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Digging into design: Gossamer magazine by Kristina Bartošová

As part of FIDO contents, we’re gathering here some women designers to talk about some of their works. The Digging into design section aims to focus on the method and the strategy to approach a design project, presenting specifically the ideas that stand behind it and the step-by-step.

Kristina welcomes us with a great smile and, before we could even say hello, she praised the whole initiative and the work FIDO is doing for women designers: 

We then went on talking about gender equality and good experiences that, she remarks with no doubts, “definitively there are” even if the negative ones are always more present and of a bigger impact. Kristina told us about couple of situations happened to her, for example working with her boyfriend on branding, where she’s in charge of the design while he does strategy and copywriting, and people asking questions about design to him, who has to say one and another time  “don’t ask me, I’m not the designer.” Or another client who called her to make a piece to print during a video footage but wanted to hire a male actor to play the role of “the real designer.” We have to admit that in more than one case, the designers we interviewed said that in addition to be a woman, looking young—or being actually young—many times has been a further reason for discrimination.

That said, let’s move on to properly introduce our new guest, Kristina Bartošová, and the editorial project she’s working on, Gossamer magazine. Kristina Bartošová is a Slovak graphic designer and art director currently based in Graz, Austria, working from branding and editorial design to art direction and styling, with a solid focus on typography. She told us, “branding for me is like an excellent vessel of how to expand the type world, not just having a font or lettering but really defining a sort of universe where the type lives.” She’s also been working the past four years in strict collaboration with a good friend of hers, Verena Michelitsch, on Gossamer magazine, a paper publication by the homonymous platform founded by Verena von Pfetten and David Weiner in order to dissolve barriers and stigmas around cannabis and its use. Before getting her hands on Gossamer, she also worked for a couple of other editorial projects in the fields of arts and culture even on a much smaller scale than this one.

Kristina is very happy to talk about the different issues she made so far: Verena and Kristina jumped on board the magazine with the second issue, and now issue 7 has just come out while they’re already working on the #8. We’re lucky enough to have the designer commenting on the different experiments and challenges they faced in the making of the previous issues, such as printing with a Pantone color, different kinds of papers or printing tests, till come to the latest one, the most challenging one:  

Given that every issue has a different theme, Kristina explains that each time it’s like making a new mini print project that sometimes may seem to be—only apparently—unrelated to the previous one. So we asked her how is the creative process because it looks like they have to start every time from scratch to put the issue together:

We talked with the designer about her practice with lettering and typography for the magazine, as it’s a very strong aspect of her work, in general, and she told us that a custom lettering would not be very realistic to do, given the usual tight deadlines. “However, I can experiment a lot with headline treatments. I would love to do a lettering piece for the upcoming issue and maybe even try to play with a font, but let’s see if this overestimates reality!” she added. 

Trying to persuade Kristina to confide to us some anticipations from the new issue they’re working on, we instead discovered a very nice aspect of the workflow at Gossamer magazine she is especially grateful for—above all compared to her previous work experiences—and what she thinks about the importance of good collaborations to get to a great result:

Working with good friends is indeed one of the most beautiful aspects of this project, she said, alongside having such clients that aren’t afraid to push limits further. Then she explained that, this is not just for a matter of friendship as itself, rather than a question of trust and being on the same wavelength, making the work smoother and easier besides very rewarding. 

Once again we have come to the end of this new chapter, we thank Kristina very much for sharing with us such an exciting editorial project like Gossamer magazine. See you in the next episode of Digging into Design with another special guest. 

*** All the images are property of ©KristinaBartošová, you’ll need their permission to reproduce them 🙂

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