Some friends and I are starting a zine called Activate!, a title we borrowed from the Grand Rapids SDS chapter which goes by the same name. We have one copytista and several writers so far. Our goal is to get more after we print our first issue. I’m also borrowing a lot of concepts from the Situationist and Lettrist International publications of the 50s and 60s — the plan being that a similar sort of social analysis and artistic representation would run consistently throughout the zine.
There is difficulty deciding the format of the publication. Would we prefer a newspaper printed on tabloid sheet, or a stylistic zine printed on several sheets of letter and folded? I prefer the stylistic sensibility, because it’s better to look at and more attractive from the beginning. Readers generally don’t know what to expect from new publications and DIY zines already, so when they see one that is cleverly designed it already has bonus points. Of course, the content of the writing is always important, but readers are probably going to assume that our writing ability is on par with our design ability. Just like the “halo effect” predicts.