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Graphic Design

July Review

Posted by Will Hudson,

If not a little later than planned here is the latest review of some of the most interesting things to have found their way into the studio including a number of degree show catalogues and the very first It’s Nice That footwear.

5:1 – Graphic & Media Design Degree Show Catalogue 2009 (London College of Communication)

BA (Hons) Graphic & Media Design 09
The mamouth task of collating 200(ish) students work is not a desirable one, to then go and do something completely different and pull it off is more than applaudable. Rumour has it the final spec was a little over budget but appears to be worth every penny resulting in a conclusive, well designed catalogue archiving the work of 5 different pathways.
www.5to1show.com

In Three Word. The Arts Institute at Bournemouth Catalogue 2009

BA (Hons) Graphic Design 09. The Arts Institute at Bournemouth.
Not the easiest catalogue to open up and put back together but well worth the effort. In Three Words does exactly what it says on the tin, each student sums themselves up in three words on the reverse of a postcard. Occasionally resembling a calling card but more often than not a confident, clever, showcase.
www.inthreewords.co.uk
www.dayfold.com

Royal College of Art Show Two Catalogue 2009

Design by Happily Ever After
It always helps when putting together a catalogue that the work featured is well designed, considered and interesting, something the RCA consistently prides itself on. Printing a hefty A3 catalogue certainly reinforces the fact that this institution is bigger than most but in reality becomes quite cumbersome. Having said that it’s worth the extra effort to read and enjoy.
www.happily-ever-after.co.uk
www.rca.ac.uk

Royal College of Art Animation Showreel 2009.

Deisgn by David López Retamero / Adnan Lawson
Sitting through an entire animated showreel is one of those things that given the time I’d love to do, unfortunately I only managed to flick my way through the DVD and as such can’t really call this a proper review. However, the RCA is always going to produce a high caliber of animator and those looking for something will probabaly find it. Well packaging with an informative booklet it’s defiantly worth making the time for (as I intend to some time soon). Sarah Wickens and Tom Judd were the two that stood out from the brief time I did spend watching it.
www.rca.ac.uk/animation

miOriginals

Earlier last month were invite down to the Adidas Originals store in Covent Garden to check out miOriginals. Essentially you can now customise your favourite pair of ZX700 / Superstar / Gazelle / Forum or Stan Smith trainers. Naturally we decided to create the very limited edition It’s Nice That trainer. We’re going to see how sales go before opening them up as a series venture but if you’re interested you can check out mi Originals at the Adidas Originals stores in Covent Garden and Westfield shopping centre (both London).
shop.adidas.co.uk

Endless Possibilities

Illustration by Damien Weighill. Design by Blast. Published by Conqueror
There are some things that come through the post that you’d happily sit through most of the morning looking at. This is one of those. Nicely designed by London based studio Blast with quirky illustrations provided by Damien Weighill. The book promotes the creative potential of the current range of paper from Conqueror, it’s an interesting alternative to the familiar sample book.
www.conquerorpossibilities.com
www.damienweighill.com
www.blast.co.uk

Grid Index

Edited and designed by Carsten Nicolai. Published by Gestalten
Are you the kind of person who wants to look at an endless source of patterns and have them all available on CD for your own personal use? Lucky you, here it is. There’s obviously a little more to it than that, Grid Index is the first comprehensive visual lexicon of patterns and grid systems based on years of research by artist and musician Carsten Nicolai. Also check out the film on him here where he talks more about the book on Gestalten.tv.
www.carstennicolai.de
www.gestalten.com

Loops Journal

Edited by Lee Brackstone and Richard King. Design by Wallzo. Published by Faber & Faber/Domino Records
Faber & Faber and Domino Records have joined forces in producing an incredibly interesting piece of work, a biannual journal called Loops. The cover illustration by Mario Hugo is enough to get you to pick it up and when you then realise that the design and art direction is by Wallzo, with some bespoke type and a handful of David Shrigley illustrations throw in to good measure it is easy to understand why it’s that little bit harder to put down. It is of course not the design that makes this interesting (although it more than helps), the content is also as noteworthy and although at first glimpse it appears a little text heavy there’s enough time to wade your way through before Issue 2 is published in February.
www.loopsjournal.com
www.wallzo.com

Fig.It Out

Designed by Bark
London based Bark Design kindly sent us their recent self promotion newspaper. “A publication of themes, observations, sound and visual bites, notions and ideas.” You can request your copy now, check out their site.
www.barkdesign.net

Truckers

By Mary Richardson. From Mark Batty Publisher
Things I know nothing about (it’s a long list) always make me inquisitive and can often capture my imagination. I know nothing about trucks, but thanks to Mary Richardson and Mark Batty Publishing Truckers reveals the diesel-fueled lives of America’s true road warriors.
www.markbattypublisher.com

Wh-300

Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Animation View Archive

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    We didn’t really need an animation to tell us how much California has inspired The Beach Boys. But nonetheless, when a sweet, pencil-drawn Brian Wilson is telling us exactly why through a beautifully crafted animation by James Blagden, we’re certainly not complaining. Aside from obvious cues like songs called California Girls and the less well-received California Saga: California; the band is synonymous with surfing and the US West Coast, though as many a pub bore has been swift to point out, only one member of the band, Dennis, actually surfed. However, throughout the animation’s two-and-a-half minutes we do learn a lot. “I was listening to Rubber Soul one night and I was so blown away I went straight to my piano to start writing Pet Sounds. I was like outta my mind. And it took us an hour – only about an hour to write God Only Knows.”

  2. Lie

    In Chinese animator Lei Lei’s newest piece of work the words Missing One Player hint at something devastating – a world in which an incomplete group of Mahjong players, are waiting to find the missing person needed to play their tile-based board game as the earth hurtles towards an unnamed planet.

  3. Treat-studios-adultswim-idents-its-nice-that-list

    As anyone who’s seen pretty much anything to emerge from the Adult Swim network will testify, its output is pretty darned weird. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a help-I-feel-sick way, but perhaps that’s because I never have been and never will be a teenage boy. For its no-holds-barred bonkersness and gross-out mentality, it must surely be a dream for many animators to work for the brand. So Treat Studios, which has created the latest Adult Swim trailers, were understandably chuffed to be commissioned for the project “completely out of the blue.”

  4. Unnamed-1

    GIFs are just a part of life now, like shoes or the BBC. In a world overrun with these oddly satisfying little snippets of expression, the general vibe of GIFs so far has been leaning much more on the quantity level than the quality. When you find yourself scrolling cross-eyed through the internet and you come across GIFs with such delicate majesty such as these by Rebecca Mock, it hits you like a pixelated smack in the face. Rebecca is an illustrator from New York who creates exquisite digital illustrations for the likes of The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Medium among others. Her illustrations are subtle and somewhat tender moments represented in GIF form, un-showy and delicate. Sometimes the only thing moving in the whole image is a flashing light on a laptop, or the endless sideways scroll of an iPad. How refreshing to see someone leaping on this medium, and using it to illustrate the strange new digital world we’re in.

  5. Artandgraft-thewalk-itsnicethat-list

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  6. Schooloflife-love-itsnicethat-list

    The School of Life’s raison d’etre is to develop emotional intelligence in its audience, meaning they’re experienced in being confrontational with philosophical thought. But their latest short film is even more challenging than we’ve come to expect. In it we’re told repeatedly that love is an illusion and we’re all painfully and unavoidably alone. Then just as the weight of this message sinks in we’re asked to forget about the whole thing and get on with our lives as we were. Emotional rollercoaster!

  7. Montypython-itsnicethat-main

    I had forgotten the majesty of The Galaxy Song until this morning when Stephen Hawking decided to cover it in honour of Monty Python’s stage show. The rascal has recorded his version of the beautifully written song which is accompanied by an endearingly shit little video featuring him on his wheelchair whizzing off into the cosmos as he sings.

  8. Beach-bums-itsnicethat-list

    Beach Bums by The Great Nordic Sword Fights is the kind of animation that should come with some kind of a warning – and not because it contains any illicit materials, just because it feels something like Spongebob Squarepants on acid. Created by director duo Ricky Jonsson Jr and Kristel Brinshot for an episode of American cable network Adult Swim’s Off the Air, it features a motley crew of hairy psychedelic creatures surfing wildly through a tropical ocean to a digital soundtrack by Groundislava, interrupted only by the pursuit of what might be a giant poo floating through the ocean.

  9. Hands-int-7-list

    Nicolas Herenstein’s Hands animation studio specialises in bright, bold vector animations, typically used for advertising and informing. Need to tell the world to get on social media for the duration of the Tour de France? Hands’ll do it. Want to encourage people to vote in the next election? Call Hands. Or maybe you’ve got a museum dedicated to the Olympics that you’d appreciate some visitors for. Not a problem; Hands has got it covered, and they’ll probably make your customers chuckle a bit too!

  10. Animade-propz-int-list

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  11. Beakus-philippa-perry-int-list

    It’s been an impressive fortnight at Beakus HQ with great animations coming thick and fast from their team of directors. Last week we lapped up their exploration of the origins of the Magna Carta for the British Museum, in which Gergely Wootsch’s drawings were expertly combined with Terry Jones’ distinctive voice.

  12. Beakus-bl-14-int

    With a voiceover from Monty Python’s Terry Jones, Beakus’ animation commemorating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta takes us back to mediaeval England and Bad King John. Commissioned by the British Library for their exhibition Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy, the animation was inspired by the colours and motifs in mediaeval ornaments and tells the story of our origins of liberty through jiggly paper and characters with bulbous bodies and tiny heads.

  13. Dischi-list-2

    The idea of an archive conjures up images of dusty shelves and forgotten artefacts, but in the case of Emilio Pucci, nothing could be further from the truth. The Italian fashion brand is renowned for its vibrant geometric prints and now three of them are being given a new lease of life thanks to an eye-catching collaboration with Orlebar Brown.