Design Week magazine acquired and set for relaunch this year

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Online design magazine Design Week has been acquired by its web development company Interconnect, saving it from closure.

Interconnect purchased the company from its previous owner Xeim, which also runs Marketing Week and Creative Review, after working as Design Week’s service provider since 2015.

“We felt that taking ownership would inject new vitality into the brand,” Interconnect director David Coveney said in a statement.

“Design Week is known for its quality analysis and broad coverage of the design sector. We intend to maintain these strengths and will also invest in a new design and content strategy to enhance the publication’s relevance and reach.”

The news comes after the magazine, focused on the business of design, had announced its imminent closure last December after 38 years.

Set for relaunch in 2024

The magazine’s website was initially set to be taken offline by mid-January, as Xeim’s parent company Centaur Media has decided to refocus on its “core audience of marketers” via its other publications.

But the website remains online to this day and, although a concrete date is yet to be fixed, Coveney told InPublishing the aim is to recruit staff and relaunch Design Week this year in time to resume its annual awards.

Old Design Week magazine cover
Design Week has been acquired by Interconnect. Photo by Jeremy Myerson

Based in Liverpool, Interconnect has functioned exclusively as a web development and design studio in recent years.

But, according to Coveney, it was originally founded as a digital-only publisher in 1996 before pivoting to tech services.

“These are exciting times for us, and we’ve been working with several past members of staff to help solidify our plans for the relaunch,” Coveney told Dezeen of the relaunch.

“We also operate as Standfirst, which is our studio brand, and have been involved in design for many years,” he added.

“Jeremy Myerson said that Design Week were innovators and risk-takers in the past. That’s our plan for the future. It has to be the plan – without that approach you can’t thrive in today’s fast-paced world.”

Struggles of publishing

Design Week itself was initially launched as a print publication in 1986 with Jeremy Myerson as the founding editor, making it the UK’s first weekly business-to-business design magazine.

The magazine printed its last physical edition in 2011 as it made the switch to being a digital-only publisher.

When Design Week’s closure was first announced, Myerson told Dezeen the news was “disappointing” but “not entirely unexpected”, as it followed the closure of design magazine Blueprint in 2020.

“I think it shows how print-based magazines can struggle to adapt to the demands of digital 24/7 publishing,” he said.

“It also shows just how global design has become. A UK-centric journal made sense in the 1980s at a time when Centaur, the publisher of Design Week, was an innovator and a risk-taker. Not today, it seems.”

The main image is courtesy of Interconnect.

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