I.D. Magazine

I’ve commented on how brands are mortal, and how they die. The latest death is I.D. Magazine (not to be confused with i-D magazine), which for decades had been a rock in the design community. They loved it so much, in fact, that a “wake” was held, celebrating the people and legacy of I.D.

So if everyone loved it, why did it die? Simple: the brand wasn’t clearly focused. The management and editors at I.D. had wrestled for years as to whether the mag is a trade publication, aimed at designers and those in creative professions, or a consumer mag, serving as a bit of eye candy for the general magazine-reading public who may not be so concerned with the behind-the-scenes of how it all was made.

This duality was the kiss of death. Brands that can’t focus are doomed — or as a Russian-born friend of mine put it, “a little bit of everything is usually a whole lot of [fucking] nothing.” It makes everything difficult, especially selling your brand as the blank blank blank in your field, and not just half-blank and half-blank in two fields.

Perhaps I.D. will be reborn as two different mags, each with smaller circulations, more defined readership, better targeted ads, and more appropriate editorial content. Shit, maybe I should start one.