out Colouring Zine
To support Mental Health Awareness Week, illustrator Jamie Kirk created Washed Out, a newsprint colouring zine that encourages readers to “explore creativity and eliminate stress.” Kirk joined forces with contributors from around the world, including French illustrator Jean Jullien, Spanish illustrators Brosmind and Portland-based artist Sam Larson. Proceeds from the newspaper support mental health charities.

Naomi Harris Portfolio
Photographer Naomi Harris teamed up with designer Noah Phillips to showcase her favourite images in a considered, playful portfolio. “We wanted to bring the same curiosity and sense of humour from the photos into the layouts and headlines, playing off the characters Naomi’s captured,” says Phillips. Every page is a delight, but we especially love the above spread of Abel Nabor Campos, known as “the lucha-doughnut man of East LA”, shot by Harris for Lucky Peach.

Presse Libre Exhibition
For his Presse Libre exhibition, Paris-based artist Yannis Perez printed a series of tabloid newspapers with “nothing to read but colours.” Perez pinned up fresh newspapers every day of the exhibition. The sheets could be “left to gravity, extended or contracted” – altering the texture of the installation and revealing new dynamics between paper and light each time.

Nada News
Offering relief from the headlines, artist Pepe Medina handed out copies of Nada News to commuters in Madrid in 2011. As they say, no news is good news.

Bogsch and Bacco Poster
Geneva-based designers Bogsch & Bacco show how to make an impression with your end-of-year mailer. “For seasons greetings, we like to be a little crazy and insert some humour to offset the traditional messages,” they told us. In this case, the mailer folds out into a surreal poster of a mermaid (from the obscure 1948 film Miranda) – it’s printed, fittingly, on salmon newsprint.

Refinery29 Design Calendar
When Isabel Castillo Guijarro and Elliot Salazar, both designers at lifestyle publisher Refinery29, found out there wouldn’t be a company calendar this year, they took matters into their own hands. Repurposing unpublished work from their fellow designers, they turned a broadsheet newspaper into special R29 Design calendar – each month also doubling as a pull-out poster.

Rally and Belong
Rally & Belong is a timely project from Anisha Sachar, a student at the California College of the Arts. It’s her concept for a music festival celebrating black history, unity and activism in R&B music – her simple, graphic newspaper doubles as a poster. “Nowadays, tickets and maps for festivals are often digital, so I wanted to create a tangible keepsake,” she says.

Newspaper Club gives you the tools to turn whatever you want into newsprint, quickly and easily. Just upload your design, choose your format and boom – you’ve made a newspaper. Want to give it a try? Request a free sample to get started.




Director at People of Print
Graphic Design, Illustration and Print Enthusiast.

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