uring my last visit to a high school to interview some teachers, I had the luck of meeting three students. I will hopefully interview them properly after their ear-numbing healthy summer holidays.
They were the editing team of their school magazine. Two boys and a girl in charge of putting together several issues during the year: picking topics, writing reportages and doing interviews in their town in eastern Finland. They are in charge of putting all together quite professionally in their editing room. This room was equipped with lights and backgrounds as well as any photo studio; and three iMac computers running Adobe InDesign, with which they were working as I was introduced to them by their literature teacher who was rushing off.
One of them is into photography so he’s in charge of taking and editing photos for the magazine. The other two have taught themselves to use InDesign, “Is there a teacher involved in this magazine?” I asked, “no, we do it ourselves”. This is remarkable for many reasons, though some teachers might fear that “they feel they do not have guidance for these things that they do much better than us”. I would say, it is certainly not a reason for worrying. Actually, teaching oneself to use graphic programmes using tutorials online is a practice quite familiar to many designers.
Before I left them to their latest number featuring some co-students, the girl showed me something a teacher gave to them while their library was being cleaned up. She was keeping in a dusty yellow folder some numbers of a 1905 magazine; the title, I do not remember. She was surprised how beautiful these magazines were: the flowery ornaments and the bold type characters. She was not sure yet what, but she wanted to do something with them.
I left them because I had to go meet a teacher who was waiting for me but I hope we get to do something together and that she discovers what Art Nouveau or Jugend as it is known in Finland meant in any art, graphic or editorial practice of that time.
Images: In the portal of historical newspapers of the Digital Library of Finland people make clippings of these sort of details from 19th century newspapers and magazines such as this Ateneum which was published between 1898 and 1903.