Article Archive

  1. Unnamed-1

    Gather round, charge your glasses and pin back those ears, the pod is back with an elongated episode in which we touch on all manner of art and design extravagance. In the first section we talk about the sumptuous new Seymour Chwast archive, the success of this kind of Photoshop project and i-D’s 18-cover 35th anniversary issue.

  2. Printed-pages-beams-list

    We love our favourite illustrators so much we want to tell the world about them, and we want you to be able to show the world what great taste you have in both illustration and garments too. So what better way to do that than to wear their images on your sleeve, or to be exact, on your chest. Printed Pages has teamed up with Japanese fashion brand Beams to release a limited-edition run of T-shirts from a trio of our very fave illustrators: Kyle Platts, Oscar Bolton Green and Dan Stafford, the man behind the lovely nudes images that graced the spreads of our SS15 Printed Pages.

  3. Nature_nicertuesdays_itsnicethat_list

    We went back to nature for last night’s Nicer Tuesdays with four speakers who explore, question and help make sense of the world around us through their creative practices.

  4. Marc-jacobs-the-feeling-its-nice-that-list

    The whiff of fresh grass or a Watermelon breezer can bring back sweet memories of more carefree, sunshiny days – that seemingly never-ending post GCSE summer where everything seemed possible and one day lolling about in the park hopelessly crushing on someone rolled into the next. The reality was that those days were really a bit grim, often dampened with rain or fake ID issues, and interspersed with equally never-ending seeming days stacking shelves in Sainsbury’s. But that feeling of warmth and nostalgia has been potently evoked in an even more dreamy setting with a cast of enviably gorgeous, carefree Cailfornia young’uns thanks to a new short by Matt Lambert for Marc by Marc Jacobs.

  5. I-d-35th-anniversary-itsnicethat-list

    Never one to do anything by halves, i-D magazine is feting its 35th birthday with a grand total of 18 covers, featuring the most recognisable of supermodels alongside some rising stars of fashion, music, art and film. What’s more, all 18 were shot by the inimitable Alasdair McLellan, who took every image in the issue.

  6. Hannah_whitaker_blue_shirt_it's_nice_that_list

    At first glance you might mistake the puzzle-like, optical quality of Hannah Whitaker’s photographs for the work of Photoshop, but her experimental images are surprisingly physical. A far cry from a nostalgic experiment with film, Hannah plays with ideas about the technical and the handmade as much as she confuses the conventions of photography and abstract art. Throughout her work, grids and mosaics of dots and triangles appear across wintery landscapes and still-lifes.

  7. Marc-and-emma-bts-itsnicethat-list

    Clicking onto Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels’ portfolio site is something like tentatively stepping into a fantasy world inhabited by felt miniatures. Having previously concocted this magical short about woollen wrestling puppets, the Ghent-based filmmaking duo is now back with a new and equally enchanting puppet creation, and this time it’s a sweet, tiny green gorilla.

  8. Namsa-leuba--acrobats-itsnicethat-list

    Half-Guinean, half-Swiss photographer Namsa Leuba is a champion of African visual culture. She channels the contrasts of her African-European roots by looking at tribal identity through a western lens, and for her series Ya Kala Ben – meaning “crossed look” – Namsa draws on the overlapping cultures of her upbringing and explores the rituals and customs of her mother’s native Guinea. Her striking images have been exhibited alongside Martin Parr and Viviane Sassen, and these portraits of local Guinean acrobats who perform at different ceremonies in Conakry are part of the new group show at Tiwani Contemporary, the London gallery that was one our favourites at the debut edition of Photo London last week.

  9. Groszcolab_ascuiandco_itsnicethat_list

    The power of colour and its ability to influence our visual language is fascinating. Using colours to signal change and progression is Australian studio Grosz Co. Lab and their identity for architecture firm Ascui & Co. Architect.

  10. Thomas-traum-kenzo-itsnicethat-list

    If you caught our feature about the continuing collaborative culture of fashion house KENZO in the Winter issue of Printed Pages you’ll already know about Thomas Traum, the digital image-making extraordinaire who is responsible for the brand’s in-store moving graphics, among other things. He’s mastered digital technology in his own extraordinary way, creating moving, surreal, almost hallucinogenic tableaux which play continually in KENZO locations around the country, condensing the brand’s innovative approach into a series of vibrant, evolving situations.

  11. Studiobaer-thomaslohr-itsnicethat-list

    When Studio Baer’s gorgeous book of Thomas Lohr’s plumage photographs arrived in the studio last week, I waxed lyrical about its Japanese paper cover, which felt unlike anything I have ever had the good fortune to stroke before. Add in the subtle, debossed title and I was in publication heaven, but the rest of the editorial team wasn’t so sure –“like weird rubber/reminds me of fingernails down a blackboard/gives me goose pimples” those philistines mewled.

  12. Lundgrenlindqvist-hbtqrethink-itsnicethat-list

    Icon magazine’s Rethink feature – which challenges studios to redesign a well-known identity or industry – has long been a source of innovation and inspiration. In the past we’ve covered Design by St’s fish packaging, Manual’s new US road signage and Studio Makgill’s funeral parlours.

  13. List-kerry-james-marshall_-plunge_-1992.

    There’s a raw, energetic feel to the work of Kerry James Marshall – it’s all bold brushstrokes and bright colours that can’t help but channel a sense of movement and action. The Alabama-born artist now lives in Chicago, and manages to get that raw, outsider art feel combined with a rigorous eye for colour and composition. The works that have particularly pulled us in are the ones that capture their subject in a moment of repose or rapture, whether quietly sunning themselves, looking in the mirror or diving into a pool. They’re the unposed moments where people are truly themselves, and Kerry’s brushes articulate them beautifully.

  14. Danielrozin-pompommirror-itsnicethat-list

    There are a lot of artists doing interesting things with digital but for me the most engaging are those who explore the points at which human and computers come together to create something interactive – such as the Random International collective (of Rain Room fame) and Daniel Rozin. The latter, a New York-based artist, educator and developer, has just opened a new show at the bitforms gallery which includes one of the most striking interactive projects we’ve come across for ages.

  15. Francesca-jane-allen-champion-sportswear-1-list

    We’ve long championed young photographer Francesca Jane Allen. As one of our 2014 Graduates, her work caught our eye for its “lucid, candid photography depicting youth, friendship and true love,” as Liv Siddall put it. Since graduating, Francesca has worked for brands including Topshop and Kickers, and secured commissions for mags like i-D. Sounds like a success story to us, but the reality of life as a freshly-graduated freelancer is one of fear, very hard work and never feeling satisfied.

  16. Bruce-gilden-a-complete-examination-of-middlesex-its-nice-that-list

    Photographer Bruce Gilden has a way with women. Not in that way, of course, but take a look at his photographs of the powerful women of Wall Street for Vice and you’ll see what we mean. The way he shoots is unflinching, apparently unstyled and often unflattering; but the images produced are so arresting in their intensity that the mascara’d gazes of his subjects are extraordinarily powerful. Bruce’s new exhibition at London’s Cob Gallery is just as dynamic as we’ve come to expect, showing a project named A Complete Examination of Middlesex. According to the gallery, the series is “a portrait of Gilden’s experience of London,” compiled with the Archive of Modern Conflict to create the sense of a modern day flaneur observing the ever-changing, often weary faces of the city and its inhabitants.

  17. Universaleverything-sydneyoperahouse-itsnicethat-list

    It may be my former life as a hack but there’s something about the word “biggest” that always piques my interest. That said, ambition only gets you so far and you can’t sacrifice skill or style in a headlong rush for scale. With Universal Everything though, you needn’t worry. On Friday the studio created its largest projection to date, lighting up the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House with hand-drawn animations from 22 of the world’s best creatives. Every year the landmark commissions an artist to work on its curves and Matt Pyke and his team jumped at the chance to take on an opportunity that “epitomises everything we strive for.”

  18. Sea-aiap-fedrigoni-madeinitaly-itsnicethat-list

    Europe has a fine graphic design tradition but certain countries – Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the UK – tend to predominate when it comes to coverage. And so we’re always keen to hear about initiatives that celebrate lesser known design scenes, such as SEA and Fedrigoni’s upcoming exploration of Italy’s graphics heritage. Made In Italy showcases post-war Italian graphic design by way of a show in east London and a series of monographs focussing on some of the most interesting practitioners – Ilio Negri, Heinz Waibl, Franco Grignani and Giancarlo Iliprandi. With amazing access to the Aiap archives in Milan, SEA has also put together a book for the show with the explicit aim of putting this “untapped” subject firmly in the spotlight.

  19. Linus_bill_adrien_horni_ny_karg_catalogue_2014_it's_nice_that_list

    Swiss art duo Linus Bill and Adrien Horni’s ongoing collaboration has produced a great body of irreverent, experimental work. They first joined forces in 2011 when they were invited to produce the artistic supplement of the Swiss Art Directors Club advertising awards. Controversially, they turned the notion of award-winning design it on its head by producing a Xeroxed, deconstructed version celebrating the refused entries. This kind of do-it-yourself subversion has been the undercurrent running through everything the two image-makers (and breakers) have done since.

  20. Eddie-opara-pentagram-frida-kaho-its-nice-that-list

    While there’s no shortage of Pentagram projects on It’s Nice That, a partner whose work we don’t show too often is Eddie Opara. We’re not sure why, but remedying that we bring you this lovely project from Eddie and his team in the form of the catalogue for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Mexican Modern Art. Showing the famously monobrowed mistress of 20th Century painting and her husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera and letting the imagery speak for itself, the design is simple, strong and confident, using a bright blue for the book’s spine inspired by Casa Azul, the couple’s home in Mexico City. Elsewhere the palette draws on the colours of Mexican folk art, while the striking large portraits on the front and back covers look to “position the pair as icons,” according to Pentagram. The catalogue accompanies an exhibition entitled Kahlo, Rivera and Mexican Modern Art, currently on show at the Nova Southeastern University Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.

  21. Martin_usborne_spanish_hunting_dogs_it's_nice_that_list

    The Spanish greyhound has a history running back through to the Middle Ages, standing at a nobleman’s side, in oil paintings or perhaps most famously in the opening sentence of the Spanish literary classic Don Quixote by Cervantes. London-based photographer Martin Usborne’s latest project Where Hunting Dogs Rest centres on what he calls their fall from grace; a darker side to the modern story of these blue-blooded dogs.

  22. Weekender_list

    It’s Bank Holiday weekend and one of our favourite things to do is bake up a buttery storm and shove cakes into our loved ones’ pie-holes. To bake the perfect Weekender, the recipe is simple; three cups of amazing work, two cups of creative sweetener and one cup of Friday excitement, finished off with a dusting of whimsy from the world wide web. Bake for one hour at gas mark fun-time and you’ve got yourself a wholesome, well-risen Weekender cake. So indulge and cut yourselves a sexy slice because the Weekender is BIG on taste but LIGHT in calories!

  23. List

    And so the crème de la crème was announced, with five of D&AD’s highest honour – the Black Pencil – awarded this year. From radio advertising to branding it’s a diverse selection that’s sure to get people talking. It’s great to see some of our favourite projects from the last year recognised, and some we weren’t familiar with (the brilliant radio station for dogs, for instance) being celebrated. Without further ado, here they are!

  24. Lego-greenpeace-its-nice-that-top-

    D&AD has awarded White Pencils in a category of their own since 2013, and these recognise design and advertising projects that “demonstrate that marketing and marketing communications can be a force for good,” in the words of D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay. Four projects have been awarded the philanthropic pencils this year, two for brand and two for not-for-profit advertising and marketing communications. Here are the projects recognised this year…

  25. 5173

    As the creative world digests last night’s big D&AD winners (those that scooped Black and White Pencils), there was a host of interesting work recognised in the 44 Yellow Pencils given out at the London awards bash. In total, the D&AD juries considered 847 projects this year and so less than one in 20 made the prestigious Yellow Pencil cut. Here’s our rundown of those winners that caught our eye for one reason or another – you can see the full list of winners over on the D&AD site here.

  26. Mouthfeel_it's_nice_that_list

    When you hear the words “queer culinary magazine” you might be inclined to envisage a kind of Good Housekeeping for gay men, some kind of conservative bible of new male domesticity. What you might not be expecting is an alternative publication where food and gay culture sit together against a post-punk backdrop, but that’s exactly what Mouthfeel is. A reaction against the all-pervading rustic minimalism championed by the likes of Kinfolk that has all but homogenised food media, Mouthfeel gives food writing a gay voice, combining chef profiles, recipes, essays and good looking men.

  27. The-plant-art-15-its-nice-that-list-

    Staying two seasons ahead (calendar-wise, at least) of the autumn art fair scrum, Art 15 takes place this week over in west London, heralded by some unmissably bright new branding by The Plant. The annual fair – now in its third outing – used to take place in February, and its new look aims to reflect its sunnier spot on the calendar. “As it’s spring and it’s a fairly new fair, we felt [the new identity] needed to look quite bold,” says Matt Utber, founder of The Plant, who also designed the fair’s initial identity. “We chose colours that were very bright and vibrant because of that light change – it reflects new life, flowers bursting into existence, it’s that kind of feel.”

  28. List_michael_james_obrien_girlfriend_itsnicethat

    For the past 30 years, Michael James O’Brien has photographed drag queens from around the world. His latest exhibition Girlfriend, on show at Liverpool’s international photography festival now, displays wonderfully glamorous images that encapsulate the freedom, majesty and spirit of drag culture.

  29. Mattbooker-electiondrawings-itsnicethat-list

    It’s only been a couple of weeks but already the UK election seems a lifetime ago. If you’re into that kind of thing, there’s an undeniable drama about it all as the tension ratchets up across the campaign and breaks on election night itself as the results filter through from around the country. Topolski Studio commissioned eight young artists to capture the goings-on through the medium of drawing and the results will be published in its upcoming Election Chronicle.

  30. List_tomas_alonso_lines_waves_itsnicethat

    One glance at Instagram or any interiors blog circa 2015 and it feels like marble, or at least cheap mimicries, are decorating homes everywhere. But there’s none of the ubiquitous “funky” accessory holders or dinnerware in Tomás Alonso’s marble-based project, Lines & Waves. Exploring pattern and stackability, Tomas’ interlocking tables are a thing of true beauty. Machine-milled grooves have been cut into the top and bottom of marble blocks creating objects that look like crinkled salami and giant McCoy’s crisps.

  31. List-its-nice-thativar-wigan_princess_2012

    Images of gangs and strippers are nothing new, and their creation is fraught with the risk of appearing insensitive and patronising at best, exploitative at worst. So for them to pique our interest, they have to be very special. The works of Scotland-born photographer Ivar Wigan are exactly that. Ivar’s recent work has seen him documenting the street culture of Miami, Atlanta and New Orleans, and their often seedy, rarely glamorous underpinnings. And while the images undoubtedly have a voyeuristic slant, central to them is a sense of admiration and empathy, rather than pity or profiteering.

  32. Thomaswilliams-bolo-itsnicethat-list

    Australian designer Thomas Williams’ work has appeared on the site several times over the years, in the shape of his editorial work for MADE, Nourished Journal and The Process Journal. He has recently decamped to Los Angeles and set up his own studio, Thomas Williams & Co., which comes complete with a newly updated site on which you can peruse his publication work alongside all manner of considered and communicative identity projects.