Digital Publishing
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A new Face for 2019: Iconic music magazine relaunches with four cover stars

The Face, a British music, fashion and culture magazine, is due to hit newsstands again tomorrow after a 15 year absence.

The relaunched title features four cover stars; Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Rosalia and Tyler the Creator.

Covers via theface.com

Editor Stuart Brumfitt told the Guardian it didn’t feel right to have just one star for the launch: “We didn’t feel like right now there was necessarily one person who defined the moment for us. We just like the fact that pop music is having this incredible moment and there’s such a great range of characters.”

The issue will also cover an eclectic mix of stories, from clubbing in Barcelona to London bus drivers and the tech-wear pagan revival, according to their website.

New issues will be printed quarterly, rather than monthly like they used to, reflecting a wider trend in publishing for less frequent but higher value print editions.

A single issue will cost £9.95, or an annual subscription is available for £40. The site also has an option for a ‘fancy’ Limited Edition Box for £120, should the readers want to eBay it in a few years!

The magazine was originally launched in London by journalist Nick Logan back in 1980, the same man who had also launched Smash Hits for Emap. It quickly became known as a ‘cultural trailblazer’, and although its primary focus was music, it also covered fashion, film, TV, society, culture, politics and current affairs. Among its most famous covers was that of a then-unknown 16-year-old Kate Moss in 1990.

Image via The Face, The 3rd Summer of Love

It published monthly editions until 2004, when falling circulation figures forced its closure.

However, back in 2017, UK publisher Wasted Talent Media acquired rights to The Face, and announced plans to relaunch the magazine. 

The first the world saw of the new The Face was in March this year, when the brand appeared on Instagram with a witty social campaign teasing the relaunch of the website. Choosing Instagram as its launch channel demonstrates that The Face still has its finger on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not among young people.

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T H E F A C E . C O M A P R I L 2 0 1 9

A post shared by THE FACE (@thefacemagazine) on

A new website appeared in April, which is the first time the title has ever had an online platform. Notably, the logo and the strong red branding has remained the same, as has their ethos. 

“The magazine that launched “the third summer of love”, painted Alexander McQueen silver and had the balls to put Bart Simpson on the cover is coming back to surprise and please all over again,” their announcement stated.

The brand is also looking to stick to a slower pace of publishing online, rather than churning out high-volume pieces.

Having the website running for a few months before the print magazine comes back has given the team time to find out “what kind of content we want to create, and what kind of stories we wanted to tell,” according to Brumfitt.

Relaunching a print magazine aimed at ‘culturally savvy and creative twentysomethings’ seems like a strange thing to do, given that it’s well-known that they get all their information online and on their phones. But brand director Jason Gonsalves believes that there’s a space for The Face in a physical form for them.

“There’s a whole generation of kids with a real passion for magazines,” Gonsalves told WWD, when news of the relaunch first broke in the spring. “And unlike a lot of other stuff out there, which is basically a big Instagram, Stuart has put together a magazine that you want to read.”

But unlike its predecessor, the new Face won’t just be dependent on selling magazine ad pages.

Alongside most other publishers, The Face is looking to diversify its revenue from the beginning, with a brand consultant arm, its own online store which includes an ecommerce partnership with Adidas, and a push into video and audio as a way of enticing advertisers to their online offering.

The Face’s online store, featuring a partnership with Adidas

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