Wednesday, May 14, 2014

interview with Sven Völker from SOME MAGAZINE

Some Magazine presented it's latest issue last week in Amsterdam. We asked editor Sven Völker some questions:
Where is Some Magazine based and what is it about?

Some Magazine is a magazine from the Artschool in Halle/Germany. It is written, edited and designed by my students and an always changing guest-editor-in-chief within my interdisciplinary design course. We take a close look at the intersection between design and art.

Why did you start your magazine and why did you choose for print instead of publishing online?

With two semesters per year, many talented students and loads of research, themes, projects and guests, we think we own a perfect breeding ground for a magazine. Most schools see their official magazine as a publicity tool and run them as an additional project, we see it as an integrated and very important element within our learning and working process. We love paper and we believe in the value of the printed word. A digital format might reach a broader audience, but we prefer a smaller but more dedicated readership instead. We also happen to own a Heidelberg printing machine that we use to produce the magazine ourselves.

What are your favourite magazines? Which ones influenced you?

There are certainly too many to mention, but among others there is The White Review, Fantastic Man or The Travel Almanac. But we also like where COLORS magazine came from.

You also published a book last year under the same title, what’s the difference between editing a book and editing a magazine for you?

Our magazine is monothematic and while we were always closely looking at themes like „Error“, „Electric“ or „Identity“ we somehow missed our own core theme: graphic work between design and art. We wanted to make a very personal reference book with all the heroes of ours and some (by far not all) the great graphic artists and designers that we learned to know over the past years. Making this together with the Swiss Lars Müller Publishers was a fantastic experience. A magazine is difficult to distribute and always when a new issue is out, the old one disappears from the market. That is very different with good books - they stay both in the shops and on our bookshelves.

Will you be publishing more books in the future?

Yes, we certainly will! We would like to also experiment with a more radical mix of a magazine and a book.

With so many good independent magazines around at the moment it has been proven that print is not dead. So if print is not dead at the moment, what do you think is the future of print now? Will it die again?

Low quality is dead (or very close to) and high quality has to find good concepts to finance smaller editions at higher production costs within a very crowded market. This is a difficult task, especially for projects that aim to stay for more than a few issues. It might not be the most experimental magazine, but I always get excited when I receive a new copy of Eye Magazine. And I love to look at the 80-something issues of it on my shelf that expose a consistent calmness over twenty-something years without a major change in writing, design or strategy.

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