I thought we’d just done the captions wonky but Terry probably knew all along what he was doing.” Jones turned 60 this year (he’s a granddaddy too), but he hasn’t lost his guerrilla touch, according to Knight “He still has a sense of anarchy. “We used to stick white pieces of paper on to the photos for the captions,” recalls Robin Derrick, who started out at i-D and is now Vogue’s creative director “Sometimes the captions wouldn’t fit, and they’d overrun I remember once seeing a Levi’s ad. “i-D has also clearly influenced a whole wave of photography,” says Knight. “It really set the tone for the neo-realist, grunge photography that followed and allowed David Sims, Corinne Day and Juergen Teller to do what they do.” The magazine’s situationist-style art direction has had more than its fair share of imitators over the years. “What I’m amazed at is the stuff that no f one was interested in in 1980.
Street fashion is what everyone’s interested now,” says a bemused Terry Jones. Indeed not only do entire Japanese magazines now dedicate themselves to “street trends” but the verit?As Seen” pages in Vogue prove that Jones may have left 27 years ago, but his influence has more than returned. “I remember once they reproduced my placement Xeroxes rather than my actual prints.” Still, such production values never affected i-D’s role as an image-maker, with cover portraits that propelled some of the biggest stars of the period: Sade, Madonna, Grace Jones – all of whom winked for i-D, just like the masthead. In the same way that the magazine identified the talent of the future, it also acted as a launch pad for many of the big-name photographers working today – Wolfgang Tillmans, Mario Testino, Terry Richardson and Craig McDean to name but a few.
“It was shambolic when it first started,” says Knight, who recalls that anything left lying around the house for long enough – passports, taxi receipts, holiday snaps – would end up in the magazine. “I wanted to get back the physical side of design where it was made with a sense of urgency and the idea that it was made just before you picked it up and read it,” he explains “Conceptually I wanted it to reflect that moment in time. And by using hand skills, we could do that.” This lo-fi methodology was born out of necessity as much as ideology. While i-D now has a full-time staff and offices in Shoreditch, east London, back then a procession of moonlighters would put the magazine together in Jones’s West Hampstead home and take turns distributing the magazine out of the back of a Cadillac or van. It’s what Jones termed “instant design” or “controlled chaos”.