A zine is a publication, usually mass-produced by photocopying, with the means of telling a story. Independent magazines also fit in this category, not necessarily being made by hand, but through small runs and a hand-made like design. In marketing, zines can be a creative tool for businesses to tell their brand stories in an innovative and visual way.
“In the digital age, zine culture lives on in the decentralized mindset of social media where independent makers can share, and niche groups can discover.” - Shutterstock
Since emerging in the 1920s with amateur magazines such as The Comet celebrating the phenomenon of sci-fi, it has entered mainstream culture with the likes of Kanye West producing a zine showcasing his Calabasas clothing collection, giving the fashion industry an innovative way to communicate their brand story. From starting offline, some zines can now be accessed online with the expansion of digital connectivity, becoming a more accessible medium. Social media is a tool for zine makers to share and engage individuals in the culture of magazine making. Able to explore a variety of issues, zines have been making the move to open up conversation around societal issues such as climate change.
Brands such as Aesop and Supreme have previously taken advantage of zines, using them as a new platform to communicate their story and attract niche demographics. Supreme specifically have been known for reshaping the fashion industry with the ‘drop’ culture, and have previously done limited edition zines, keeping with their exclusive reputation. Zines are a great way to communicate with existing, but also potential customers, in a creative and more personal way. From discussing products, services or the business culture, brands can offer a physical product that can look great on any coffee table.