Poor sales have proved to be the death of the British pop culture magazine, The Face. For 24 years The Face served as a breeding ground for cool through out much of the '80s and '90s. Since its inception, The Face has revolutionized the British magazine industry, merging cutting edge, glossy photography, innovative design and a hip take on the hottest in fashion and music. However, recent years have brought a decline in circulation, as well as failed attempts by owner Emap PLC to sell the publication.
"Despite initial interest from a number of different parties, we have been unable to secure a suitable buyer for The Face and have therefore decided to close the magazine," a spokeswoman for Emap said. The brand for The Face is still owned by Emap and the magazine could reappear "at some stage in the future."
The final issue of The Face hit the shelves two weeks ago. According to the Associated Press, a spokesperson for Emap said that between July and December in 2003 The Face sold approximately 40,000 copies including British sales of 25,000 a month. At the publication's peak in the mid 1980s circulation was over 100,000. In 1999 Emap bought The Face's publisher Wagdon, at that juncture in time the magazine sold some 70,000 copies.
The Face can be credited for helping to launch and publicize many of todays hottest names in fashion, music and art. Its use of ground breaking graphic design and avant-garde photography helped make it one of the most cutting edge magazines when it was at its prime. "The whole look of it, the style, the typography ó everything was very sexy and suddenly everything around it looked conservative," Paul Morley, a former contributor to The Face, wrote in The Times of London last month. "The reason for The Face's demise is that everyone else caught up and overtook it. All those culture and lifestyle programs on television are all ultimately derived from The Face," Morley said.