The Newspaper Club is a service that utilizes printers’ downtime to help people make their own newspapers.
The Newspaper Club is a service that utilizes printers’ downtime to help people make their own newspapers. The web-based service allows regular folks to create small batch runs of 12 page newsprint while printers’ presses are laying idle (therefore getting a better price). The founders say that because they are thinking small they can find a way to make a business model out of print where larger publishers are failing. They hope that in the same way that blogging democratized online publishing, the Newspaper Club can offer print to anyone who wants to try the service.
For a 5 to 300 copies, the Newspaper Club prints in black and white on 317mm wide × 457mm high paper. For 500 or more copies, they print in full color traditional printing press.
PSFK featured the pre-launch concept by Russell Davies and Ben Terret last summer and even though the service still hasn’t launched, the buzz around the project has attracted the attention of Bobbie Johnson for the Guardian. Johnson writes about the service and why Daives and Terret think people are attracted to it:
Lots of people still like newspapers, it’s just that many of the business models are broken,” says Davies, a former planner at the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy who writes a column for Wired UK. “We’ve sidestepped that by working out how to make money by printing five copies of a newspaper, or 5,000 – large media businesses can’t think that small.” The core of the system is still in the beta testing phase, but it allows users to design and print their own 12-page tabloid newspaper…
“We’ve always had an instinct that if everyone’s running one way, it might be worth looking the other,” says Davies. “So we were looking to experiment with combining web and print, as an alternative to the obsession with glowing rectangles… It reminded us that while the business models attached to newspapers may be ‘challenged’, the form factor itself – that sort of paper, the size, with ink on it – was still brilliant. Readable, useful, cheap … and even the most digital of digital natives enjoyed seeing their words on it.”
The Newspaper Club batches orders together once a week and sends them to the printing presses around the UK during idle time.