Article Archive

  1. Weekender-list

    It’s been a busy old week at It’s Nice That towers, with Rob jetting about in Africa for Design Indaba, Maisie out in Brazil, and James dipping his paddling toes into Margate. But for us left here, home soil hasn’t seemed so dreary thanks to the wealth of wonderful art and design news that’s kept us entertained over the last week. Have a look at our best bits, and the other multifarious goings on in the creative world below.

  2. Wk-nikelebron-int-list

    The third and final day of Design Indaba in Cape Town promised a great deal with its eclectic line-up, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. From advertising royalty to reinventing public filmmaking, Saturday Night Live to Dick In A Box it was a heady mix of the inspiring, the entertaining and the enlightening. Catch up on all our coverage here.

  3. Jc-int-main1

    London Fashion Week is officially over, and we have now come to the end of our Workwear feature. We thought we’d round the series off with Jack Cunningham, a London animator who works at Nexus Productions. We chose to finish with Jack because he represents an enormous chunk of mid-twenties creatives London – he’s just a nice chap who wants to not look like a scumbag and be able to get his hands on good quality clothes. Below Jack tells us how to get away with buying expensive things for cheap, and chats about how shit men’s high street fashion used to be compared to nowadays. Once you’ve read this, check out how good he is at animating things.

  4. List

    Hot Chip are one of those bands that have always had a fantastic visual sensibility. Illustrator Wallzo has been at the helm of it, bringing us glorious Michael Craig Martin-esque block colours and shapes to decapitated statues. Now, the band is moving into the world of bespoke printing, with the artwork for new album Why Make Sense by Nick Relph using an algorithm that means each copy’s design will be unique.

  5. Daniel-swan-django-django-list

    Four years after first discovering Daniel Swan’s website he’s still not bothered to put any work on it. There’s just a 3D-rendered glittery keyring that bears his name and serves as his calling card. He’s a confident man! Still, when you’re producing work as good as Daniel, you can afford to be confident. Last time we had him up on the site he had collaborated with David Rudnick on an incredible desert apocalypse for RL Grime, and this latest offering for Django Django is no less impressive.

  6. Altos-adventure-int-list

    Bad news guys, I’ve got a new game to tell you about that’s going to eat up all your free time and turn you into one of those dopey phone-tapping lunatics that stare at you all bug-eyed when you ask them to “Get the hell out of the WAY!” on the morning commute. I’ve not had this kind of crippling addiction since Monument Valley, but this one’s bitten me hard.

  7. Skrillex-doompy-poomp-int-list

    Fleur & Manu’s latest video for everyone’s favourite ex-goth Skrillex is a bit of a repetitive tale. It takes the form of a mulleted dropout failing to get a loan from his bank, and then having to relive the painful experience again and again, Groundhog Day-style until he loses his shit completely and the whole thing descends into a cross-dressing, semi-naked musical. There are some great hairy backs thrown into the mix too. With a synopsis like that how could you resist?

  8. Michaelbierut-nyt-signage

    Michael Bierut is a designer, Pentagram partner, writer, lecturer and self-confessed nerd. Taking the stage at the Design Indaba festival in Cape Town yesterday, he announced his new book, pithily titled How to: Use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, and (every once in a while) change the world. Published by Thames & Hudson it won’t come out until later in the year, but we felt it was a good excuse to look at some of Michael’s most interesting work from across the years.

  9. List

    You’re 25 years old and Richard Turley calls you up out of the blue and says; “Hey, I’ve just got this sweet job at MTV and I’d like you to come on board as my senior designer, are you interested?” Of course you’re interested! You’d be a fool not to be interested, even if it means leaving your current (also awesome) job as an art director at The New York Times. Sounds nice right? Well this isn’t some fictional story I’ve just concocted in my head, this is the soon-to-be legendary tale of Erik Carter, a Virginia native turned New York City creative powerhouse who’s filling our (music) televisions with choice tidbits of witty animation and humorous asides from the world of the web.

  10. No_rocket_asinello_press_1_1160-int-list

    We often discuss the importance of a decent-looking site in presenting creative work, but until we received Francesco Zorzi’s latest missive, we didn’t realise just how much we were into well-presented emails. A lovely GIF and an irresistible typeface led us to the Italy-born, Amsterdam-based designer’s site, No Rocket, which further cemented his reputation as a man with a very discerning eye indeed. The project we admired the most is this logo for Genoan publisher Asinello Press, taking an illustration of a hoof as its motif.

  11. Rawcolor-febrik-4-int_copy

    Eindhoven-based graphic design and photography studio Raw Color has created a great multi-platform identity for interior textiles brand Febrik, using horizontal, laser-cut lines as a reference to archiving methods in textile sample books. They are utilised both for this purpose and as decorative details on business cards, stationary items and online.

  12. Fyi-still-11-int_copy

    In response to a “critical graphic design” brief from their tutor at Central Saint Martins, graphic design students Ellen Mercer and Lucy Streule spliced together a tonne of clips and heartfelt scenes where movie characters let each other know, “FYI I’m a graphic designer.”

  13. Gaeanwoods-int-main

    Gaea Woods caught our eye the other day with the portraits she took of her friend Samantha, seemingly covered all over in Vaseline. A bit of research led us to finding out that Gaea is actually a photographer with a whole host of talents under her belt, particularly when it comes to shooting things really close-up. Gaea was born in rural northern California and now resides in LA, where she’s making her career as a photographer.

  14. Corners-by-kyuhyung-cho_04lst

    Is there nothing Kyuhyung Cho can’t do? He popped over in 2011 with his experimental take on typography; wowed us in 2012 with some simple, effective graphic design; and nigh-on reinvented not just the stool, but shelving as well.

  15. Untitled-paris-ad-int-list

    They say that one good turn deserves another. And one good project leads to another, as Untitled Paris has shown us. Last year, the agency was commissioned to create a new identity for interior design company Laplace, creating a slick monochrome look that uses the name as the logo mark. Untitled says: “The entire identity rests on a simple type system and contemporary but sober look, as the work of Laplace is full of colour and feeling.”

  16. Dyakova-list-mcm_gagosian_back-cover_905

    Earlier this week Sonya Dyakova revealed that she “like[s] to wear a uniform that [she] can just hide in and work.” And while her clothes may want to slink into the background, the work of her agency Atelier Dyakova begs to be in the spotlight.

  17. Josephmann-int-1

    Remember that really racy animation about loads of people getting it on by the seaside? Well the guy behind it – 2009 It’s Nice That Graduate and now BlinkInk director Joseph Mann – is back with a fantastic new animation which is just as well-made, but maybe features less pubic hair. This time around, Joe has helped put together a music video for a band called Police Dog Hogan, featuring a crowd of ne’er do wells in a scummy old boozer, watching the band perform. In true Young Ones style, we are taken below the floorboards to where the rats live, and watch as they begin drinking the beer sloshed on the floor by the humans above. Fantastic animation by Joe, and a pretty high-quality, entertaining music video for a song that is essentially a love letter to the West Country.

  18. Skipyoutube-int-list

    There is a world of weird and wonderful videos out there on YouTube but like most people I barely scratch the surface day-to-day. So a new project from Bertie Muller and Matthew Britton is helping address that with the aid only of a “skip” button.

  19. Studio-audience-lemon_list

    Welcome, podders! Fantastic episode this week featuring me, Liv Siddall, and Billie Muraben and James Cartwright from the It’s Nice That team. After a great question submitted by Hattie Stewart we chewed the fat over the latest art and design news, including the new identity for the Royal Albert Hall and the much talked-about cover for The Gentlewoman. In section two we discuss London Fashion Week, the sartorial habits of creatives, our new Workwear feature and the effect social media has on the the world around fashion week. Any comments, complaints, compliments – just get in touch via Twitter, email, or the comments box below.

  20. Wailin-editorial-7-int_copy

    Photographer Wai Lin Tse’s portfolio balances dewy, sun-kissed babes with photographs of plants and chubby-cheeked kids. It’s quite the melting pot and can be seen in editorials for Lula, The Plant and Apartamento magazine. Lin’s photographs are impeccably-lit and somehow both poised and quite tongue-in-cheek. She seems equally comfortable shooting landscapes as she is people, perhaps partially down to the fact that she is based in both Stockholm and Barcelona and surely taking lots of exciting cross-continent road trips.

  21. Dominicwilcox-indaba-list

    Another super-busy day in Cape Town saw a thrilling range of creative practitioners take to the Design Indaba stage where they treated us to an amazing array of creative insights. You can check out our Day 1 highlights here – featuring ovulation, orchids and Burning Man – or read on to see our best moments from today.

  22. Simonwhybray-workwear-int-main

    He may not grace the covers of magazines or the red carpet, but designer Simon Whybray is more famous than you think. When you’re lurking about on the internet and being entertained by seriously cool and interesting stuff – do you ever stop and think, who the hell made this? Well, occasionally, it’s Simon. Designer by day, Tumblr scroller by night, Simon spends most of his time tucked up in his bedroom overlooking Old Street on his laptop. Sound lazy? It isn’t. He’s busy creating products, GIFs, designs, logos, club nights, clothing, memes, typefaces, music…you name it. Being on the internet all day has fed Simon’s brain like a drip, and subsequently he’s now asked by big brands to come in and teach them what the hell is going on out there in the real – well, online – world.

  23. Kurppa-hosk-korshags-int-list

    It’s not often I get to write about my two great loves in a single article, but sometimes the stars align and I’m covering smoked fish and graphic design all in the space of 300 words. Today I feel blessed! This strange combination of subjects has come together thanks to Swedish agency Kurppa Hosk undertaking a wholesale rebrand for Falkenbergs Lax, a small, family-owned smoked salmon specialist. Charged with turning the small-scale brand into an international major player in the fish industry, Kurrppa Hosk renamed it Korshags, and have came up with a sleek new visual identity to accompany the new name.

  24. Matamatyka-int-main

    LA artist Misia emailed in last week with a bunch of her drawings and paintings, and I was super impressed. She’s managed to mash up Nick Sharratt’s illustrations from Jacqueline Wilson books with The Babysitter’s Club, The Fresh Prince and a bunch of other pop culture references – all drawn in well-practiced monochromatic inks. Unique and skilful aesthetic aside, what I truly love about Misia’s drawings are the characters in them – GIRLS. Girls barefoot doing acrobatics in living rooms, girls lounging on beds listening to music, girls hanging out together doing nothing, girls wearing zigzag leggings and looking bored. These pictures remind me that I’m a girl, and being a girl is SO cool. They make me want to text every female I know and arrange some sort of day where we can watch TV for hours and eat peanut butter on crackers and cereal out the box. I hope it does the same for you.

  25. George-primo-louw-1

    As a rule we profile Jorge Primo on the site once a year; first due to posters for a shoe brand, then a carpenter’s identity and last year it was just for his personal work. This time round Jorge has been hard at it making graphics for skateboarding brand Louw. He’s done designs for their decks, exuberant posters and even knocked up a hand-drawn version of their logo. Choice!

  26. Hatopress-book-5-int_copy

    I stand by my assertion that the opening scene of Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, when Harvey Keitel’s character throws his head down to his pillow and the opening seconds of The Ronettes’ Be My Baby play out is one of the finest moments in cinema. It’s great. And as well as a great ear for soundtracks, Scorsese has discerning Italian-American tastebuds that he stirs through his movies like you would parmesan to a pomodoro.

  27. London-is-changing-intlist

    Public art project London is Changing makes Londoners uncomfortably aware of the truths we’re perhaps trying to ignore: that our city is morphing beyond recognition, that creativity is at risk, and that for many people, it’s simply becoming unaffordable.

  28. _thom-atkinson-guy-the-gorilla_-natural-history-museum-int-list

    Removed from their cabinets, museum pieces take on a strange quality. Once the glass is gone, some of their mystique goes too; and they feel almost like everyday things to be used and touched, rather than alien relics to be admired. It’s this disorientating new quality that’s captured so beautifully in Thom Atkinson’s series Museums, showing pieces from the Wellcome Trust and National History Museum collections.

  29. Jv-port-13-int_copy

    Having cut his teeth at Adult Swim, Joseph Veazey has since been art directing for label Azede Jean-Pierre and freelancing all over New York City. He also has a fine knack for making engaging and fun self-promotional printed matter and turning his sketchbooks into true works of art.

  30. Bensanders-potdealer-3-int_copy

    While keeping himself busy with postmodern Howard Hodgkin-esque painting and collage work, Ben Sanders is somehow finding the time to paint funny faces on ceramics. Cutting through the “worthy lifestyle” pottery trend with googly eyes, zigzag nostrils and creepy grins, Ben has stamped his sense of humour and aesthetic all over these thriving succulents’ homes.

  31. Kathrynfleming-orchid-list

    Design Indaba is one of the most eclectic creative conferences around and the first day in Cape Town did not disappoint. It’s hard to distill so much design wisdom into a round-up but here’s a few of the highlights as we saw them from the first day in South Africa.

  32. Main-nt-int

    We’ve had a bit of a hunch for a while now that all you lot are pretty into magazines, so we decided to dedicate this month’s Nicer Tuesdays to the people who know most about that very topic and theme the night all around publishing. Port’s David Hellqvist, Dirty Furniture’s Anna Bates and Elizabeth Glickfield, Steve Watson of Stack Magazines, and Tim Noakes of Dazed and Confused all came together to deliver some home truths about the tricky, expensive, but ever-adored world of printed content. Thanks to all who came along, we hope you enjoyed it and see you again soon.