Confessions of a design geek‘s Katie Treggiden and MagCulture‘s Jeremy Leslie are launching FIERA, a biannual independent print magazine discovering new talents at the world’s design fairs. While many on-paper publications go viral and blogs and webzines keep mapping design planet in real-time, this editorial project was born from an estabilished know-how in online design reporting and thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. The first fair to be covered will be the upcoming London Design Festival followed by designblok in Prague, Interieur Biennial in Kortrijk (Belgium) and Dutch Design Week, the first issue will be published in November 2014.
Katie Treggiden says “At the moment design fairs are extensively covered through blogs and social media. That coverage is brilliant – it’s vibrant, it’s dynamic, it’s exciting… it’s also as chaotic as the fairs themselves. Fiera magazine will take a step back, take a pause and offer some critical analysis that starts to make sense of it all.”
Editorially independent and not accountable to advertisers, Fiera is available to pre-order via the magCulture shop. ArchiPanic’s editor Enrico Zilli interviewed Katie Treggiden about the challenges and the achievements of this editorial project.
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Enrico Zilli: What would make Fiera different form other publications?
Katie Treggiden: Fiera is quite niche – as far as I know it’s the only publication that just covers the world’s design fairs, and even more niche than that, it will focus on discovering new talent. Coming out just twice a year, covering four fairs per issue, give it a unique opportunity to pull together some of key themes and make sense of what’s happening in the design industry.
EZ: About the contents…
KT: The front half of the magazine will contain high-energy coverage from the coal-face of the festival circuit. We will share the stories of the people and processes behind the designs, bringing the shows to life in a way that you could only otherwise experience by being there yourself. The second half of the magazine will contain considered long-form content responding to the themes raised by the four fairs covered. We will provide macro trend analysis, and thought leaders from different disciplines such as creative writing, finance, and travel will offer outsiders’ perspectives.
EZ: Why Fiera?
KT: Fiera is Italian for fair and sometimes used to refer to all the satellite events that crop up around around a big design show giving it that festival atmosphere. It seemed to capture the excitement, the anticipation and the passion of design weeks. (Interesting fact: it’s also Spanish for wild beast and Esperanto for proud!)
EZ: Which were the main challenges passing from digital to paper?
KT: The main challenge is making sure we use each channel for what it’s good at, rather than just replicating content from one to the other. Digital channels are fantastic at immediate, dynamic content and the coverage of design fairs on blogs and social media is a amazing. A print magazine can offer something different – something that brings all that together and tries to make sense of it all
EZ: Which are the main challenges in a Kickstarter driven project?
KT: Kickstarter is a very public way to fail – that makes it a very high risk endeavour emotionally. You really have to put yourself out there in front of your peers for a very ‘all or nothing’ result. Luckily we over-funded, so it paid off, but it’s not for the faint-hearted! That said, it’s a brilliant way to test the market and once funding is secured a very low-risk way to start a business – we’ve sold 300 copies of the magazine before it even exists, which is a very privileged position to be in, and we’re very grateful to every one of our backers for helping us to make this happen.
EZ: How does Fiera deal with advertising?
KT: We are keen to avoid advertising because we want absolute editorial control to enable us to focus on new designers without advertising budgets. Anybody who knows anything about publishing has told us it’s not possible to run a magazine on cover price alone, so we’ll see how we get on!
FIERA Editor Katie Treggiden launched her award-winning design blog confessions of a design geek in 2010 to discover, champion and inspire new designers. Katie has been covering design fairs in her role as Editor at Large for Design Milk, and writing articles and trend reports for other titles, since 2010, and also writes for the Telegraph, Ideal Home, and the D&AD among others.
FIERA Creative Director Jeremy Leslie runs magCulture, dividing his time between designing, writing and curating. Recent projects include the development of the Writers in Residence series for Visual Editions, creative direction for Luxembourg publisher Maison Moderne and the curatorship of QVED2014. He is a passionate advocate for editorial design, regularly contributing to the creative press and international design conferences on the subject.