1. Malika-favre-typographic-kama-sutra-itsnicethat-list

    Graphic designer-turned furniture designer Matthew Galvin is, as we discovered last month, a really nice bloke, and one with a thing or two to say about branding. Together with his brother, he is Galvin Brothers, the furniture company with an “honest to goodness ethos” that knows how key graphic touch points are to any successful business. The pair was recently snagged by The Jameson Works to transform a London bar into one best suited for sipping on whiskey, working to the brief “Form and Function.”

  2. Karlssonwilker-here-itsnicethat-list

    Here 2015 draws ever nearer and we’re reaching the home stretch in our profiles of some of the great creative talents taking to the stage. Next up is karlssonwilker’s Hjalti Karlsson. Hjalti met Jan Wilker while working for graphic design superstar Stefan Sagmeister and they founded their own New York studio, karlssonwilker, at the turn of the millennium.

  3. Astoria-itsnicethat-main

    Now here’s something we definitely haven’t seen before: the results of a filmmaker-in-residence at some of London’s care homes for the elderly. London-based artist and producer Phoebe Davies was invited by Clod Ensemble to be part of their programme Extravagant Acts for Mature People, spending three months in two care homes observing what went on.

  4. List-martin-groch-its-nice-thatera-obalka-2-final-na-web

    “A natural talent for combining type, image and abstract forms” is how we described Slovakian designer Martin Groch when we first posted about him. We stand by that, and now his talents are being put to good use under the discerning eye of Eike König at Hort, where Martin’s currently interning. During his time there he’s worked with the team on some great graphics and illustrations for Read magazine, which suit his blocky, slick style perfectly. Elsewhere in his portfolio we’ve been admiring some great cover designs for architecture magazine ERA21, and some beautiful posters for a Czech documentary film festival. “The whole concept is about confrontation between sci-fi concepts and our present reality,” Martin explains. It seems fitting for his style, which manages to articulate normal things in a disorientating, bold and futuristic style.

  5. Hana-knizova-itsnicethat-list

    I know I’m not alone in my deep-rooted fascination with twins, identical or otherwise, and Czech-born, London-based photographer Hana Knizova is just one of many to help me indulge it. Her series Family Matters features ten pairs of womb-sharing siblings, shrouded in like-minded mystery and wearing similar attire, and draws upon aspects of their relationship in carefully composed and almost classical portraits. They’re beguiling and somewhat mystical to look it. 

  6. Post-husler_rose-istnicethat-list

    London studio POST– has built an admirable reputation for clean, considered design work for clients across the world. Perusing their portfolio recently we came across this pleasing work for Husler & Rose, an online boutique that sells furniture, homeware and other bits and pieces. Too often we see identities for these kinds of shops that tick off cliched checklists ripped from Instagram mood boards but I feel the POST– team has navigated these pitfalls with skill and style. Inspired by “Herbert Bayer’s Bauhaus posters and the old jazz record sleeve designs of Duke Ellington,” the designers have developed a relevant look and feel that works across both print and digital collateral and breathes a little life into a couple of quite standard conventions.

  7. Marianbantjes-designawards-itsnicethat-list

    It’s design award season (like the film world equivalent but fewer red carpets and more pictures of people staring at posters) and as ever the winners will be much discussed across the creative industries. But genuinely useful advice for those who enter has been thin on the ground, until now. Having relaunched her website, the brilliant Marian Bantjes has also started a new blog (huzzah!) and recently wrote a series of tips for those designers putting their work up for awards, based on her extensive experience as a judge. You can add comments below, or just soak up the wisdom…

  8. Danstafford-printedpages-itsnicethat-list

    You may remember back in late 2014 we held a life drawing show with the lovely Mike Perry in which some of our more adventurous readers shed their clothes to be drawn by a panel of pro illustrators. Well the whole experience got us thinking about life drawing in general and its evolution in the art world. So we went about researching and interviewing people on both sides of the easel to find out why life drawing matters and what both camps get out of it.

  9. List-its-nice-thatvs_davef6

    Dave Franco, of brother-of-James-and-being-on-telly fame, is totally losing it – if a new film for Vs magazine is to be believed. Entitled A Rough Day and directed by Guy Aroch, the rather tongue-in-cheek production sees poor old Dave throw a dramatic stroppy in his car, perhaps understandable as he’s just learnt his girlfriend has “met someone else.” He takes a baseball bat to his car, then a huge mallet (why does he have these things? what else was he going to do with them?), then a can of petrol. Before he sets fire to the whole sorry mess though, the phone rings. It’s a woman! Wanna know what happens next? Best watch it for yourself.

  10. Carlindiaz-itsnicethat-main

    It’s rare to find people who can animate with true flow while still retaining their signature style, but in the case of Carlín Díaz it seems he’s mastered the art perfectly. An illustrator who dabbles in moving image, Carlín is one of the small but perfect little group of illustrators and animators that live and work in Paris. We’ve heard that over in Paris the illustration scene can be hard to crack, and even harder to earn a living from, yet in his bio Carlín’s mission statement is: “Let’s make attractive and expressive shapes,” which suggests he’s doing alright. Personally I haven’t seen someone with a strong a personal style as Carlín’s in a long while – kind of psychedelic with a hint of mysticism and sauciness, yet still retaining that hypnotic, liquid-like flow throughout.

  11. Itsnicethat-listfreunde-von-freunden-erik-spiekermann-0697
    “Someone made a map of at least 600 people in Berlin who have worked with me at some time,” Erik Spiekermann tells Freunde von Freunden. “It just means that I am old.”
  12. List-muir-mcneil-its-nice-that-muir-mcneil-its-nice-that-lcc_type_design_1200

    It’s Summer Shows-time again, and so we’re bracing ourselves for another slew of smart identity projects to go with them. Today, we present to you the work of MuirMcNeil, which has created the identity for the show at London College of Communication, where the duo teach. MuirMcNeil is comprised of Hamish Muir, lead tutor of BA Graphic and Media Design and Paul McNeil, course leader for MA Contemporary Typographic Media. Naturally, it’s a very typographic identity, and “confronts traditional letterform” according to LCC.

  13. Caribou-itsnicethat-list

    When a song is so moving and beautiful and spot-on, making a video for it can’t be an easy task. Something too saccharine would cheapen it, something too literal would feel a bit lame, and something too abstract could seem a lazy solution. Lorenzo Fonda, who has directed the video for Caribou’s I Can’t Do Without You, has deftly avoided all these pitfalls, creating a piece of film that’s beautiful, strange, colourful and gorgeously cinematic. The narrative-driven piece shows a sweet little boy running about trying to catch an enormous, carnivalesque fish; its glorious tones and textures glistening in the sunlight adding a colour and somehow heightening the pathos of the track it illustrates. We won’t tell you what happens, but it’s as heartbreaking as it is joyful; following our unlikely stars through the countryside. The video does exactly what music videos should do – adding a new depth and meaning to a song while letting the listener drift off and form their own, personal narratives while enjoying the one we’re shown.

  14. Lea-itsnicethat-main

    Great work here from German illustrator and comic artist Lea Heinrich who, according to her online bio, “often dreams about being on a subway train traveling underneath the massive steel and concrete construction of New York City. Sometimes she observes the other passengers, sometimes there’s nobody else on the train, and sometimes she doesn’t know where she is going, but either way it’s always exciting.” Cool! Her work is a nice mishmash of urban cuteness à la Andy Rementer and old German folk tales, and her comics have a wit about them not dissimilar to someone like Frau Franz or Matt the Horse. As well as being totally adept at cartoons and comics and illustrations, Brooklyn-based Lea can also design a banging poster, which is always a big plus.

  15. Ecal-bejining-connection-itsnicethat-list-3

    After a holiday I usually struggle into the arrivals lounge with carrier bags brimming with tat, a couple of sandy disposable cameras, an empty wallet and an Instagram account groaning under the weight of all the gratuitous exotic photographs I’ve inflicted on my friends. I don’t often spend my time coming up with innovative alternative ways to log my trip. Which is the difference between me and the BA Media and Interaction Design students at ECAL, or the École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne in Switzerland.

  16. Alanfletcher-printedpages-itsnicethat-list

    As one of the founders of both Pentagram and D&AD, Alan Fletcher left an indelible mark on the design world. But as is often case with such a towering figure, the iconography can predominate and the real person recedes as we consider his life and work. What a treat then that for the new issue of Printed Pages we were given access to his sketchbooks, thanks to his wife and daughter Paola and Raffaela.

  17. Ditto-gllts-itsnicethat-list

    In Iron Fist Magazine editor Louise Brown’s brilliantly written foreword to God Listens to Slayer, she compares heavy metal music to religion, and the journey from fandom to concert hall to a spiritual pilgrimage. “In the last British census, heavy metal defeated Scientology when 6,242 people claimed to follow it religiously,” Louise explains. “It was official: following Slayer to the ends of the earth was confirmed as a form of worship. But we who live and breathe heavy metal already knew that.”