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Now that Het Nieuwe Instituut’s physical location can no longer be a focus for activities due to Covid-19, the emphasis is on the online world. Every week, we invite a different designer to create our web magazine cover in response to the question: What’s occupying you now? This week: Line Arngaard.

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Webcover Line Arngaard

What’s the story behind your web cover design for Het Nieuwe Instituut Online?

I saw this Die Zeit cover on a newsstand last week, and it immediately caught my attention. I had momentarily forgotten the circumstances we’re living through now, and this cover brought me right back to reality. Venus wearing a face mask is such a strange image, yet — as the headline notes — suddenly it seems normal. The way that the newspaper had altered the iconic image of Venus made me want to take it further. I took a photo of the cover and started taking it apart by separating the colour layers, letting the black layer hover above the rest, creating a sense of distance.

How does this piece relate to the rest of your work?

In a way, it’s a good example of how I like to work. I collect a lot of images, often with no particular motivation other than because they’ve captured my attention. Then I file them away. When I look through them later, there are always certain patterns that emerge, and they often come in handy for a project. I generally like to use images or layouts I’ve collected to generate new ones, literally cutting them apart and putting the elements together in new configurations. It’s an interesting way to generate new images and play with collective expectations of how a newspaper or a fashion magazine layout should look, for example.

Is the coronavirus pandemic changing the way you work? 

I usually spend most of my working time behind the screen, and that hasn’t changed. However, lots of other things have changed that do affect the way I work. For example, when it comes to finding images, I normally spend time in shops, looking through magazines, books and newspapers, searching for pictures that trigger my curiosity. These days, of course, that’s limited to looking at the covers without touching them and browsing the internet.

Line Arngaard (1991, Denmark) is a graphic designer who lives and works in The Netherlands. After graduating from Gerrit Rietveld Academie graphic design department in 2018 she has worked as a freelance graphic designer for artists, friends, educational institutions and non profit organisations such as Joke Robaard, Amie Dicke, Warehouse, University of Amsterdam and Sandberg Instituut Critical Studies programme. Besides her independent freelance work she is currently assisting Amsterdam based graphic design studio Mevis & van Deursen.