Experiments with newsprint

I’ve been working with Newspaper Club for the past couple of months. It’s a company I’ve admired for years. We used it at both Rattle and Folksy to produce newspapers.

The main focus of my work there has been to improve the website so that it’s easier to understand the products and quicker to get started.

We’ve also launched some new printing options, making it now possible to order broadsheet and mini sized newspapers in low print runs (down to single copies for broadsheets).

I used this as an excuse to experiment with an idea I’d been toying with for a while: printing a newspaper of a year’s worth of Instagram photos.

So I printed a broadsheet newspaper with all of my Instagram photos from 2012.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Initially I included the original Instagram captions, but they felt oddly out-of-context on the page, especially the hashtags and user references. Removing them gave it a cleaner layout, and also had an unexpected side-effect: when looking through the paper, I have to remember why I took each photo, which itself is an enjoyable experience.

The paper is also inherently social. Showing it to people prompts their questions and a discussion – often with more engagement than in the original comment thread on Instagram.

Producing the paper also taught me something about how I use Instagram. It doesn’t tell the story of what I did in 2012, but rather the story of what I saw. Or perhaps more accurately, what I noticed.

I’ll be producing another 2013 edition of this paper in January. And I’m also investigating the best way of doing this for other people too. So if you’re interested in seeing your Instagram photos in newsprint, get in touch.