Recently, when we wrote about the graphic design portfolio of Tim Lindacher he mentioned his friend and fellow design student, Steffen Hotel. Intrigued, we snooped on Steffen’s work and were not disappointed with his portfolio, which includes a dedicated zine to Wolfgang Tillmans, work for Fount magazine (with some very pleasing moving posters), A Mag A Month and working at komma with his pal Tim.
In his fifth year of studying graphic design, Steffen is well adversed in the medium, training to be a graphic designer for three years before taking the academic route. While studying he became part of the editorial team at komma “the magazine our faculty [Hochschule Mannheim] sends out to a lot of graphic agencies and bureaus in Germany to showcase the students work,” he explains.
Becoming editor-in-chief after three issues on the editorial team, Steffen explains that he “felt disappointed with what our faculty had to offer and tried to use this disadvantage to our benefit,” he says. “Also, despite having learned a lot at komma, the quite large editorial staff and uber long debates about the smallest design-decisions made me want to create a more flexible concept which allows experimenting as well as a quick, fun output.”
This was the ethos behind A Mag A Month, inspired by projects like A Poster A Day and Marius Jopens’ Poster Diary. “It led us to thinking: why has no one ever done that with magazines?” While working on this publication, Steffen was also interning at gggrafik in Heidelberg “I learned a lot there, the most important thing being discipline,” while teaching himself Cinema 4D in his free time.
At university Steffen also made his own publication in dedication to photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. Despite being one of our favourites, the designer explains “this is one of the lesser works actually coming from a university task, a quick shot of a day’s work”. However, the task “to design a 16-page magazine about any artist,” was a situation the designer thrived in, relaying back to his ethos about working efficiently and quickly.
Soon after, Steffen became “burned out with doing print and Mannheim as a city,” he explains, broadening his horizons with an internship at Selam X. “I received a lot of trust from Sebastian Zimmerhackl and besides doing a retrospective book for a now closed german night club (coming soon) being at the studio pushed me further to learn new skills and work on different media like video editing and 3D.”
Working at the studio also taught the designer about the power of social media, “we can basically reach out to every person we want, directly,” influencing the process of the next A Mag A Month. For instance, for the mag they looked for leftovers within photography, “pictures that didn’t get included in a series but still have their special own fascination”, and involved Steffen reaching out to the practitioners they admire. “Since there are many people involved we personally admire greatly, it will also be the first issue that’s going to get a small print run.”
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