4pp Cover onto 250gsm Gloss
Soft Touch Lamination to outer
60pp Text onto 115gsm Uncoated
Four colour print throughout
Trimmed, collated and perfect bound
Zines have been an essential medium for self-expression, providing an avenue for voices across the spectrum of society. The “Stay Soft” zine by Hannelore Leisek and Asli Umut is a masterpiece that underscores the power of this medium. This project is an exploration of the female gaze and experience and a commendable example of Celebrating Women Zine printer work.
“Stay Soft” is an intimate exploration into the female gaze and experience. The zine contains artworks by eight female artists, each presenting their personal understanding of the phrase ‘Stay Soft’. The visual expressions are accompanied by six stream-of-consciousness narratives, developed from anonymous conversations recorded between 2020 and 2021.
The narratives in “Stay Soft” delve into personal ideas of beauty, body image, gender bias, and the experience of occupying female space. Similar to the Hate Zine Issue 2 and the Gut Flora: A Chapess Zine by Cherry Styles, “Stay Soft” is an exploration of personal and societal themes.
Each page of “Stay Soft” is meticulously designed and printed, resulting in a 58-page self-published book. The zine features a 250x176mm perfect bound book with a 4pp cover onto 250gsm Gloss and soft touch lamination to the outer. The 60pp text is printed onto 115gsm Uncoated, with four colour print throughout. The quality of “Stay Soft” is reminiscent of works like Girls Club Zine and Lost and Found Magazine.
“Stay Soft” joins a remarkable array of zines that Ex Why Zed has had the privilege to print. Each project tells a unique story, bringing a distinctive vision to life.
Take the Hate Zine Issue 2, for instance, a platform for young creatives to share their perspectives on themes like love, hate, and everything in between. Then there’s the Gut Flora: A Chapess Zine by Cherry Styles, a zine that explores the intersection of gender, art, and the microbiome. Projects like these demonstrate the versatility of the zine format, much like “Stay Soft”.
In the same vein, the Leftovers Zine and the Swirl Zine both utilise the tangible nature of print to delve into diverse topics. Whether it’s exploring the idea of what’s left behind or swirling into a whirlpool of creativity, these zines invite readers to engage in a tactile, immersive experience.
Just as “Stay Soft” celebrates the female gaze and experience, these projects celebrate a wide range of ideas and perspectives. And, like the So Young Magazine and Jake Tilson’s Ninja Peanut Zine Series, “Stay Soft” is a testament to the power of self-publishing, reminding us all that everyone has a story to tell and a perspective to share.
With every turn of the page, zines like “Stay Soft” and many others found on Ephemera’s Instagram page, reaffirm the vital role that zines play in our society – giving voice to those who might not otherwise be heard. Through their pages, we are reminded of the beauty of diversity, the power of self-expression, and the enduring allure of print.