Article Archive

  1. List_graphic-design

    There’s been so much superb graphic design this year, from posters to identity projects to cake shop branding. The things that have got you most excited have included work for huge clients like Airbnb, posters showing the innocent victims of gun violence and on a more light-hearted note, some very sweet work for a confectionary shop. All brilliant, smart projects that show the breadth and skill of 2014’s graphic design output.

  2. List_editors-picks-interviews

    One of the best things about being at It’s Nice That is the incredible multitude of brilliant, hilarious, weird and insanely talented people we get to talk to on a weekly basis, whether we’re dragging them around the corner from our studio for lunch in Euro Cafe, trying to squeeze as many questions as physically possible into a 20 minute Skype call or emailing back and forth for weeks at a time. The end of the year is a time for looking back, or so I’m told, so here’s my selection of the very best interviews from the site this year across photography, art direction, game design and illustration. feet up and off you

  3. List_will-h

    It’s Nice That founder and director Will Hudson’s appearances on the site are few and far between these days, but we managed to sit him down long enough to give us a flavour of how the past 12 months has been for him. He’s a man of big arms, few words and strong opinions and as our lodestar he guides us through whatever the art and design world throws at us. Here’s his reflections on 2014…

  4. List_illustration

    Illustration, more than any other discipline we cover on It’s Nice That, teaches us an awful lot about our audience when aggregated into a top ten list of articles. You’re a weird bunch, it has to be said; dirty-minded and deviant. How else do we explain the creepy comics of Joan Cornella, Laura Callaghan’s tales of Tinder cannibalism and Nimura Daisuke’s gratuitous GIFs? Granted there’s some stunning vintage advertising, an archive of emoji and some wonderfully diverse editorial illustration in there too, but for the most part it’s just smut and violence. Merry Christmas!

  5. List_editors-picks-misc

    The miscellaneous category is rarely added to, but when it is it’s usually with someone or something pretty spesh. I like to think of it a little bit like that drawer or cupboard in your house where you stash the really useful crap that is too good to throw away. In this list I’ve compiled a few of my favourites from 2014, from bread-simulation games to round-the-clock breakfast radio. If you’re still hungry for more miscellany, just head over here.

  6. Main

    10 hour days require some diverse, entertaining playlists. And with an office holding about 20 or so music fans beneath its roof, you can imagine there is quite a lot of different tastes floating around. In this mixtape we have tried to sum up the general nature of the music we listen to at It’s Nice That, meanwhile keeping it cool enough that you could probably put it on at a party and get away with it (apart from R.Kelly’s World’s Greatest – you may want to skip that in trendy company).

  7. List_maisie-s

    This year I travelled a bit, read a lot and learned to cook a roast dinner. Here are some other good things I picked up along the way.

  8. List_editors-picks-record-sleeves

    Unlike most music-based list features this selection of the best records of 2014 has nothing at all to do with the tunes. It’s simply a list of some of my favourite sleeves to appear on the site, based purely on their aesthetics. In some cases the music etched into the vinyl is straight-up terrible, but cast your acoustic prejudices to one side for the time being and get ready to appreciate some seriously slick sleeve design.

  9. List_moving-image

    Encompassing animation, music videos, short films and adverts, moving image is not only one of the most eclectic end-of-year round-ups, it’s also the only category that doesn’t (for obvious reasons) get celebrated in the It’s Nice That Annual. But that’s slightly unfair as some of the biggest hitters on the site this year fall in this field, and it’s a fantastically wide-ranging top ten, ranging from CGI trickery and super-weird comedy to a thought-provoking short about gender roles.

  10. List_james-c

    This year feels like it was over before it even began – which is a total cliché but it’s God’s honest truth. It feels like just yesterday I was launched blinking and hungover into the first days of 2014 and now I couldn’t really tell you what I got up to. Anyway, it was a whirlwind, a rollercoaster ride full of emotional ups and downs, physical highs and lows, triumphs of spirit and ingestions of spirits. Yeah 2014, you were alright, I liked you, though at times you were a bit of a t**t.

  11. List_editors-picks-books

    It’s not exactly easy to pick out the best books from 2014. For a start, books are no singular thing – they’re a receptacle, whether for words, photographs, images, art projects or anything else you care to put to paper. As such, we’ve got something of a mixture here, ranging from indispensable advice for creatives to a peek at a Dalí-curated dinner party to a sublime compendium of the best bits of BUTT magazine. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, more a teeny shelf from the great library of 2014’s best and brightest publications.

  12. List_liv-s

    Hello. My name’s Liv, and this year my best three moments have been hosting the Modern Magazine Conference, interviewing my sister for Riposte magazine, and flashing Robert Plant at the Camden Roundhouse. Merry Christmas!

  13. Main

    Do you reckon Ai Wei Wei might like a bouncy castle for Christmas? We do. There’s a whopping total of SIX people in this podcast including It’s Nice That Directors Alex Bec and Will Hudson, and boy is it hectic. In it we discuss the creative world in 2014, the year gone by and the one approaching us, and tales of Rob going to church when he was little. Sound good? It’s better. Merry Christmas from the whole It’s Nice That team, and we will see you on the other side for more Studio Audience!

  14. List_rob-a

    Because we start putting together the It’s Nice That Annual during the summer, it feels like we’ve been rounding up the year for weeks now in one way or another. I once read that when the restaurant critic A A Gill writes a review he takes no notes at all, and instead lets his mind sift out what it feels is particularly noteworthy and memorable. I’ve taken a similar tack here, which hopefully gives my answers a sense of authenticity if nothing else…

  15. List_photography

    Photography is basically unique in its capacity to preserve moments of time for evermore, so recapping the top ten photography projects of the year feels akin to stepping into a Labyrinth-esque alternative realm where you can look over the whole of 2014 in one neat glass ball clutched in David Bowie’s capable hands. This year we’ve got a woman who photographs herself every year in a pair of Y-fronts, two grown men re-enacting childhood photographs and some inimitable music photography from the 1990s, so step back, picture Bowie and let through our highlights.

  16. List_emily-g

    “It was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times,” as that monkey in The Simpsons unforgettably put it. I joined It’s Nice That almost two months ago now, and it’s been a great way to see in the last few months of 2014. While it feels a bit odd being on the other side of interview questions, it’s been nice to talk about what’s been a really lovely year in many ways; helped along by some equally lovely creative output, which I’ve rambled on breathlessly about below.

  17. List_editors-picks-magazines

    Pretty much my favourite Tweet of the year came from OFFSCREEN founder Kai Brach who summed up what it’s like to work in publishing in just three words: “Magazines are hard.” That being so, it’s been another terrific year in which all manner of brilliant publications have dropped through our door. The big-hitters have continued to shine – in particular The Gentlewoman, The Paris Review, New York Magazine and The FT Weekend Magazine – while newcomers like Dirty Furniture, Violet Magazine and NOON have made brilliant bows. Elsewhere Riposte and Intern have both developed in exciting ways, building on the potential of their first issues and KENZINE continues to blaze a trail when it comes to branded offerings.

  18. List_the-top-50

    Hello and welcome to the top 50 articles that have been most viewed on It’s Nice That this year. As always, it’s a pretty unexpected mishmash of really great work, viral gems and utterly weird nonsense. Congrats to everyone featured, there are a lot of people out there who have clicked on your project an awful lot of times. Alright, on yer marks, starting from number 50, here we go…

  19. List

    It’s Nice That is delighted to confirm that we’ll be media partnering with Design Indaba in Cape Town for a second year in 2015. The conference in February brings together thousands of delegates and a stellar line-up of speakers in the South African capital for several days of creative inspiration. And although this year’s line-up has not been released yet in full, we do know that among those taking to the stage will be ad-land legend Dan Wieden, exciting thinker Dominic Wilcox, innovative Dutch duo Studio Formafantasma and animator Ng’endo Mukii.

  20. Main

    Artist Larry van Pelt wants to spread the word that “Jesus in life makes a difference.” Already a keen artist, Florida-based Larry decided to use his creative skills to spread the message, and began drawing Jesus in a number of different working environments. His collection involves a huge range of work scenarios, including a truck driver, a secretary, a carpet layer, a bodybuilder and a french horn player.

  21. List

    It’s the overriding rule of all things trend-driven that as soon as we take a big leap forward in technology we start to look back nostalgically, triggering all manner of retro imagery, touches and techniques. At least it seems that way, and I’m sure I’m not alone in how often I’m drawn to graphic design which places hand-drawn type and recycled imagery alongside high-tech touches.

  22. List

    We’ve long admired the work of Californian set designer and art director Adi Goodrich. A veritable mistress of creating the sort of strange, cartoon-like scenes that pop with colour and ideas, she’s worked with big-name clients like Michel Gondry and Wieden+Kennedy, but she recently got in touch about an intriguing solo exhibition at The Standard hotel in Hollywood, entitled Like Thiiiiis. The show takes the form of an installation in a glass box behind the hotel’s reception desk, and features a number of images that look to show what it means to be a young creative at the start of your career.

  23. List

    December might be a time of festive joy and giving, but it’s also the month of unsigned Christmas cards, weird crackers and press releases disguised as Christmas gifts, so naturally we decided to eschew all of the above and bring you all the other brilliant stuff we got sent this month, with little or no relation to the 25th. It’s not that we’re Scrooges, we just really love handmade zines, independently published books, funny printed plates and build-your-own virtual reality players, so we’re channeling our festive spirit through that instead. Okay? Great! Enjoy.

  24. List

    We recently came across Scottish artist Sam Lyon who resides in Dundee and makes these jiggling, nonsensical, fleshy GIFs. The creatures channel Flubber, sea cucumbers and those floppy little rubber sausages you used to get at school. The technical skill it must take to make them is beyond me I’m afraid, so I can’t shed any light on how this is done, but what I can say is that Sam’s style has the winning formula of hilarious, addictive and brand new. Every face-crease, every stomach bulge, every wobbly bit is so over-pronounced, and moves as if it’s full of goo. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before, have you? You can see the inspiration behind these little guys over on Sam’s entertaining and brilliant blog. It’s also worth saying that anyone who codes a fried egg GIF on to their cursor is post-worthy in my books.

  25. List

    Parisian studio Playground’s website really does reflect its name – a joyful metaphorical ball-pond of colour and fun. The studio works on graphic design, illustration, branding and motion graphics projects; uniting all their work through a fantastic eye for colour and line to retina-grabbing effect. As something of a huge Of Montreal fan, I was particularly drawn in by their work for the band’s 2012 release Daughter of Cloud, which offers a lush, psychedelic alternative to their usual illustration-led artwork.

  26. List

    A lot can happen in a day. And when a lot of things happen, you get a lot of pictures, as shown to rather mind-blowing effect in Parag K. Mital and Evan Boehm’s video collage Untitled No. 1 – a piece composed entirely of images collected from the previous 24 hour news cycle. The day in question was 10 December last year, though the pair is now releasing the video with some superbly searing, brutal new music by Rob Hart.

  27. Main

    Fate dealt us a good hand a few weeks back, while we were searching for a portrait of Raymond Briggs to accompany an interview we did with him in the latest Printed Pages. The best one we found, one that summed up the temperament of Raymond effortlessly, was by a photographer called Toby Glanville. A quick look at his site confirmed that Toby was a very, very good photographer, with a strong body of work that seems to hold a style, a smell, and a vibe. Toby kindly allowed us to use his portrait of Raymond for the magazine, and to find out a little bit more about his exquisite photography, we asked him a few questions. Here he is on the art a good portrait, his top three photographers and that day he spent with Raymond…

  28. List

    At its core, dance is about innovation, beauty and movement – ideas executed brilliantly in this identity for a European contemporary dance festival by Verena Hennig and Ludwig Janoff. The clever designs take a very hand-crafted, even scrawled look, aiming to play on the idea that “the classic ballet thrives on the idea of perfection,” according to Verena.

  29. List

    Last week features editor Liv Siddall put out a call to arms to the illustration community, inviting practitioners young and old to push their discipline further and keep their work exciting and fresh. She cited in particular the regurgitation of the same established names at illustration fairs and events as a cynical way to flog tickets and boost sales instead of creating a platform for new, innovative work.

  30. List

    If you happen to be in central London doing your Christmas shopping this week you might well come across a rare gem of a shop in Soho, home to glacéau vitaminwater’s unique pop-up, in which a host of young creatives have been creating bespoke wrapping paper for those gift-givers who are all fingers and thumbs, and don’t fancy giving their presents in your standard brown paper packaging.

  31. Main

    Just as I was wondering nervously if Laura Marling had gone and got lost in the wilderness of Joshua Tree for good, she’s gone and announced a new album – hoorah! Just like Beyonce, Laura has accompanied the sudden announcement of her new songs with a video: a truly beautiful little animation from London studio Art & Graft. Featuring a few drops of ink transforming slowly into a wild, headstrong horse galloping through a desert to a world unknown, this powerful little piece of film is enough to remind us of Laura’s own majesty. The rather moving essay on her brand new website backs this up perfectly. Welcome back Laura, you’ve been missed.

  32. List

    Among the plethora of independent erotic titles all shimmying for our attention on the newsstands, Odiseo is one that shimmies a little more seductively. Not only has it adopted an altogether more sophisticated case-bound format, it’s constantly seeking to reevaluate what an erotic title should be. Like the golden age of Playboy each issue is packed with great imagery as well as inventive and engaging writing – something often left as an afterthought in new titles.