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Graphic Design


Posted by Alex Bec,

This week’s review is upon us again, enjoy the selection and once again a huge thanks to everyone who has kindly littered our studio with nice things over the past seven days.

APAN ÄR RÄDD by Simon Berg, distributed by by Black Book Publications
Described by the publishers as “An intense portrayal of a seemingly meaningless everyday life. But these intimate close-ups show us something other than just eternally recurring routines.” I very much agree, lush, deep colours and interesting crops make for forty-odd pages of eye-candy. Welcome to the world of Simon Berg.

Elephant Issue 1 Published by Magma Books
I’m as bored as the next person of seeing first issues of magazines spring up left right and centre, but there’s no way you can stay mad at this gem. Rather than sitting aside the other design based mags out there, when you read Elephant you’re reading something of real worth. Five neat sections with articles covering ‘Meetings’ with the likes of Peter Saville, ‘Research’ into Scandinavian fashion, ‘Studio Visits’ with Misaki Kawai, ‘Economies’ case studies and creative city guides. With that much content you’d expect plenty of filler, but I don’t think I can find any. Hats off to Magma for supersede Graphic with a real beauty.

Cook With Ken by Chris Leah
Photographer Chris Leah’s documentary book puts short-tempered, cuisine-conscious ‘Ken’ in the spotlight. Dubious recipes and outlandish quotes made me chuckle, rather than make me want to run to the chopping board.

Peruse Issue 02 by Matt Adams
Simple little piece of print, well pulled off from current Nottingham Trent student Matt Adams. visually interesting, butmore importantly an aid to highlight a really fantastic fact – No numbr from one to ninety-nine when spelt uses the letters ‘a’,‘b’,‘c’ or ‘d’. I don’t care how he knows, I’m just pleased to have some useless pub fodder for tonight.

Red Design 04 Self Promotion by Red Design
Nice self-promotional poster from Brighton studio Red Design. Outlines a few of their most recent projects as well as showing off a few printing techinques with a reversible poster.

Virtual Artifacts by Kristoffer Zetterstrand, published by Biondi Books
Kristoffer is a Swedish artist who relates classic two-dimensional painting to computer-generated worlds. Why didn’t I think of that? OK, so it’s not your normal blurb to introduce a book, but the content is genuinely fascinating. A book that made me want to turn the pages must be some kind of a success.


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: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. Pentagram-list

    Pitting black and white photography against block colour, Pentagram’s new identity work for Queens Theatre in New York is slick, bright and strong; with as much vibrancy and grace as the performers that tread the venue’s boards. Designed by Paula Scher, the identity is based around a logo created from simple, geometric shapes alluding to the theatre’s architecture; which can be pulled apart and rearranged across various different applications to demonstrate the theatre’s broad and diverse programming, and appeal to an equally diverse audience.

  2. Listtt

    Year six is a tricky time to remember. Clearly we were too busy counting pogs, furtively worrying about training bras and forging detailed plans of how to marry Damon Albarn to forge many other remembrances. What it’s likely we’ve forgotten, then, is the terror of leaving for senior school and all that entailed – going from being a big fish (relatively) to a tiny one who suddenly felt a bit embarrassed about still wearing her hair in two plaits.

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    Featured back in January, Barcelona-based studio Querida has had a busy few months churning out more of its stylishly colourful and well-considered design work. One of its latest projects is this catalogue for Spanish opticians, Optiques Prats which takes the form of an incredibly stylish magazine catering for the optically challenged.

  4. List

    It’s wonderful when graphic design perfectly unites two seemingly disparate concepts – and Commission Studio’s branding for a Lewes-based homeware brand is a quietly brilliant example. The project saw the London studio (which designed our 2013 Annual) create the look and feel for a range of delicate, subtle pieces like candles and soaps with a name that deliberately sounds anything but delicate and subtle – Freight.

  5. Listtttt

    There’s a whole heap of great design studios in Barcelona with which we’re very familiar but it’s always a joy to discover talent we haven’t come across before. Such is the case with P.A.R, a graphic design and art direction studio run by Iris Tarraga and Lucía Castro. The way they talk about their approach eschews any kind of bullshit, as they write on their website: “Our methodology is simple: We listen to our clients, we understand their needs and we solve them. Our style is clear and direct, we take care of the balance and harmony in our designs, we use typography and colour accurately, we believe in functional design.”

  6. List

    We were lucky enough to meet some of the team from Singapore studio Foreign Policy when they popped into It’s Nice That HQ during a recent research trip to London. The same friendly, curious and open-minded approach that led them to drop us a line has also seen them develop The Swap Show, “an exhibition exchange between design studios and creative agencies from cities around the world designed to showcase and celebrate creative work internationally.”

  7. List

    It’s tricky to implement the intricate tricks of an optical illusion in a book cover design without the finished product appearing slightly heavy-handed, but designer Hansje van Halem does it with poise and perfectionism. She’s worked as a freelance graphic designer since graduating from Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietvield Academie in 2003 (as her About section explains) and her enjoyment of what others might find to be repetitive shines through in the illusory patterns in her portfolio.

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    As serious art and design journalists, we’re not distracted by mere baubles. But when said bauble takes the form of an online game (think Space Invaders meets graphic design portfolio) then who are we to resist. It’s one of many trinkets to be found on karlssonwilker’s terrific new website, which shows off their work in the best possible light and confirms their status as one of the most accomplished design studios working today.

  9. List-0102-0103-0105-triptych-%c2%a9-david-shaw

    When the Design Museum planned its Women Fashion Power show, which opened last month, it was very much keen to take the “women” component seriously, appointing them to take care of both the exhibition design and graphics for the show. As such, it drafted perhaps one of the most famous women in design’s practices, Zaha Hadid Architects for the exhibition design; with Lucienne Roberts and her team (Dave Shaw and John McGill) at LucienneRoberts+ creating the graphics.

  10. List

    Based in Manheim, Germany, Deutsche & Japaner have a really great sense of what looks good. They have been on the site a couple of times for their stylish graphic design but this work for the Aesthetics Habitat project shows off a bit more of their own personality. The site is described as “a venture all about meeting objects with a personal interpretation, transforming its function and creating narratives” and in essence its curators invite creatives to respond to and reflect on their relationship with a favourite thing of beauty.

  11. List-flyers-for-the-institute-at-sexology.-photography-by-russell-dornan_-design-by-liam-relph-(3)

    London’s Wellcome Collection space always hosts explorations of the things that fascinate us most. It’s covered death, it’s exhaustively explored the human body in all its glory and grotesquery, and now it’s moved on to surely the most fascinating of all – sex, or more precisely, how people have studied it.

  12. List

    Brimming with sophistication and an understanding of what makes great design, Atelier Tout va bien’s portfolio is a glorious way to scroll away the day. The studio is made up of French design duo Anna Chevance and Mathias Reynoird, and it’s the pair’s editorial, poster and book design that really stands out.

  13. List

    The It’s Nice That team recently discussed which discipline we cover on the site would we most like to be brilliant at (it’s the kind of thing we do to wile away the final, dragging hours of these dark winter afternoons). After the appropriate amount of consideration (charts, cost/benefit analysis and the like) I plumped for book cover design and that led me down a little book-design-reminiscence and that led me back to Linda Huang.