Every now and then, there is a very special occasion that needs a gift above the ordinary. It takes time, effort and money to make. And, if you do it well, it turns out beautifully. That’s what we were aiming for with this completely personalized & customized newspaper gift idea for my uncle’s birthday. And, I am both relieved and happy with the way it turned out! Here’s how this worked out.
How did this idea come up?
To give some background, this customized newspaper gift was designed by us for a friend. She wanted to make something personalized for her father’s 60th birthday. He’s an avid newspaper reader and I can tell you, for sure (because I was there) that he loved it. In addition, we printed multiple copies of the paper, which were delivered to family members and friends on the day of his birthday. Just like an actual newspaper.
What are the contents like?
The newspaper has 8 sides (yes, I’m not joking) and every aspect of it is tailored to the birthday boy. From the articles to the images to the ads. I’m afraid I won’t be able to share the content of each page, since it’s very personal. But, the pictures should give you some idea of the layouts.
Page 1 / Home page: The home page contains 2 articles, a poem, a photographs timeline, birthday songs and small snippets for the weather, a joke and his party. The two articles were written by uncle’s family members. One of which was a celebration of 60 years of his life and the second a comparison between 1955 and 2015.
Page 2 / Opinion Board: I like to call this page the tear jerker. Because, it had the sweetest stories and messages from uncle’s friends and immediate family on who he is as a person. There was also a customized ad and a brief article on opinions that people had shared about uncle.
Page 3 / Favourites: This page of the custom newspaper summarises a questionnaire we had sent out to uncle’s extended family and friends. Asking them questions on things that reminded them of uncle, choosing 3 of his favourite things etc. My friend, then compiled them into articles based on the different answer sets. To further detail it, we asked his wife to write her summary of uncle’s top 10 favourites.
Page 4 / Message Board: This page was designed to look like an actual message board, with articles being written on a clip board , a message taped on a board, a telegram, a letter etc. In addition to this, we had an ad about the first car uncle owned and alternate professions he would be great at. This page differs from the opinion board, as it had very long articles written by my friend. It contained a mixed bag of messages, words of wisdom for him to follow and what people have learnt from him.
Page 5 / Travel: Uncle loves to travel. So, it’s only fair that an entire page be personalized and dedicated to the places he should go to next. We took opinions from others and summarised them. Next, we took 3 of the top suggestions and wrote articles on why they are the best options. To this we added ads, of relevant places and tourism.
Page 6 / Talking Facts: This page talks about quotes for uncles desk, his horoscope and did you know facts about him. We filled out the extra spaces with ads of his favourite beverages. This page is relevant to the readers besides uncle, who are interested in knowing a bit more about him.
Page 7 / Games Page: This is my favourite page! Despite it being the most time consuming to make. Here we had an entire page dedicated to various games related to uncle. Including:
- A crossword puzzle about the places he has been too & memories related to it.
- A scrambled letters of the cars he has owned.
- A button shaped crossword puzzle of button manufacturing (his business)
- A spoof spot the differences (we used pictures from different years)
- A find the words for his favourite games
Page 8 / Culture: This custom page talks about suggestions that people have given for TV, books and hobbies. Along with, what uncle should expect in the next couple of years. However, the major part of the page was dedicated to a second survey that we had conducted, where we gave people multiple options on alternate career choices for uncle. This was a very goofy page, as people had the most funniest answers for absurd reasons. Lastly, the final article was politics related and talked about which line in politics would uncle be perfect for.
Talk about detailing!
How much time and money does it take?
Not going to lie. This newspaper gift idea requires massive time commitment and extensive communication. It took us close to 2 months to complete! A month for collecting and writing out all the content. And, then another month to design each and every detail. Even for a workaholic like me, it took a lot time to add every single detail. Talk about a labour of love!
This project took about INR 20,000 to complete. Including the printing costs for 40 copies. However, this can vary a lot depending upon the amount of customization, the number of copies and the quality of paper used. We used thicker paper than usual, as we wanted the paper to last over time.
What’s the entire process like?
Here’s what happens, in a nutshell:
- Client contacts us with the idea and what their vision is for the project.
- We discuss the details and plan out the contents, if needed.
- The client collects and collates the data. We step in, if any help is needed.
- Base layout for the paper is designed and sent for approval.
- Rough draft of the information and articles is added to the layouts and sent for approval.
- Finishing touches to the information added. Headlines, colours and other formatting is completed.
- Fillers / ads are made and added. Sent for approvals
- Corrections made.
- Grammar checks.
- First printout.
- Final Corrections with client
Yup, it’s a long long process. But, I can tell you without even a little bit of doubt, that it is completely worth it. This process can also be shortened a lot if the communication is quick.
Why are you telling us this?
That’s a good question, as this definitely isn’t a complete tutorial for a customized newspaper. On the other hand, it’s an idea and a way to make a personalized gift. More importantly, it’s something we can make with you, as an order.
If you’re interested in placing an order with us. Click the button below or contact us on this link with as many details are possible. We would love to hear from you!
Also, please let us know what you think of our gift ideas for customized newspaper? We would love to hear your opinion on it. Any comments, suggestions, additions are very welcome!