Tonight sees the grand winner of the Brit Insurance Design Awards 2010 announced (it’s one of the most prestigious in the industry). And for all the usual hi-tech trickery–foldable plugs and the like–there was one cute little invention that is a bit of a throwback to Ye Olde Dayes Of Media. The Newspaper Club “democratizes the production of newspapers,” in the judges’ words, and it ran off with the honors in the Graphics section. Laugh all you like, but some of us out here actually like print media.
It all began back in 2008, when a group of people decided to print a newspaper consisting of their friends’ best blog posts and photos. They approached the large printing plants used by newspaper groups and, discovering that the presses stood idle for most of the day, commissioned a small print run. The price, they were surprised to discover, was not as prohibitive as they had expected.
So they developed a simple software tool called ARTHR, which enables people to layout pictures and text, preview and print a 12-page newspaper in either B&W or full color, although they also offer a bespoke service. You can print anything from five to 5,000-plus copies (a print run of 5,000 full color will cost you 45¢ a copy.)
The team is at the SxSW conference this week, hoping to roll out the service in the U.S. Here they are at the Design Awards (their segment starts at the five-minute mark, but it’s worth watching the whole clip to see the other products that made the shortlist.)