What is design? And how should it be used? According to Martin Jenča, editor-in-chief of Backstage Talks, the answer comes from finding “the right balance of beauty and business.” Published out of By Design Conference in Bratislava, Slovakia, this magazine brings together design luminaries, capturing their off-stage, bar side conversations to give you an unfiltered look into what they do and why they do it.
What is Backstage Talks?
An annual magazine of dialogues on design and business.
What makes it different to the rest?
We focus on dialogues and we have no interest in just showcasing projects. We want to learn from the way our interviewees think, approach their work and the industry as a whole. As designers and entrepreneurs talking to other creative entrepreneurs about design and business, we can discuss what’s behind the scenes.
Who makes Backstage Talks?
Milk Design Directors, our company based in Bratislava and Vienna. The core team also includes the executive editor Zuzana Kvetková and designer Martin Kahan.
Who reads it?
Creative entrepreneurs, designers and design fans.
Why do you work in magazines?
I’ve always been a big fan and collector of magazines, so when the opportunity arose, I couldn’t resist! Magazines are beautiful as objects too – and all you need is good paper and good content.
Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
I am a co-founder and organiser of By Design Conference, a highly curated day of talks that aren’t just portfolio talk-throughs. At the fifth annual conference in May 2018, we will welcome, among others, the legendary NYC-based branding studio Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv or Eike König of Hort (now you know who to look forward to in Backstage Talks #4 ;). I also run a design and branding studio called Milk.
What would you change about Backstage Talks if you could?
If there were more hours to a day, we would be publishing more than just annually. For now, one issue a year is enough to make us work overnight for a couple of months. Besides that, there is always something to improve with every issue!
Where do you see Backstage Talks in five years?
Backstage Talks started from a conference and I would like to see more smaller events happening in connection to it. I am especially intrigued by the model of two experienced designers discussing business/interviewing each other in front of an audience.