20 Sept 2020

buy now and donate

So pleased to announce the launch of my Living Lockdown zine. It's great to have been able to use the experience of my last zine New Europe 2015-19 to create something to benefit people in real need as a result of the lockdown.

The achieve it I had to put a little method to my usual madness. Before I'd even begin to look at layouts and sequences I needed to revisit each of the pictures I'd selected in my daily edit and see where they could be categorised into a common theme. 

Once I had my mini collections of Walls, Faith, Out Of Business, Shoes etc I then tried to see how they could work in some kind of timeline reflecting the early days of lockdown leading into a gradual relaxing of measures. I didn't want to follow an exact calendar of events. One of the fascinating elements of the experience is how the same situation can shift in meaning over time. Shop windows that never came back to life and still advertised Easter in July. Social distance circles on pavements gradually fading away. People's front windows transforming from rainbows for key workers to symbols of Black Lives Matter.

 Living Lockdown layout

Then I started to play with combinations of images within those categories. The zine format is really liberating and appropriate for the project theme and the style of the images. I looked at layouts that reflected the mood of each of the sections. By doing that I began to look at how I could use those combinations to set the rhythm of the whole zine. Segues and counterpoints between them begin to appear too. Some obvious, some less so. It was during this phase I had the light bulb moment to make the zine landscape format not portrait so that flow could really work.

I realised this was in danger of turning into a magnum opus of all 900 pictures. I needed to remember to keep it affordable and not turn it into a coffee table paperweight. This is about raising money not profile. On reflection it's a really good lesson for me about editing work and valuing people's attention.

 Living Lockdown layout

I figured 64 pages would be a good target and worked with Ex Why Zed printers on size and paper stock on a price that would still leave room for a donation. Thanks to them for the discount! The idea of a 50:50 split between printing costs and donation was attractive as I wanted to keep the purchasing process as simple and transparent as possible. Which lead me to the next stage. Selling it online.

That really meant a decision on the book title so I could find a relevant domain name. Fortuitously my working title Living Lockdown was available. A good omen! Next the I needed a simple and secure ecommerce website. I'd bought zines from sites using Big Cartel so that was my first stop. The process fitted the bill but the design options to present the pages were limited. I really wanted to make this as impactful to as big an audience of donors as possible. I'd used Squarespace before which I knew could do that but wasn't sure of the selling bit. With a bit of tweaking it started to take shape

It's been a labour of love but the real measure of success is how much money I can raise.