2.7 Cut-ups

The purpose of this research task was to experiment with a cut-up process so that any lessons can be taken into future work.

Key words from the brief:

  • Take a recent copy of a newspaper
  • Cut up some newspaper pages in various ways
  • Continue until you have a number of differently-sized squares and rectangles of paper
  • Begin to place them next to each other, in columns or in strips
  • Keep experimenting until you have 5 cut-up collages that either spell out new phrases and texts or new composite images

Cutting up

I bought a copy of The Sunday Times on 14/06/20. My choice of paper was purely based on getting a good range of images to work with.

The paper was full of stories of the violent clashes that had taken place over the weekend between supporters of the Black Lives Matter campaign and right wing extremists in London. There was also a lot of speculation about the easing of the coronavirus lockdown measures and what that might mean.

I spent an hour or so going through each page of the paper and magazine supplements cutting out any headlines or pictures that looked of interest.

I then designed the images by making connections between text and pictures until ideas clicked into place.

The headlines were the easiest things to produce; the images took more trial and error.

The final part of the process was sticking the cut-ups together using spray mount.

Cut-up 01
Cut-up 02
Cut-up 03
Cut-up 04
Cut-up 05


  • It struck me that the way I was working was using was more process-driven than chance related; whilst the material I was working with was constrained to one newspaper on a single day, I was making a lot of deliberate editorial decisions.
  • It’ll be interesting to see how these cut-ups read in a few months time. The humour in them seems very specific to the current newscycle.
  • I like the humour it was possible to achieve through mixing up headlines.
  • I used collage as a way to generate ideas that can then be developed in Assignment 5 – Self-directed project.




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