Hot off the Presses: The Newspaper Club Produces–and Prints–a Newspaper at SXSW

A group of designers produced a newspaper during the SXSW conference and printed it on the Austin-American Statesman’s press last night.

Newspaper Club

Yesterday we reported on the Newspaper Club, who swept the recent Brit Insurance Design Awards with their masterful recapturing of a low-tech medium. We also hinted that they’d be bringing their newsprint ways to SXSW this week in order to hype their new newspaper-making tool ARTHR. But little did we know that the Newspaper Club was holding top secret meetings with a band of collaborators and actually produced a newspaper at and about the conference, which was printed on an honest-to-goodness printing press last night. I got my hands on one of the first copies.

Newspaper Club

Writers and designers were tapped by Ben Terrett (above) of the Newspaper Club to help collaborate on the special SXSW-focused edition. Articles rolled in from writers like Bobbie Johnson (the cheeky “Newspapers are always in beta”), Clay Shirky, Matt Jones, and Dan Hill. Additional reporting was done at SXSW. The 1000 pieces (three long pages folded, in color) were printed last night at the Austin-American Statesman‘s press, just across the river from the convention center where SXSW was held. “We have broken your business,” was the message from digital to print media at today’s launch. “Now we want your machines.”

Newspaper Club

Several of the panelists on the session “Maps, Books, Spimes, Paper: Post-Digital Media Design,” where the papers were first distributed, also contributed spreads. Mike Migurski (above) from Stamen created a map that showed Austin foursquare check-ins for four-day period, organized by time of day. Also included was a version of the Stamen project Walking Papers, where people can take paper maps, annotate them, and upload their drawings back into a system to create online maps with intricate user-generated information.

Newspaper Club

The back page is, of course, reserved for games. Chris Heathcote created this helpful post-digital buzzword bingo board with the disclaimer, “You will not win.”

As the 1000 numbered copies were “delivered” to the packed ballroom an interesting thing happened, best captured by Twitter user @mattb: “The newspapers are passed out and the quiet sound of typing turns to the white noise of paper rustling.”

About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato.



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