Arc magazine is the art and design publication designed and produced by current postgraduate students at the Royal College of Art. The latest issue, Arc 14 is under the editorial guidance of Charmian Griffin and is designed by Mark El-khatib. The issue includes interviews with artist Richard Wentworth and graphic designer Cornel Windlin as well as articles from Marina Warner, Lucy Soutter, Superniche, Michael Crowe, Department 21, Julijonas Urbonas and special artist projects from åbäke and Nina Beier and Marie Lund.
We caught up with Mark El-khatib to find out more…
Tell us about the history of Arc magazine?
Arc is an art and design publication designed and produced by students at the Royal College of Art. It was founded in 1950 as Ark and became a platform for generations of art students to experiment with publishing, writing, editing, design and art direction. It slowly lost momentum in the 70s but interest in publishing the journal picked up again in 2004 when it was relaunched as Arc.
Who has designed previous issues?
With 54 issues of Ark with a k published and 14 so far of Arc with a c, theres far too many designers to mention. One name does pop out though; a certain Alan Fletcher art directed Ark 13 back in 1955.
How did you come to be involved in the design of the current issue?
A new editor – Charmian Griffin – was appointed and after a call for designers a few of us met up to discuss the magazine in its early stages. There were funding problems to begin with and work to be done to secure advertising; by the time it came round to actually starting work on the issue I was the only one still keen so took it on as a project. The next issue is already in development and Robin Howie and Hannah Montague are working on the design.
The magazine is always different, what were you trying to do with this issue?
Pretty much every issue is designed and developed by a new set of students so it inevitably ends up being re-invented each time which keeps it fresh. Myself and Charmian discussed early on that we wanted to concentrate on getting a good selection of interesting and challenging content that reflected interests and current debates in art and design from students, staff and also people outside the college. This is loosely connected together under the editorial theme of ‘language’. When it came to the design I wanted to emphasise the differing formats of the content (interview, article, poetry, discussion, ichat etc) typographically; to lend each article a subtle individuality and help create a sense of rhythm throughout.
What magazines do you read on a regular basis?
I tend to pick and mix with different magazines that I come across rather than regularly subscribe to one. Recently I picked up the latest issues of Fantastic Man and the Happy Hypocrite.
You’ve just graduated from the Royal College of Art, what have you got planned now?
With Arc we’re working on increasing its distribution and also planning a launch party at Frank’s Cafe & Campari Bar on the top of a multi-storey car park in Peckham (15th July 7pm onwards – come along!) Aside from this I’ve got some freelance work coming up and I want to go on holiday somewhere. I really need a holiday!
Buy Arc 14
We are also pleased to announce that Arc magazine is available to buy from the It’s Nice That shop for £5. See all the details here — shop.itsnicethat.com/products/arc-14