Experiments for the Zine

Sampling & Experimenting

Once I’d picked out some description and quotes from the Frank Thomas text, I then began experimenting with typography to find different ways of how I could write it.

I started off with some illustrative type, making certain words in a sentence more bold than offers to play around with hierarchy:


I really like it because it’s fun, illustrative and clear to read but it is very modern and current to our time so doesn’t fit with the original idea of keeping the design as inspired from the time of the Spanish Civil War. I like the idea of combining current design and design of that era but I think this form of illustrative type is too current to blend with old style typography.

I really wanted to use hand drawn lettering as I like the personal aspect with the piece of work but I also think it would be sticking true to design of that time. Looking back at posters of that era – more specifically protest material – there were some hand-painted lettering in calligraphy that’s when I thought why don’t I try writing in a form of calligraphy. My first try I thought worked really well because it’s easy to read but is a dated form of writing so easily fitting to the time of the late 1930’s.


There’s a few mistakes and a slightly uneven composition but with a bit more practice that’ll improve. I wrote it on tracing paper because I have an idea of layering my zine with different materials, so not just one type of paper. I like the effect of reading a piece of text then seeing something else behind it because as you turn to see what it says behind it adds to the story unravelling as you go through each page. When someone reads the zine, I don’t want it to just be a piece of work you look at briefly then put it down; I want the audience to interact with it and to really take in what’s on each page as they turn it. I think that using different thicknesses and types of paper will add to this experience.


I had this idea of screen printing a phrase – which I guess you could say would be similar to a newspaper title – something bold and informative then on top of those words I would have a piece of text written on translucent paper giving narrative to do with those words. You would read the narrative first but when reading it, the idea it that you would see the bold title coming through the paper.

I started thinking about things I might say and after reading through the quotes from the text I had written I thought of things like: ‘pays tribute to the enemy’; ‘Frank Thomas deserted the war’ and ‘heroic near death’. I started painting these to see how the composition of the words would work.

I then wrote a piece of text onto tracing paper that would suit the title ‘PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE ENEMY’. I wrote it in calligraphy then placed it on top of the title. It worked well, I did think maybe I would need more translucent paper but I like the effect of the title behind being quite blurry because I like that the viewer might question what’s behind it so as they’re reading the text, they’d also read what was behind.

I was aware that this is only a two week project and as I would have ideally wanted to do I bit more experimenting, I decided that this was probably enough for what I wanted to achieve. I know now that the idea of layering text on top of each other works and I know that I want to include hand written calligraphy and screen printing in my zine.



Author: ellenreiddesign

First year Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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