Rob Cordiner of ‘Smalltime Books’

Words and photography: Cory White

Being a photographer I am always drawn to print. Wether it’s a magazine,  a broadsheet or a beautifully bashed up old hard cover book. And in a world that is moving away from the tactile like greased lightning, favoring a more disposable digital medium, it’s a real treat to be surrounded by people who still work with paper. Something I regularly notice is my excitement when I actually get around to printing  images on paper. Not on iphoto, fakebook or  twitpic, rather real fibrous paper. So imagine how good Rob Cordiner feels every time he fires up his RISO printer down at Smalltime Books in Carlton. The smell of ink, warm paper and the art of creating a ZINE must really get him firing. Rob’s also one of those ‘super nice’ guys that we all speak of from time to time. You know, the kind of guy that buys you a pork roll and a large flat white without asking. Turns out hes pretty talented fella too, what with running a design business, Zine shop and a publishing outfit. So do yourself a favour , pack a pork roll and get on down to Part and Crafts on a Saturday and engage in some Zine obsession.

Nicknames? Robbery, Chopman, Cords or Kooooorrdooo (ironic footy name). Someone called me Bobby Digital once. That was cool.

Please explain what you do: Graphic design for print, publishing and whatever else crops up. Manage PARTS – a shared art studio housing exceptionally great people doing nice stuff. Every Saturday the front room of the studio becomes PARTS & CRAFTS, a one stop shop for zines, pubs, editions and other goods I believe are worth sharing. In addition to this I’m producing RISO zines with friends, old and new, under the banner of SMALLTIME BOOKS.

On that note, what’s your favorite nut? Pistachios are good. My mum recently told us that when she met Dad the floor of his car looked like a Pistachio shell depot.

How long have you been interested in zines? Only about six years or so. Although, my interest in all things printed goes way back.

Snow, surf or street? All three are fun but street had me at hello.

What is the difference between a zine and a magazine? The lines are definitely blurred but you might say page count, barcodes, advertising and a targeted readership are common differences.

What is your favourite city to visit and why? They’re all good for something. I’d love to visit our sister store in Amsterdam soon.

Most lusted after ZINE? Nieves has a stack of bangers that are out of print. The Kevin Lyons and Fergadelic stuff is particularly gold.

Where did you take your first steps? Staggered across a crowded room on a family holiday, keeping my balance with a half empty wine cask. True story.

What exactly is a RISO printer? A screenprinter trapped in the body of a Xerox machine. Originally created for rattling off church newsletters,recently finding favour amongst indie publishers for it’s ability to produce a unique, tactile print for about the price of a photocopy. Add to that a drumload of quirks and you’ve got yourself a RISO!

Stones or Beatles? Beatles got it all sewn up there.

Do you believe a man’s shoe choice is important? No doubt ‘a-boot’ it.

What was your first ZINE? Pretty sure it was HYPE or Blitzkrieg

Coffee of choice? Latte. Real fluffy like. Served with pace. My mate Seb summed it up well recently “Less yappin, more frappin”.

You share a studio with a bunch of artists. Does this help you stay inspired? Being able to share the day with like minded folk is amazing. Whether it’s talking through a project, seeing a piece evolve from rough to final, learning of a previously unknown artist, a software shortcut, a simple tea break or epic ping pong battle, it’s hard not to be inspired.

Who do you Barrack for in the AFL? Penrith Panthers are pretty good right? Actually for the sake of controversy let’s roll with the Pies.

Do you have a 5 year plan for life or business? Nope. But I’m working on that right after this.

What’s your signature dish? Prawn Linguini. Pretty good at making Tea also.

Summer or Winter? Winter is better for work, better for clothing and better for headphones.

Parts or Crafts? PARTS all day.

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