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Ariane Spanier, Fukt

Ariane Spanier, Fukt

In the first of a series of interviews with our magCulture Live speakers, we meet German art director Ariane Spanier, who’ll be sharing her art direction work for drawing magazine Fukt at the conference. Based in Berlin, Ariane’s other design projects include work for galleries and cultural organisations. She’ll also be speaking at the upcoming AGI Open event in Rotterdam.

What are you doing today?
In the studio, working on five different project simultaneously, whole day, happily busy, stressed at times, too much coffee. Regular Monday.

Who/what inspired you to work in magazine publishing?
As a kid I loved ‘Winnetou’, a German fiction story and series of movies about a native American who keeps a friendship with a white cowboy. I mostly loved the movies because of the horses but I was indeed a fan, everybody was. So I started a little fanzine at eight years old with a friend.

Then I published two issues of a school magazine with a friend a few years later, which had silly poems and riddles, and self-made crosswords, even recipes. Things I thought a school mag was supposed to have had. I think we even got one readers letter.

Doing a magazine where you are very involved, as Fukt is, gives me that satisfying sense of ownership to something that’s whole. No client ever can intervene, it’s just us. It’s as good as we make it, and if we want we could push it in whatever direction want. This is something that obviously applies to every project that’s owned by yourself.

If you hadn’t been a creative director what career would you have pursued?
I wanted to become a vulcanologist at some point. The power and beauty of a volcano, the fire, the melted soil and rocks, our planets thin crust and the breathtaking landscapes around volcanos in general really fascinated me. I had an issue of a travel magazine (here we are again, it was a magazine!) about Iceland as a kid where a researcher was standing in front of an erupting volcano (must have been a special perspective) in a silvery heat-safe suit. This is how I pictured myself.

Please share a single piece of your work that sums up your approach to design.
While I do mostly client work, I guess Fukt makes a good example because I try to be playful, specially with the covers. We have sometimes spent ridiculous amounts of time to achieve something, a cover or a teaser animation, which maybe even didn’t work out. But it provides the space for silly experiments that can even fail and that’s why its so important to me.

How can magazines make a difference in 2019?
Everybody has to answer that question for themselves, when they do a magazine. It all comes down to what your magazine is about and what time and energy you invest. What themes, stories and people you draw in. Are people interested, can you tell / show them something they didn’t know?

It’s a service too, to make people happy, as they spend time and enjoy your mag. And I am not even talking politics and journalism. In a world like ours, today, good journalism is what really makes the difference.

Who are you looking forward to hearing/meeting at magCulture Live?
I want to hear them all! But I am really looking forward to It’s Freezing in LA and gal-dem.

Hear more from Ariane at magCulture Live on 7 November. Save £30 with an earlybird ticket now.

Ariane will also be speaking at AGI Open, Rotterdam, on 24 September

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