My outcome is a riso printed zine made for students, designed by a student. Mental health a university is a really important topic to me and I felt like there needed to be an honest resource out there for students to refer to when they need a boost. The zine is not aimed at those who suffer severe mental illnesses, more so just for generally keeping on top of your mental health.
Riso printing was a learning curve but an overall positive experience. There were so many elements I had to think about such as how the order the colours printed affected the look (always print the lighter shades first!), how to match the registration, to allow for mismatched prints and so much more. Despite this, I want to try riso printing again as now I’ve done it once I would feel much more confident completing another riso project, maybe something simpler instead of a 20 page, two colour zine. To make it feel more professional I used thicker paper (140gsm) for the cover and postcards, and thinner (100gsm) for the inside pages. The fluoro pink and blue look bold together, and I have zero regrets about the colour choice. Pretty much any combination would have worked through, and I could potentially try another in the future as my only concern is that its quite feminine and I wouldn’t want to men to feel it’s not aimed at them too.
Having a solid foundation of research means I’m relatively sure this zine is genuinely useful as I based much of it off of my initial survey and NHS recommendations. This type of project where the outcome serves a purpose is much more satisfying for me as an illustrator than just drawing a beautiful image. The text and images complement each other well, striking a balance between being informative but equally aesthetically pleasing.
Overall, the self-initiated project has been a wholly positive experience. Having the freedom to write my brief and take the path I wanted has led to my best outcome yet, and I have produced something semi-professional looking I’m honestly proud of. I have struggled throughout the course at times with defining my ‘style’ as I often found that the projects didn’t fully align with what I would’ve wanted to do. However, this zine represents my visual language, is hopefully helpful to people, and I also learnt a new printing technique at the same time.