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(I'm no expert or something at all, but here we go. This is just my opinion, so if I'm wrong at something...yeap, I am a human... a human that can't draw)
First of all: creative commons + public domain images

Be sure, my friend: most of the time you'll spend in your zine production will be curating CC images and public domain paintings. I truly believe there is a bloody awesome #ttrpg zine inside every CC old illustration.
"But where, can I find those cool images?"
A lot of places but here are my favorite ones:

In advanced search choose to just show Big and public domain pictures.


Second: study a little of typography. You don't need this to make a cool zine, but sure would help a lot. A great book of fast reading is the "Non-Designers Design Book" by Robin Williams. Believe me, it's not hard.

Still on typography:

If you wanna dive deeper on this subject there's a free website teaching you everything! Actually is teaching lawyers, but if they can learn, we can too!

About formats:

I would recomend to start with a 4 page A5 (148x210mm), portrait, you can configure the Microsoft Word/Publisher page to this dimension. The basic structure will be:

Page 1: Cover
Page 2: Content
Page 3: Content
Page 4: Last cover (with content, why not)

I know. Microsoft Word is not he best software. You could use Microsoft Publisher. It would make things easier. Or you can go full pro with Adobe Indesign. There are a lot of softwares out there, but the most important is: "[software name]+tutorial" on youtube. You can learn.

There are ton of public domain maps on the same website you'll find the creative commons illustratons. Just use one. Or use a painting and make it a map. This below could be an awesome pointcrawl adventure map.

This is my favorite part. It's risky to choose a theme before looking if it has images to the zine. So if you ask me, I would look for stories that are awaiting to be created inside the images. Make a visual research first and create on top of that.
For example.
These four illustrations below are almost begging to become a make a cool horror adventure zine. 5 minute research, everyone. 5 minute.

There's a great way to find good public domain maps to use in your zines.

Look for architecture books (or house plans) in archive.org
That's it, I guess. Sorry for the typing mistakes everywhere. Make zines. A lot of them. 🤘
PS.: I think this thread deserves a case study, so here we go. This is an illustration from Henry Justice Ford, 1906. I saw the creature and had the idea at spot: what about a deer-demon-like beast with a sad and dark secret? What if it is locked in a garden? A dungeon garden?!
After that I thought "what if I design a color cover for people who want it with colors?" It was when, after looking for some time, I've found Eugen Kruger painting, "Hirsch im Wald".
What I'm trying to say is that this two artists made these paintings in diferent countries, different times, and different medias. But TTRPGs have the power to connect both of them to tell amazing stories. It is like my zine became a time travel artifact through my imagination.
Never stop dreaming.
Make #TTRPG zines.
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