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Graphic Design

Things

Posted by Alex Bec,

A bumper edition of Things this week as the postal service clear out their backlog, and in turn fill our eyes with beautifully printed bits and pieces to tell you about. So, in classic going back to school fashion, here’s the line-up in height order.

Blue Inks

Andy Smith
It’s always pleasing to receive something through the post from Andy Smith. His standard brand of excellent type and image tells the story of a tribe of characters called the Blue Inks, that are aptly hand screen printed with aplomb.
www.asmithillustration.com

Studio

Harry Watts
Most editorial photography students would have spent some time assisting to help pay the bills and get that all important experience before entering the industry. Harry found himself in the assisting boat, and took full advantage, using the studio he spent so many hours in as the subject for a postcard book that brings new life to some standard studio equipment.
www.harry-watts.co.uk

Annalemma Issue 5

_ Edited by Chris Heavener_
I’m gutted I didn’t see the first four issues of Annalemma. Gutted because I’ve enjoyed the fifth installment so much. A humble editors letter backed up with some great writing and imagery, none more impressive than the free embossed print and spreads from Danny Jones. Read this if you get the chance, it’s not ‘just another one of those’.
www.annalemma.net

Fixed

Andrew Edwards and Max Leonard, Published by Laurence King
Yeah you may have to cycle backwards to stop, but if that’s even crossing your mind you’re missing the point. A fixed wheel bike (to some) is a thing of ultimate, sleek, uncomplicated beauty and this book confirms that cult status has been well and truly reached. Covering design, history, riders and everything in between this is one for the enthusiast or the intrigued.
www.laurenceking.com

Creative Island II

John Sorrell, Published by Laurence King
Last time I did the Things review there was a book on British design, and the cropping up can only be a good indication of work being produced on our fair isle. John Sorrell is more than qualified to pass judgement, but instead lets each practitioner have their say on the piece chosen, giving the book a depth and character that the reader will appreciate. If your British design bookcase is big enough, this would make a fine addition.
www.laurenceking.com

Radical Nature

Edited by Francesco Manacorda, published by Koenig Books
Intelligent, considered curation has made The Barbican one of our most loved institutions, and their latest show Radical Nature adds to the legacy. A documentation of how our planet has changed over the last 50 years provides insight and sharp comment on a topic that seems to have been nagging for a really beautiful book for a while. We have a couple of copies of this stunner to give away, so watch this space for more details soon, in the meantime try and make it down to see the show.
www.barbican.org.uk

New Packaging Design

Janice Kirkpatrick / Graven Images, Published by Laurence King
Completing the Laurence King hat-trick this week is a bit of eye candy for the packaging nut. Handily separated into neat chapters dealing with a protection, preservation, performance and promotion, Of course the classic Apple ideas are in there, but some other less expected things make it, and the book as a whole is better off for it. I challenge you to find a worthy piece of packaging that isn’t in here.
www.laurenceking.com

Toormix New papers

Toormix
Barcelona studio Toormix aren’t the first to have produced a newspaper to show off their new work, but are possibly one of the most successful. Beautifully designed calling on the assets of the newsprint, it casts a pretty positive light over their studio that I’m pleased I’ve been introduced to.
www.toormix.com

Ab-300

Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

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    There’s a wonderful, undulating beauty to Alain Delorme’s series that initially tricks the viewer into thinking they’re seeing flocks of starlings choreographing themselves against iridescent skies. On closer inspection though, rather than capturing mass avian movements the Parisian photographer has replaced them with a myriad of plastic bags.

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    Way back in 2011 when we first posted the work of Frank Magnotta It’s Nice That was a very different beast – we’d only give you one image to check out and the rest was up to you. So when I stumbled across Frank’s work again this week it seemed essential that we show you a whole lot more. To be honest there have been few updates to his site in the past three years but the work is breathtaking, pulling together pop culture references, architectural precision and some serious Americana and combining it into stark surrealist landscapes. At times grotesque but always engaging, Frank’s graphite artworks are still some of the finest around.

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    Jean Jullien is many things. Artist. Illustrator. French. Recent emigre to New York. It’s Nice That favourite. So hot right now. He’s also the final artist to have a show at Kemistry Gallery’s current east London home before it closes its doors early next year (although as has been reported it has some excitingly ambitious plans).

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    American artist James Rieck paints models, but not in the way you might expect. In his huge colourful canvases he takes figures from adverts and recreates them four or five feet wide, capturing their clothes, their postures but not their faces.

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    These painted scenes from Paige Jiyoung Moon are so wonderfully intricate, a new detail pops out each time you see them. Capturing domestic scenes like people drinking coffee, friends watching a film or a family eating lunch together, it’s the mundanity of what Paige paints that makes her miniature worlds so inviting as the viewer tries to pick out some sort of irregularity.

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    It’s been a whole two years since we last posted about the marvellous work of Lynnie Zulu and we’re happy to have the illustrator’s vibrant world colouring our dull Monday once again. Her latest body of work is on show now at No Walls Gallery in Brighton and is a fantastically lively exploration of the female in all her glorious forms.

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    We’re no ballet aficionados, but we wouldn’t usually associate drunkards, typists and factory workers with the grace and poise of the discipline. However, as these beautiful gouache painting by Tatiana Bruni show, there’s much more to ballet than tutus and swan lake, with her angular figures, bold colours and sometimes grotesquely postured characters. The paintings show costume designs for Dmitri Shostakovich’s 1931 ballet The Bolt, and are going on show at London’s Gallery for Russian Arts and Design alongside a series of period photographs. The ballet itself was bold and striking in its use of real hammers, machine-inspired choreography, aerobics and acrobatics, and the costume images are equally as dynamic, inspired by “the aesthetics of agit-theatre and artist-designed propaganda posters”, according to the gallery. The sense of movement is palpable, whether in the graceful billowing dresses or the staggering legs of our brightly-coloured drunkard, working against the geometric rigidity of the style to beautiful effect.

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    The announcement that David Lynch is to release new episodes of Twin Peaks in 2016 was, unsurprisingly, met with internet-breaking levels of excitement. Soon, every Tommy, Dale and Henry Spencer was walking around their independent coffee shop knowingly harping on about their “damn fine cup of coffee” and popping that heartbreaking Angelo Badalamenti theme on the office stereo like they’d actually watched every episode back in 1990, when they were five.

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    Not since we saw the Doge meme IRL on a street in Hackney have we been this excited by the face of a strange dog. Now, we’re excited by many strange dog faces, thanks to what looks set to be a brilliant show by Wilfrid Wood. Wilfrid’s work has long been a favourite at It’s Nice That, and has over the years included sculptures of Tom Daley and Paul McCartney and numerous bottoms for Levis.

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    Man of many talents Will Edmonds has some great new work on his site in the geometric shape of these colourful framed pieces and paintings on wood. There’s a childlike simplicity against a more grown-up restraint in the works, which draw you in with colour and keep you there with the deceptively intricate layers. The works were created for an exhibition entitled A Watery Line at The Tetley in Leeds in summer 2014, where he was also showing sculptures and ceramics.

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    London is a brilliant city, but in the winter months it can be a grey and grizzly place to live. That’s why artists like Steve Wheen, aka The Pothole Gardner, are so important in bringing a little colour and joy to our day-to-day lives. To promote Uniqlo’s new HEATTECH range, which has been specially developed with leading textile manufacturer Toray, the clothing brand is showcasing creative types who take on the urban outdoors come rain or shine, from foodies and cyclists to graffiti artists.

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    I can’t quite believe that it’s two years since we last featured Alex Roulette’s work on the site because he’s undoubtedly one of our favourite artists working today. The New York based painter creates scenes which “explore the blurred sense of time and place within memories” and he’s a master of the atmospheric. Looking at his paintings feels like beginning a dream when you’re pitched into a situation conjured up by your subconscious and yet instinctively know broadly where you are and what’s going on.

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    I’m sticking by my claim that the beach is one of the most fascinatingly liminal places going; you arrive, you take off (almost) all your clothes and you lie down, play volleyball and splash next to strangers with the same idea, and nobody thinks anything of it.