The latest cover of Dazed dropped today — two covers, to be exact, with two very cool-looking Scarlett Johanssons (red lip, no red lip). The magazine dropped something else with this issue: The latter half of its title. Dazed & Confused has now become just Dazed.
Dazed EIC Tim Noakes says that the name change was driven by the desire for a more consistent brand identity across print and digital. According to Noakes, Dazed is "digital-first" at this point, and the rebranding is coupled with a reduction in print publication from 12 to six issues per year.
"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."
In some ways, the newly bi-monthly Dazed falls more in line with meaty bookazines like CR Fashion Book than with your typical monthlies. It's laminated and glossy, made of better paper stock. All the "superfluous messaging" (Noakes' words) is gone from the cover. And the title is narrower than it used to be, letting the image dominate the page.
Removing story teasers from the front cover partly owes to the fact that the new production cycle doesn't easily accommodate time-sensitive pieces. It's also a testament to the fact that news articles (and information generally) are a thing of the online world.
"The whole point is that it's a new era," Noakes says. "The print magazine has to be ultra collectible."
Dazed Digital's web traffic has grown 5 times over the last year, and Noakes says the magazine is still selling 45,000 copies globally through subscriptions (digital and mail) and on newsstands.
Budget-wise, the cash from the six issues that aren't getting printed is going into ramping up web production. Dazed Digital is starting a daily news section on trends at the fringes of youth and fashion culture and is commissioning more online-only longform stories.
There's also a video series profiling female directors in the pipeline. Noakes says that if there's an underrepresented group that's not being represented by culture at large (e.g. women directing in Hollywood), Dazed wants to cover them.
"We want to champion people who want to do different things," Noakes says.
But in light of all this change, Noakes hasn't lost sight of the publication's history. The title Dazed & Confused still runs along the new magazine's spine.
"It was a decision to make a break from the past and not lose touch with our roots." Then he adds: "We're not confused about what we want to do."