Preview: QVED 2016

by Steve Watson in February 2016
Share on Facebook, Twitter or Copy Link

I went to QVED for the first time last year and it was excellent. For three days Munich’s Alte Kongresshalle was given over to the finer points of editorial design, with hundreds of editors, art directors, illustrators, photographers and magazine fans coming together to share knowledge, meet up and geek out.

So when founders Boris Kochan and Horst Moser asked me back this year to curate and host alongside them, I jumped at the chance. They already had a brilliant line up taking shape, including Gail Bichler (The New York Times), Mark Porter (Mark Porter Associates), Franceso Franchi (IL) and Debbie Millman (Design Matters), and my brief was to throw some interesting independents into the pot.

One benefit of being involved with Europe’s biggest editorial design conference is that there’s proper global reach, and I’m really excited that Nelson Ng will be flying in from Shanghai to present his work on travel magazine Lost. The relationship between English and Mandarin text on his pages is beautifully balanced, helping to create a very lovely object that feels like it was made for both domestic Chinese and international English readers. I’m really looking forward to hearing him speak about the project and about independent publishing in China more generally.

Two-Minute Magazines #67: Lost from Steven Watson on Vimeo.

QVED is first and foremost an editorial design conference, so it will be brilliant to hear from Michael Ray, editor of Zoetrope magazine in San Francisco. Published by Francis Ford Coppola, Zoetrope is a literary magazine that welcomes a different guest art director each issue – previous incumbents have included David Bowie, Zaha Hadid, Wim Wenders and Tom Waits, and I’m really looking forward to hearing what it’s like to work with such a talented (and probably intimidating) group of artists.


Another speaker who will be flying long haul to get to us is Harrison Thane, art director of Zinester, the Nairobi-based organisation that uses zine-making workshops to help marginalised communities create their own narrative. I’m really looking forward to hearing more about that process, and how they go about turning raw experience into a funny, energetic and apparently authentic editorial product.

Zinester from Harrison Thane on Vimeo.

But we’re not only interested in far-flung magazines, and we’ll also be joined by Agnese Kleina, editor of the fantastic Benji Knewman. I always love hearing about the world that exists behind the making of magazines, and it will be fascinating to hear her unpack the creation of Benji as a fully fledged character who steers the direction of his eponymous magazine.

Two-Minute Magazines #73: Benji Knewman from Steven Watson on Vimeo.

And finally, I’m very pleased to be presenting Marcroy Smith, founder of People of Print and creator of projects including Print Isn’t Dead, Posterzine and the People of Print book. Whatever format he’s working in, Marcroy is constantly pushing to see what’s possible from the old practice of putting ink on paper – I’ve seen him speak before, and I know he’ll go down well with the QVED audience!

Two-Minute Magazines #81: Print Isn't Dead from Steven Watson on Vimeo.

It’s all happening from 25-27 February, and tickets are on sale now. The speakers mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg – take a look at the full line up for all details, and start getting excited. It’s going to be a great few days – see you in Munich!

Close Icon

Join our magazine club! Subscribe to Stack and every month we'll pick a different independent title and deliver it to your door. You never know what you'll get next...

Subscribe now