ZINE (/ziːn/ ZEEN; short for magazine or fanzine)

Project Objectives

Apply in one single project the techniques learned in the class.

Intentionally explore form and content to communicate an idea, emotion and/or narrative.

Explore the medium's concept of multiples, accessibility and artwork dissemination.

Project Description

For this project you will create a non-objective abstract zine that utilizes the formal elements and principles of design. You will explore how both form and content can be utilized together to communicate an idea, emotion, and/or narrative to your viewer.

How can a two-dimensional image be utilized for self-expression?

How can it convey an emotion or idea to its viewer?

You will also explore the accessibility of the zine and its ability to create multiples that are easily distributed.

You will create a non-objective abstract composition that conveys an aspect of your personality to the viewer in a zine format.

A zine is a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier. zine are the product of either a single person or of a very small group, and are popularly photocopied into physical prints for circulation.

ZINE| Resources

Required Materials

8.5”x11” Copy Paper Scissors Sketchbook Collage, Stamps &/or Paint Materials HB Mechanical Pencil Eraser Artist Tape Scissors Xacto Ruler Rubber Cement

Zine Parameters

8 pages – see zine template on last page.

Use standard 8.5” x 11” copy paper – can use white or color, but you must provide your own.

Use the zine template to divide your paper into 8 sections, be sure to always take note of the correct order and orientation of your pages.

Materials and Processes:

You may use any combination of the materials and techniques implemented this semester – but think about what would reproduce well with a low quality photocopier.

If you choose to use any color drawing/painting/collage media, you will need to scan and laser print your final design. Be sure you have plenty of funds left on your college printing account before the final printing date!

All page designs must be non-objective.

All pages should aim to establish a dynamic and unified composition that establish a focal point, visual flow, and adhere to the rule of thirds.

Front page must include a one (1) or two (2) word title. Text cannot be hand drawn, you must use some kind of stamped, printed, photo, typed, or collage method. The title should indicate something about the contents of the zine. Up to 2 additional pages may use similar text if desired.

Step-by-step Directions

Part A:

Step 1 : Choose one (1) adjective from the list below to serve as your overarching concept and to help guide your narrative and design decisions.



Step 2 : Choose one (1) shape to be the common element – “the star” – of your zine. With each page, you will take this shape through some kind of transition or journey. Think of the narrative as a day in the life of your shape.
Write down the name of the shape. You will have to commit to this shape and share it with your Prof. and classmates.

Step 3 : Your zine will use the formal elements – Line, Shape, Space, Texture, Value, Color and maybe Type – and design principles – Balance, Emphasis and Focal Point, Rhythm & Movement, Scale & Proportion, Unity – as tools to help create a non-objective narrative.
The formal elements will help establish a “mood” for your zine.
Study each of the elements' characteristics so they can best communicate the content/mood you want to convey.
What sort of shapes and textures communicate a humorous tone versus a serious or solemn tone?
What types of lines are fast versus still? Would you use high or low contrast for something dramatic versus something quiet?
Jot down some characteristics for each of the below formal elements that would best suit your concept.

Line: __________________________________________________________________________________
Value: _________________________________________________________________________________
Texture: ______________________________________________________________________________
Color: (black and white is okay!) ___________________________________________________
Space: _________________________________________________________________________________

Step 4 : Choose at least one (1) design principle and strategy from each of the following columns that best fit the concept of your zine. These are just to get you started, you may use any number of strategies discussed throughout the semester.

Compressed/Expanded Space
Directional Conflict
Directional Dominance
Figure/Ground Reversal
Implied Line
Linear Perspective


Step 5 : Thumbnail Sketches | In your sketchbook jot down what is going to happen (the basic narrative) for pages 1-8.
Note Page one is your cover. The cover must include a one (1) or two (2) word title. Text cannot be hand drawn, you must use some kind of stamped, printed, photo, typed, or collage method. The title should indicate something about the contents of the zine.

Step 6 : Draw a thumbnail sketch for each page of the zine. Next to each thumbnail, write the materials you intend to use.

Step 7 : Begin the final zine: Using the provided template, fold a piece of 8.5” x 11” computer paper into eight (8) segments.

Step 8 : Fully complete a minimum of three (3) pages of your zine. After designing the third page you will feel more confident in the process. Bring your sketchbook to next class, zinein progress, along with all other materials you plan to use to complete your zine.

Part B:

Step 9 : Review your thumbnail sketches and completed pages with 2 classmates. Ask each other the following:
• Which pages most successfully depict your intended concept?
• Are all of the project guidelines adhered to?
• Ask for suggestions on how you may strengthen the overall zineto support your intended concept.

Step 10 : Make any needed adjustments after your peer review and complete all eight (8) pages of your zine.

Step 11 : Pull your first proof (either with a photocopier or scan and print on a laser printer). Your zineshould be 100% ready to be copied, folded, and distributed at the beginning of next class. You will only have 1 hour to copy and fold before critique.

Part C:

Step 12 : In-class final peer review followed by one (1) hour to make minor edits.

Step 13 : Copy or scan/print your zine – 25 editions in total. Using the provided template, fold your zine. On the back of each, sign your name and number them (i.e. 1/25, 2/25, etc.).

Step 14 : Trade your zines with each of your classmates. Be sure to give one to your instructor for grading and keep one for your portfolio!

Optional : Submit your zine for inclusion to the Salford Zine Library: https://salfordzinelibrary.co.uk/submissions

Delivery E-Portfolio & Written Statement

Both the image & the writing assignment should be uploaded to Blackboard by the middle of Class 15.

Once you complete the project:

PHOTOGRAPH or SCAN your zine at 300ppi and upload it to your online e-portfolio.

  • Submit one image file for each of your zine's: Front, each inside full spread, and back along with the final written statement.
  • Each page should be submitted as a separate .jpeg file.
  • The assignment is graded on completion of assignment and quality of photos. Refer to Photographing Artwork.
  • Title your image files as Name_zine_page#.jpeg (example: Jacques_zine_1).

Refer to the project's guidelines and vocab words to help you with proper use of the vocabulary.

Answer each of the following in full sentences (type and save in Word before submitting to Blackboard):
The text should have no less than 200 words and no more than 600 words

  • What is the concept of your design? List the adjective that you chose and how you interpreted it.
  • Describe which shape you used and what the basic narrative of the zine is (what happens from one page to another).
  • How did you use the formal elements (line, shape, value, color, texture, space) to help communicate the overall concept?
  • Which Design Principles and strategies did you utilize and how did they help communicate the overall concept and narrative?
  • What accessibility aspect did you observe? How did you addressed it?
  • What are the most successful and unsuccessful aspects of your zine? What would specifically rework if you had 1 more week?

Project Grading Criteria

Final Project is Worth 15 points
Printable Grading Criteria


  • Editions Craftsmanship (up to 2 pts):
    Have the final zines been executed in a professional manner? Do they all have eight (8) completed pages?
    Are all the required number of zines properly folded, numbered, and signed?
    Do all editions utilize the designated materials with care, effort, and attention to detail?

  • Technique and Accessibility (up to 2 pts):
    Do the zines demonstrate a command of both design materials, techniques and accessibility?

  • Elements of Design (up to 2 pts):
    Are the elements of design and their characteristics well researched, well chosen, and designed? Is the “star” shape apparent in all pages? Are implied lines, high and low value contrast, figure/ground value reversal, concave and convex shapes, shaped value gradation or shaped texture utilized effectively?

  • Composition and Principles of Organization (up to 2 pts):
    Do the zines demonstrate understanding of the principles of organization: Unity, Emphasis (repetition, , proximity, continuation, direction, contrast, etc.) to ?

  • Form & Content (up to 2 pts):
    Is your concept evident in the final zines?


  • Uploaded Final Project during Final Assessment class (up to 1 pt)

  • Written Statement to E-portfolio (up to 1 pt)

  • Vocabulary (up to 1 pt)

  • Analysis (up to 1 pt )

  • Presented and shared your Zines with your classmates (up to 1 pt)

Each bullet point will be graded on the following scale:

  • 2 points: Exceeds Standards
  • 1.7 points: Meets Standards
  • 1.4 points: Approaches Standards
  • 1.1 points: Does Not Meet Standards
  • 0 points: Did not complete