If you've received one of our World's Smallest Packages in the last few months, you've got a genuine copy of The Small Times newspaper in your hands. As part of our recent collaboration with Chronicle Books to produce the World's Smallest Post Service stationery set, we created this itty bitty fictional newspaper. And it's not just the newspaper that's small, but every article and image is tiny themed too! Thanks to Jason Sacher, my wonderful editor at Chronicle Books, for daring to approve the inclusion of this totally unnecessary, but ultimately incredible, addition to the stationery set.
Here's what The Small Times looks like all crumpled up in one of our World's Smallest Packages:
Call for Submissions
We began with an open call for submissions among our wonderful circle of friends - for articles, advertisements, classifieds, whatever their whimsy might dictate. Thanks to all the lovely folks who submitted! I wrote about half of the content and the rest was written by the following awesome guest contributors. Thanks so much y'all!
Hand Drawn Graphics
Once the tiny-themed articles were in, we needed some stunning imagery to spice up the look. This is where our dear friend Sam Bower came to the rescue with his series of tiny drawings. Here's an oversized taste of the magic he worked with a skinny little ink pen:
Words & Clues
And it wouldn't be a genuine newspaper without a crossword puzzle, right? I had no idea how I was going to pull that one off until I discovered the amazing CrosswordPuzzleGames.com, which will automatically generate crosswords for you from a list of words and clues. Wow! The best part? Every crossword clue and answer is tiny themed! Here's my working sketch:
Getting It All Just Right
So at this point we've got text, illustrations, and a miniature crossword puzzle. It all came together in the following draft layout, which I submitted to Chronicle Books for review:
And here's what the super amazing Chronicle Books graphic designer Kirsten Hewitt did with my draft. This is a scan of the final version, printed on real newsprint for maximum effect:
And a few close-ups...
In case you want to get ahold of some of these tiny newspapers, you'll find four copies of it rolled up in each World's Smallest Post Service stationery set. Or you can order a teeny tiny package for your very own hand-crumpled copy of The Small Times.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! (With a magnifying glass!)