Elisabeth Bukanova

With its unique take on the LGBT community and slick design, Muff magazine immediately caught our eye. Little did we know its art director had only just graduated… meet Elisabeth Bukanova.

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Sugar, Illustration and set design from the series ‘Take Care’ (the silent killers of our society), Elisabeth Bukanova, 2014

Describe your style and approach.

Visual, Conceptual, Illustrative. 

Do you think your background in fashion plays into your approach to graphic design?

Absolutely. My background in fashion design has given me an understanding of garments, print and colouring techniques, pattern cutting and fashion history – all things that come in handy since I work mainly with fashion/luxury brands and magazines. This in-depth knowledge also gives me confidence and enables me to make decisions intuitively. 

And how have you found the transition between the two disciplines?  

It isn't a transition, more a fusion. I always enjoyed fashion design but soon realised that it's the visual identity of a brand and the imagery that fascinates me. I left my first position as fashion designer and quickly got involved in art direction. Like illustration (which I have done professionally since my second year at university), art direction is all about concept, colour, contrast and composition. I enjoy having the freedom to switch between disciplines, and blur the lines between the field and technique that I am working in.  

What do you think makes an arresting fashion shoot?

A good concept. 

Tell us about Muff Magazine. 

 magazine is a joint venture with writer Kate Bond that aims to challenge the stereotypical representation (and perception) of queer in print media. Most gay magazines define themselves through their sexuality and are poorly designed. We wanted to change that.  

Talk me through the art direction behind Muff. What did you want to achieve with the design? 

It is a magazine about inspiring people and the stories behind them. It was important to us to create all content (written and visual) around this thought. We deliberately avoided lots of retouching and tried to shoot on film where possible, to maintain a raw and intimate feel.   

What are you working on at the moment? 

I am currently working with a design agency, art directing the re-design of a fashion magazine.  

What kind of projects excite you the most?

I am always most excited about what's coming next. 

What would you like to achieve in the next year?

Eat less, exercise more and art direct my first campaign.