This latest publication reflecting its makers’ experience of the Covid lockdown is perhaps my favourite, and arrives just in time to inject 2020 with some much-needed humour.
New York based designer Ciara Cordasco returned to her parents’ Florida home in late March, ‘out of an abundance of caution.’ After 14 days in the back bedroom she ventured into the greater house area. For the period 27 March – 27 April she produced a daily ‘Quarantimes’ report conatining the latest news from isolation. The 31 single-sheet reports have now been collected togther in this spiral-bound zine.
The four weeks are colour-coded, starting with red ink on a vivid orange paper. The reports build up day by day, setting the tone from day one: Bagel the cat reports the latest feline news, there’s a regular look at what’s going outside the window, and a series of ‘bigger’ stories (‘The new WiFi password’).
A crossword puzzle emphasises isolation: most of the clues (‘Where you are right now’, ‘Where you were yesterday’) are answered ‘Room’.
Alongside the mini reports are a series of infographics, including this one (above) which records the experience of daily Zooming. Another notes the number of hours a day the window is open.
Ciara notes the state of her browser tabs, rewatches The Wizard of Oz (‘The Wizard of Oz holds up’) and spends too much time considering whether cats have underarm hair.
Half way through the month she’s taking the occasional trip out, like this shopping trip (above). There are also reports from friends across the country (‘The office is getting messy’).
The final, green, week sees Ciara signing off, announcing that ‘local self-published news source’ is folding, while Bagel the cat accepts a Purlitzer nomination for cat journalism.
Quarantimes is a delightful, light-hearted take on the lockdown experience – I hope I’ve given a flavour of that here. The humour builds up over the 31 pages, but as well as the fun there’s plenty of the common experiences we’ve all shared this year.
The tone is perfectly matched by the design. The layouts and typography achieve a perfect balance of the professional and the amateur; this really might be a genuine newsletter from your strange neighbour.
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