This year, to celebrate THE QUEEN’S DIAMOND JUBILEE, i-D published 60 cover stars. i-D’s founder and Editor-in-Chief Terry Jones explains why he believes MULTIPLE COVERS ARE THE FUTURE and why – with i-D’s punk origins – he chose to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in this way.
You are a big champion of multiple covers, this year publishing anything from six to sixteen covers per issue. Please may you explain why? I decided to do multiple covers after publishing the i-D covers book with Taschen in 2010. Themes have been part of i-D’s identity since 1980 and diversity has been the editorial undercurrent from the start. When Holly, our editor, suggested we do The Royalty Issue at the beginning of 2012, I thought her idea should be the big idea for the whole year, not just for the spring issue. The challenge was to find 60 potential Queens to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We kicked off with a diverse collection of covers; reaching 54 individuals by the time we published our fall issue.
What other themes did you explore? The themes this year were Whatever The Weather, Royalty, Lights, Camera, Action, Youth, Role Models and Wisdom. In Paris, during the spring/summer 13 collections, I received a personal note from Karl Lagerfeld, one of our Royalty Issue cover stars. Karl loved the issue but felt that sixteen covers was ‘rather a lot.’ My reply to Karl explained the challenge of creating 60 individual winks or hidden eye covers.
What inspired your cover choices? I was inspired by my schoolboy stamp album which features a single page of three pence purple postage stamps, taken from the weekly letters I received from home. i-D started life as a street style magazine in the early 80s to document London’s punk scene.
Surely a punk ethos and royalty are mutually exclusive? The punk, pistols, and anarchy ethos of our early issues is still in our DNA, but I liked how my page of postmarked stamps gave Graham, our Art Director, the perfect i-D graphic opportunity. Unfortunately the Post Office legal department doesn’t work to deadlines and we were unable to run The Queen as a cover in the end, saving us any defence and legal fees.
How do you ensure your covers offer enough diversity to appeal to every audience? Whether we can cover the full spectrum of today’s multicultural minestrone within these 60 covers is not really important. We plan to continue evolving with all the publishing platforms available, and the hidden eye/ wink is now 350 plus, strong and growing. i-D always set out to lead, infiltrate and inspire so those that continue to follow are i-D’s global disciples, from east to west, north to south, themes and multiple covers are everywhere.
Who or what would it take for you to return to publishing just one cover? Maybe next year I’ll do a whole issue of cover winks.