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Custom Magazine Printing – How Local Artists Are Printing Zines as Limited Edition Works of Art

August 31, 2022

The resurgence of the print catalog (read more here) is only one notable upswing in custom magazine printing and felt experience. Today we want to share with you the beautiful rise of the zine, and the wave of art that is swelling across many neighborhoods, cities, and communities. These rich, small-batch prints have reinvigorated the quest for beauty in the realm of digital art and print magazines.


Zines are not magazines; they are a movement. In this — our last article of a six-part series on printing services — we’ll take an in-depth look at the zine art explosion, which includes the upcoming NY Art Book Fair and how Bestype is proud to serve the artists of the zine community.


What is a Zine?

Essentially, zines are self-published, often small-batched booklets that are not expected to adhere to set rules. In fact, ingenuity is rewarded. They tend to be image rich and even textured in their appearance, meaning they are not aiming to look like they are polished or mainstream. Their individuality is a part of their lure. Their aesthetics are non-commercialized, more bespoke booklets with an avid renaissance. Some zines are poetry collections, samplings of philosophies, cataloging of music bands, or photography compilations. They are a cross-section of artistic expression and community; the message leads to the form. 


As a creative supporter of the zine from the mid-1980’s on, Bestype has printed hundreds of zines through the decades. With advances in printing technology, we are able to offer a professional, collaborative alternative to copy machine reproduction. Situated in SoHo, we serve both the avant-garde and the quiet presence of an artful zine.


Who publishes a Zine?

Anyone. The essence of a zine is open access to expression, even a DIY approach to sharing creations and impressions, whether a collection of writing, sculpture, photography or mixed media. Some examples of Bestype’s zine content creators are:


  • Comic book artists
  • Illustrators
  • Photographers
  • Poets
  • Sculptors
  • Artists
  • And more… maybe you!


There is a subculture to zines that is reciprocally appreciative. Zines give the artist a format to express, and the more niche and artful the publication, the more likely they are to garner collectors. Artists and photographers use zines to share upcoming collections. Gallerists create them to showcase work. Artists are using them as an independent medium and even creating seasonal publications to grow their audience and their reach. 


Are you wondering about the printing cost? Don’t. Bestype offers dexterity for every artist. You can economize on print and paper choices that still exude the value of your art. There are no rules. You can choose economical custom zine printing, or you can make very-high end choices, both with our reliable and supportive team at Bestype.


It seems that as more and more of the world steers the market online, there is a natural human discovery and appreciation of that which is unique and held, arising in custom zine and magazine printing; there are many following this artistic impulse and the responsiveness is growing.


The World of Art Books

Art book fairs are beloved in NYC culture. If you think about it, NYC is not only the hub of fashion but a beacon for the written word, iconic bookstores, and the impetus of the artist. This makes it the perfect home for the zine. In fact, this year’s annual NYC Art Book Fair (NYABF) is October 13 – 16th, a celebration of art and community and the world that loves books. We are a proud supporter of several artists that will be bringing their work to NYABF, a place where artists sell their zines to collectors.


This is another element of zine culture: it is a place of great support and artistic expansion. What does that look like? It looks like a wildly successful sculptor, Tom Sachs, with his iconic Shop Chair, also creating his own zines. Sachs highlights the construction points of his pieces, keeping chair joints exposed to ask the question: What is finished or what is unfinished? Sachs is also authoring limited zine collections, with Bestype co-creating his custom magazine printing. The levels of cross-creation and accessible avenues for artistic expression and support are endless and inclusive for your zine audience. People support what they feel connected to, and zines are a creative, affordable way to connect with those who love what you have to share. You’ll never look at magazine printing the same way again.


Contact Bestype

Are you wondering how to print your own magazine? Or how printing a zine to share with your soon-to-be fans and collectors is rewarding and cost effective? Don’t hesitate. Call Bestype for a quote on your next printing project, and see what magic awaits. In our next series, we will share the opportunities and intricacies of creating posters and banners to herald your new zine collection, product launch, gallery opening, and so much more.


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