'Dazed and Confused' Goes Digital-First

This week marks the beginning of a new era for magazine Dazed & Confused. Not only has it ditched half of its title, now calling itself Dazed, but it has also downsized to six issues a year. Featuring Scarlett Johansson on two different covers, the spring inaugural edition shows off a bigger and bolder redesign. 

Just like the rest of the world, Dazed is now "digital-first." A need for a consistent brand identity seemed to drive the name change of the fashion and culture glossy. According to Fashionista: “Everyone refers to us as Dazed,” Noakes says. “Dazed Digital is our website. On Twitter we’re @DazedMagazine. It’s become shorthand over the years.”

The new cover style resembles the subscriber copies of many other publications. The "superfluous messaging," as Noakes called it, has disappeared, partly because there is no longer a need for time-sensitive teasers. Along with a more narrow and centered title, the lack of text allows the reader to see the laminated cover as a work of art, rather than just a product of commercialization. Fashionista compares the new and improved Dazed to bookazines like CR Fashion Book, and Noakes explains, "The whole point is that it's a new era. The print magazine has to be ultra collectible."

This concept of collectibility is proof of the dramatic change in the purpose of publications. Now more like current and cultural coffee table books rather than just fashion and celebrity news sources, print magazines of the modern era have been forced to take a different approach to journalism. With a switch to online media, every single issue must be beautiful enough to showcase, and Dazed plans on curating art from front to back of book. Noakes says that each issue will invite a different artist to design 12 pages and exhibit exclusive original artwork.

Noakes assures us that with fewer issues, there is a greater budget for Web production. As a result, the publication will be doubling the amount of daily content on Dazed Digital, which is also starting a breaking news section and producing more online longform pieces. In addition, Dazed is launching Females First, a "radical film initiative that champions women directors."

As the world of media brings forth constant changes, the creative geniuses that inhabit it continue to come up with new ways to inspire and engage the reader. When it comes to maintaining the cultural uniqueness and voice of Dazed, Noakes assures us that there is no confusion whatsoever. At the end of his letter, he says"All that, plus more of the emerging talent, comment and opinion you already know and love. Welcome to the next era of Dazed. Enjoy irresponsibly."

We're on it.

Image: Dazed Digital

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