About Re- Publication
Founded in late 2011, Re- is a small, independent print publication based in Melbourne, Victoria. Each issue shares a unique focus with its readers, all deriving from words with the prefix 're-', meaning "again, back, against". Living in opposite timez0nes, founders Carolyn (Melbourne) and Sarah (Berlin) take months to lovingly create each issue. The publication sells for $12 an issue at a range of various stores throughout Melbourne such as Sticky Institute, Motto Distribution, Perimeter Books, Mr Kitley, Dagmar Rousset, Rosamond Café, PolyEster Books to name a few.
If Re- was our home, Sarah would be the interior designer/architect and I would be the one that brings all of the content into our home. She places it in the right place, and tells me when it is time to throw things out etc. We work really well together and share the project, just like we share clothes."
With three issues out so far and a fourth on the way, Writer's Edit was lucky enough to speak to Re- mid-production…
What sparked the idea for Re-?
My sister Sarah and I were talking one stormy night about needing/wanting to create a place to hold our thoughts and experiences. We both love to read and write and take photographs, and she loves to design, solve problems and be generally awesome. Drawing from these passions which marry well - writing and design - we decided to create a publication which could be a voice in both areas. It was important to us to start Re- with a solid base, a concept, something we could build on, expand and continue… To have a voice, an influence, a perspective that's then made public.
“Re- exists to exhibit special parts of what can otherwise be a fairly regular and perhaps even monotonous day… uncover(ing) the true treasures of a day, a romance with life…”
This paragraph came from the introduction in Issue 02, Reminiscence. It is a small insight into how I think and how that issue was created. When you retell the stories about your day, back to yourself, you can find among a junkyard of nothing, small little gemstones. This is how I find inspiration. When you think nothing is exciting and special about your day, often if you pick it apart, carefully dissecting it, you can find special parts; a kind of “day autopsy”.
In an age of predominantly digital publication, what made you decide to use the print medium for Re-?
Both Sarah and I are very textural people, both very attached to books, both in love with objects with real weight to them. It is very important to us to be able to have and hold a copy of Re-. We also love paper and choosing the right one for each issue is a long and considered process for us. Having to actually construct a book is also a very important part of the experience.
We have been talking about creating more of an internet presence where readers can preview past issues. We can fill in the space between each issue via the internet which will give readers more of a glimpse into the creative process that we go through between each issue.
What does the production of Re- entail?
For the last two issues we have worked with Dawn Press, a printing company that use a RISO machine. We worked closely with him to achieve the look we needed for the book. We choose the paper, the type of binding, the colours etc. It’s a long and involved process but Sarah is a detail queen and a total pro.
Who do you collaborate with? Where do your contributors come from?
Our contributors are our friends, family, colleagues, strangers…anyone! We often post call outs on the blog and on facebook around the time of content searching, so if anyone has any offerings for the book they can submit. It’s largely a word of mouth thing. In the past we have also scattered fliers around in search of more random contributors. There is a potential contributor in everyone.
How do you go about getting the funding for a print publication? How many per print run?
We usually aim for around 100 - that's not a lot but we're small and like to keep it limited. As a thought runs through the mind, so does Re-. It doesn't need to be big and we can't afford to make it otherwise. That suits us. It’s crazy to think that so much work goes into producing each issue, every one of those 100 copies had been touched by someone involved in the production process. When dealing with small "DIY" quantities it's a very intimate and hands on experience.
We fund the publication from the scrapings and savings of our own pockets. It's not about making money and just like we'd happily spend money on coffee and brunch we do so with Re-. It's a part of our happiness.
The launch party for each issue sounds like a lot of fun – how does a launch party contribute to the success of Re-?
It helps Re- with exposure. Lots of people that have never heard of us can come and get involved. Most of all however we have had fun launch parties because we are so proud of little Re-, we want to share her with everyone and dance at the same time.
Where do you hope to take Re- in the future?
We keep going. Bit by bit. Each issue is inspired by situation and circumstance so there is no deadline or need for us to produce something continuously - it's never forced. This is why I think the future of Re- is as we are, existing and narrating back as life continues.
Writer's Edit would like to thank Carolyn and Sarah for taking the time to talk to us about Re-.
We've already pre-ordered the next issue and you should too. Click here to check out the Re- blog and get in touch with the creative minds behind this one-of-a-kind publication.
You can also check out Carolyn's fictional piece for Writer's Edit, here.