The magazine as a rallying point: Nick Logan, founder of The Face on a very important resurrection
t was May 1992 when The Face printed it's more tolerant edition, the Love Sees No Colour issue. "In chaotic, uncertain times like these, words like 'discipline' and 'order' seem attractive, and it’s good to have a scapegoat to blame. But violence and fascism is not an answer. Fascism is about intolerance, uniformity. It likes women to stay at home, children to be quiet, and everyone to do what they’re told. Fascism doesn’t let you be different or creative, dance all night, dress how you want, or share a joke. Fascism is ugly, and should be fought wherever it rears its ugly head" wrote the magazine's editor Sheryl Garratt on the issue which was put together in the wake of a rise in the fascism across Europe and hate crimes in Britain.
With Brexit, homophobia and racism all over Europe again Mark Hooper of the newly launched The Face sat down with the founder of the iconic magazine, Nick Logan, to discuss its legacy and how absolutely relevant it is today.
In the interview Logan speaks of the importance of the magazine as a rallying point, the misreading of the publication as a "yuppie" mag from various thinkers of his time and the importance of being both political and, well, modern.
"The Face was never preachy. It was never about deciding what was going to be 'cool' next week. It was just whatever the staff were into, and then there would be people on the periphery who would come closer and closer until they became a part of it too – I’m sure that’s what happened with you. The Face was about forming a network, pre-Facebook" adds Logan on the online resurrection of the magazine.
Launched by Logan in London in 1980, The Face is regarded as one of the originals, definitive style magazines of our turbulent times. A cultural trailblazer, covering music, fashion, film, TV, society, politics and global current affairs from its very beginning The Face was the ideal platform of voice for a generation which demanded groundbreaking visuals with groundbreaking, witty thoughts.
Featuring an eclectic and rather iconic line of cover stars, from Kate Moss to Alexander McQueen, New Order to The Stone Roses, Grace Jones to David Beckham, Beyoncé to Björk, the magazine worked with some of the best writers (aka Julie Burchill), photographers, stylists and designers in the world and throughout its first period of publication managed to be part of the culture itself. Not merely reporting it. "For over 25 years, The Face was at the heart of British and international creativity" note the editors of the newly relaunched mag.
"Now, in 2019, The Face is reborn. A new team with a new vision for a new age, but proudly retaining the magazine’s founding vision and core principals. A forward-thinking, multi-platform title staying true to Logan’s pioneering spirit. The Face will continue to champion fresh talent in music, fashion, TV, film and beyond; fly the flag for provocative, rigorous, long-form journalism; and celebrate the best in style and graphic design. It is a space for immersive, dynamic, multi-faceted stories. It is a space for fun, passion, and enthusiasm" notes The Face's latest army of faith.
For the time being Bureau Borsche, the renowned for its versatility graphic design studio redefined the visual language of The Face for our digital times. Mirko Borsche first became involved in the project after receiving an email from Dan Flower, the magazine’s managing director reports It's Nice That.
"He asked whether I would be interested in designing a website and magazine that was from the 90s – he didn’t mention the name, but he’d left The Face’s logo in the footer of his email, so I knew that’s what it was about. After three or four emails, we agreed [Bureau Borshe] would do the art direction and creative direction for the magazine and the website" Borsche notes of the just relaunched online edition of an iconic magazine and brand that defines an era.
Rebranding Neville Brody’s iconic graphic design legacy is risky, Borsche says but eventually, the same DNA runs free in this relaunching that is totally revamped. "We re-did all the typefaces, we tweaked the logo and redesigned the layouts” he adds of the magazine which will feature three new and custom typefaces -one solely for online use and the other two for the first print issue.
Relaunched and reimagined as theface.com since last April The Face is resurrected as a quarterly print magazine starting with the September issue. Will it be as original and definitive as it was? The bet is on.