How to start a TAZ-LAZ Box!
TAZ-LAZ boxes have to be easily-accessible, protected from the elements, and frequently tended to by the community. So you have to make sure of box the location and the type of box you're using. See below the different directions you can take with setting up your own TAZ-LAZ box!
Starting an Outdoor Box
The majority of our TAZ-LAZ boxes are located outside, and have been very successful! The first step is picking a spot. It's best to find a safe, heavily trafficked, easily accessible area, that is protected from the elements. TAZ-LAZ boxes are community-run, so really take into account how often you think people will see the box and stop by. You probably will also have to get permission to install the box, so don't forget to confirm that!
Here are some reccomendations for outdoor boxes:
- Home Depot Wall-Mount Mailbox
Definitely our #1 reccomendation for an outdoor box. Its cheap, easy to customize, and protects the zines super well. The only downside is that it's a bit small.
- Amazon Wall-Mount Mailbox
A bit bigger than the Home Depot box, and around the same price. We haven't used it yet so we don't know the downsides, but it seems good!
- Find an old newspaper box!
You may have seen our TAZ-LAZ newspaper box at the book fairs we've attended, which we got for free from craigslist! So if you find one for free, don't hesistate to grab one! They're sturdy and waterproof, just need to confirm with wherever you're placing it that it's ok because they're a bit larger than a typical mailbox.
- Make your own box?
If you're feeling extra creative, you could even create a TAZ-LAZ box. Just make sure it's accessible and waterproof!
Once you pick a perfect spot, find a perfect box, and customize it to your liking, you can slap a TAZ-LAZ flyer right above the box, fill it with zines & art, and let us know on instagram or discord that its good to go!
Starting an Indoor Box
There are quite a few indoor TAZ-LAZ boxes throughout Mass. If you get permission from the venue, just put it in a great spot that gets attention and care. So our most successful indoor boxes have been ones placed in artist spaces, or libraries. But whats fun aboout starting an indoor box is not having to worry about waterproofing! So you can go all out on customizing a fun zine-drop.
Some ideas we've done for indoor boxes have been using milk crates, or magazine holders, but there are a ton of options. Just make sure its a confined box, and is easy to use!
Media for starting a TAZ Box
The only thing you need from us to start a box is a flyer. Feel free to design and customize your box however you like, and just print out one of our flyers to give artists and readers some information about the TAZ-LAZ project. See here for all our TAZ-LAZ media.
Dos and Donts for TAZ-LAZ boxes
What does belong in a box is any type of indepentendly-published zine, art, stickers, pins, postcards, etc. If you have a big batch of zines to drop off at a TAZ-LAZ box, our reccomendation is to leave 5-10, and save the rest of the batch to release them over time. Or better yet, distribute your batch of zines to multiple boxes!
However, don't leave commercial literature. Things like published books, magazines, etc. do not belong in TAZ-LAZ boxes. If you see that in one of the boxes, feel free to take it, donate them, or recycle them.
I set up a TAZ-LAZ box, do I have to check on it very often?
Ideally the boxes are community-run, so when people take zines, they also donate them. But there is also necessary upkeep on the box that needs to happen, like making sure the box is properly maintained and stocked, and that there isn't trash or commercial literature in the box. It doesn't need to be checked every day, but every few weeks is nice. We tend to restock the boxes in our areas every few months or so.
Can I take zines without leaving zines?
Of course. Take a zine, read it, distribute it, keep it, or bring it back! Maybe even take a zine to get ideas to make one of your own and donate your new zines in the future!