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  Ida Kärrby is the editor-in-chief of CAP&Design, a Swedish magazine covering Computer Assisted Publishing and Design. We spotted Ida at a visual seminar last summer, arranged by CAP&Design. Different artist showed commercial ads and films, and Ida was there in the middle of it. Naturally we were curious.

How long have you been working as the editor-in-chief of Cap & Design?
I have been the editor-in-chief of CAP&Design since February 1998. Before that I was Assistant Managing Editor at the same mag since February 1996.

What did you do before you got your current job?
Before CAP&Design I jumped around quite a bit. I have worked at Matton (an art-, design-supply store in Stockholm). I have also freelanced as an illustrator for several years.

We saw information about you on the web saying you've been working at a moose-rodeo (!). What's that all about?
I used to work with the radio station Mix Megapol and they sometimes had somewhat crazy marketing ideas. One of them was visiting malls with a huge mechanical moose. So I assisted the competition for a few months. It was really a blast. The radio DJs tagged along as commentators during the competitions and they really know their jobs so my tummy was hurting from all the laughing every evening.

Have you had more peculiar jobs?
Every job I ever had felt peculiar. :-) But no, I guess the moose-rodeo is the strangest.

Which qualities are important for an editor-in-chief?
It's not important to be good at everything quite the opposite. You really have to come to terms with the fact that people around you are experts. A really good editor-in-chief is therefore the person who knows WHO is the best at ever particular little detail and hire him/her to do the job. Big ears and a small mouth are important too. You have to listen a lot and read a lot to realize what's in or out, and what big issues and questions are discussed in our field at the moment.

How well versed in computer assisted publishing and design does an editor-in-chief for a magazine that deals with the topic need to be?
Not all that much actually. It is like all editors-in-chief. The more you know the better of course, but the skills needed for a good editor-in-chief are as in any kind of leadership. As an editor-in-chief you should theoretically be able to be a good editor-in-chief even if you work with a magazine about a topic you aren't that good at. I have the right background though. A broad base of know-how but I'm not really a specialist in any of the topics. It helps me a lot, but I am pretty sure that the editor-in-chief of a sports magazine could take over my job and do it very well. If you manage a mag where you lack the skills of the specialist topics that are dealt with in the mag, you just have to see to it that you have a good network of contacts with people who know a lot about the area

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