The Face (magazine)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Face was a magazine started in May 1980 by Nick Logan out of his publishing house Wagadon. Logan had previously created titles such as Smash Hits, and had been an editor at the New Musical Express in the 1970s during one of its most successful periods.

The magazine, often referred to as the "80s fashion bible", was influential in championing a number of fashion music and style trends, whilst keeping a finger on the pulse of youth culture for over two decades; its best selling period was in the mid-1990s when editor Richard Benson brought in a younger team that included art director Lee Swillingham. While Benson ensured the magazine reflected the UK’s revitalized art and music scene, Swillingham changed the visual direction of the magazine to showcase new photography. It was during this time that the work of fashion photographers Inez Van Lamsweerde, Steven Klein, and Elaine Constantine was first published.

In the late 1980s, the magazine contained an article suggesting that Jason Donovan was a hypocrite and in consequence of the subsequent court case it needed the readers' donations to pay substantial libel damages. The magazine set up the Lemon Aid fund, so called as one of the points debated in the libel case was whether Jason Donovan used lemon juice on his hair to highlight it. There was even a special aid CD by The Shamen with special mixes to gain funds to keep THE FACE alive afterwards. In 1999, Wagadon was sold to the publishers EMAP.

Notable names associated with the magazine were designer & typographer Neville Brody (Art Director, 1981-86), creative director Lee Swillingham (Art Director 1993-1999), Julie Burchill, Tony Parsons, photographer Juergen Teller and writers including Jon Savage and Fiona Russell Powell.

By its May 2004 closure, the format had become stale, there were too many competitors, sales had declined and advertising revenues had consequently reduced. The publishers EMAP closed the title, in order to concentrate resources on its more successful magazines, however its fashion spin-off Pop still survives as a stand alone magazine brand.


  • Nick Logan
  • Sheryl Garrett
  • Richard Benson
  • Adam Higginbotham
  • Johnny Davis
  • Neil Stevenson 2002-2004

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