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How to print The Rise of the Video Game Union zine

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales for Polygon

The Rise of the Video Game Union” is our all-in-one explainer on why game workers are unionizing. We’ve created a zine of the story that is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US), which permits distribution of the zine provided that it is not altered or modified, or used commercially. That means you’re free to print it and share copies in your community!

There are a few ways you can create your own copies of “The Rise of the Video Game Union.” You can go to a local print shop, or some chains, to have them create the booklets completely; you can use a print shop or chain to make copies, and then bind/staple them yourself; or you can print and bind copies on your own.

Here’s our guide to each option!

The basics

You’ll need a copy of “The Rise of the Video Game Union” in PDF form. We’ve created a PDF of the zine as single pages; this is helpful for services that will reorder the pages automatically to print as a saddle-stitched booklet.

We designed the booklet to work with standard letter-size (8.5 by 11 inches) paper, so when folded, each page will be 8.5 by 5.5 inches. In order to make it as convenient as possible to create copies, the booklet only uses black ink.

Download “The Rise of the Video Game Union” [PDF]

Have the store do it all

Our suggestion would be to go to your local print shop and work with them, but there are a few chains that can do this, like FedEx Office and Staples — sometimes with same-day turnaround. Staples, for example, will let you upload a PDF to its website. From there, select the location to print, and the Staples site will give you a cost and estimated pickup time. The store will reorder the pages for the booklet, then print and bind the books, so all you’ll have to do is go and pick them up!

Print shops do their own version of this process. It is our recommended option, as it is likely the least expensive and the easiest. Plus, you can support a local shop!

Tips:

  • If you plan to use a chain that allows you to upload via the web, make sure to select black and white for the color to keep the cost down.
  • 20 lb. bond is standard copy paper, which is inexpensive — plus, the thicker the paper, the harder it will be to fold. Of course, if you’d like to use fancier paper, that’s up to you!

Print copies at the shop, bind it yourself

Another option is to simply use a print shop or store that has a printer/copier. Have them make the copies, and then you can bind them yourself using a booklet stapler (like the Bostitch Office No-Jam Booklet Stapler).

If using a printer, make sure you are printing the pages double-sided so they will fold together in the correct order for the booklet. If you are making a copy of a booklet and then printing, make sure the copier can scan both sides and print double-sided pages as well.

Tips:

  • Again, use standard copy paper to keep the price down and so it can fold.
  • Each booklet will comprise 14 sheets of paper, and the seam is in the center, so be sure the stapler you intend to use can punch through that many sheets and reach the center! Some print shops might have staplers you can use.

Do it all yourself

This option will probably not be the most cost-effective one if you plan to make a good number of booklets, but that said, it’s not too difficult to do. You most likely will need a booklet stapler and, more importantly, you will need a printer that can print double-sided pages — meaning it can print on one side, then reuse the same page and print on the other side of it.

You will also need an application that will print the PDF correctly. Most applications that can open a PDF will allow you to print a booklet in the printing settings. Adobe Acrobat Reader is free, and its print settings will allow you to select “Booklet,” which will automatically reorder and collate the pages to print correctly. In your print settings, be sure that “print on both sides” (or some such) is selected.

Support

If you are stuck at any point or something isn’t working as expected, there are some really great videos and tutorials online on how to print booklets — and of course, your local print shop is always there to problem-solve with you.

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