Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

National Paste Up Day – May 7, 2023

National Paste-Up Day is celebrated every year on May 7 by art and print enthusiasts all around the country. This day is dedicated to the century-old technique for the designing and printing of newspapers and magazines, which remained the main approach until the development of computer software in the 1990s.

History of National Paste Up Day

Before the existence of fancy editing software, designers had to figure out many different ways to create the layout for publication pages, photographs, and advertisements. To do so, artists used the paste-up method, which can be considered equivalent to a sort of collage. Since there were no computers to facilitate the process, the paste-up artist would carefully cut and arrange different sections of typographic elements on a page to create a readable and aesthetically pleasing design.

The paste-up artist would receive the elements in several strips of paper and apply them to a board using wax adhesive. If any photos needed to be attached they went through a thorough halftoning, and colors were inverted for the negative of the entire page to be created. This negative would work as a sort of stamp on the actual pages of the newspaper when turned into a printing plate.

To create the guidelines and margins of the negative, paste-up artists painted them using cyan-colored ink, which would not be seen by the film used to make the printing plates. Should a newspaper already have a line of publishing, the artist wouldn’t have to go through the work of painting those lines on, as the boards would already be available. Since the 1990s, publishers have used computer software to develop layouts and print them out on special printers.

National Paste Up Day timeline

753 B.C.
Information Bulletins

In Ancient Rome, announcements are carvings on rock and metal.

1450
The First Mechanical Printer

Johann Gutenberg invents the very first press, which helps publish books.

1500s
The First Newspapers

They have small sheets with information for merchants in Europe, and they start circulating.

1990
The First Computer Software

Newspaper and magazine publishing companies begin to use computer software for layouts.

National Paste Up Day FAQs

What was the Paste-Up process?

It was the process of putting together pictures, headlines, and text onto a page and creating the layout for newspapers and magazines.

What was the Paste-Up process used for?

It was for designing the layout of newspaper and magazine pages.

How do you Paste-Up?

You don’t need all the complicated gear paste-up artists used back in the day for it. You can do so by cutting out a bunch of images and words and gluing them on a page in a way you see fit!

National Paste Up Day Activities

  1. Make paste-up art

    The best way to celebrate is to, of course, paste-up art yourself! Grab your scissors and dig into old magazines and newspapers or print out some stuff and glue it all on a blank paper to create a beautiful piece of art!

  2. Read an old newspaper at a museum

    You can always visit a museum that displays old newspapers and check the results of paste-up art! You may discover things you’ve never seen before!

  3. Give someone cutouts

    If you have a bunch of leftover cutouts from your paste-up art, give them away to someone and ask them to create a beautiful piece for you! They’ll be happy to!

5 Facts About Newspapers You’ll Love

  1. They’re older than you think

    In Britain, the first newspaper was published in 1621.

  2. It’s the best place to advertise

    Eight in 10 adults went after a product they’ve seen advertised in newspapers.

  3. It has many formats

    With the internet, newspapers are now a collection of posts.

  4. It’s almost as big as television

    Online news has almost the same viewership as T.V. news.

  5. Weather forecasts are a key feature

    70% of Americans consider the weather report the most important detail from the newspaper.

Why We Love National Paste Up Day

  1. It’s all about art

    How can we not love celebrating the beauty and importance of artistic expression? This day keeps us akin to our creative essence!

  2. It connects us to our past

    To remember paste-up art is to remember our past and appreciate all we have today! Do some research into your past on this day.

  3. It keeps us creative

    Making art and using random pieces of pictures and words to create art is a great way to remain creative. And we love creativity!

National Paste Up Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 7Sunday
2024May 7Tuesday
2025May 7Wednesday
2026May 7Thursday
2027May 7Friday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.