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Zines for Fun, Fighting the Power, and Self-Documentation

Zine workshop from May 2020, led by Jenna Freedman & Vanessa Thill BC '13

Make a Zine

Today we're making quarter size zines. The layout may mess with your head. That's okay; breaking your brain while making a quarter size zine is a rite of passage!

Suggested Themes

  • Mutual aid
  • February 2020/March 2020
  • Social isolation
  • Alternate senior thesis/final project (inspiration)
  • Fanzine about your favorite or least favorite TV show, celebrity, politician, sports figure, family member, Dean Grabiner's cats


psst--until May 31, you can sign into Adobe with your Barnard or Columbia email address and get access to all of their products for free

With help from Milo Miller, famed QZAP co-founder, I've developed a zine template for myself for making a quarter-size zine that's eight pages long in InDesign. (This is not a template for a one-page folded zine. Those are easy to find.)

indd file

pdf file

docx file

[/new conten]


Selfie or brain map

Page 1

  • Introduce your zine (pro-tip: you might want to do this at the end, so you know what you're introducing)
  • Metadata: contextualize for the reader and history
    • Could be s nom de plume
    • Date
    • Publication location
    • Contact information
  • Freedoms and restrictions
    • Do you want to claim copyright?
    • Assign a CC license?
    • Reject copyright?
    • Control digital reproduction?

Page 2

Rant, manifesto, I statements

Page 3 (left side of centerfold)

Cartoon, sketch, art, doodles (be bold! draw stick figures!)

Page 4 (right side of centerfold)

Up to you!

Page 5

Pencil game: maze, crossword puzzle, word finder, quiz, survey, matching

Page 6


Back Cover

Credits, playlist, reviews or recommendations

Another pro-tip: number your pages. This will help when you are assembling your zines.

Zine Elements

photo of a cat on a table with bookbinding suppliesCovers

  • color
  • construction
  • relief prints


staples * sewing * stab * pamphlet * paper types* materials


  • illustrations
  • fair use/copyright
  • photographs
  • typography/handwriting
  • backgrounds


Essay * Poem * Review * Drawing * Collage * Personality Quiz * Crossword Puzzle * Playlist * Top Ten List * Likes/Dislikes * How To * Comic * Rant * Blank Space * Art * Handwriting * Typewriting * Design Software * Stick Figures

Metadata: author, title, publication location, publication date, freedoms and restrictions


  • personal
  • political
  • art
  • literary
  • split
  • compilation
  • minicomics
  • DIY

Pro Tips

  • Leave a 1/4" margin around your pages
  • Remember your zine will be copied or scanned, so light text and images may not reproduce well
  • You do you