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Graphic Design

2009 Review

Posted by Will Hudson,

We’ve been lucky enough to work with some fantastic creatives over the last year and throughout the course of December we will be inviting a number of them to share with us an insight into their 2009.

Not wanting to leave it their though, we’re also opening up our weekly discussions to ask a series of the review questions that you can get involved with here.

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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

  1. Animade-itsnicethat-list

    Tennis season is definitely in full swing now with the first game of Wimbledon kicking off (or whatever the tennis equivalent is) today. What better way to usher in the quintessentially British tournament than with some animation from our favourites Animade. Originally created for last month’s 2015 French Open as part of IBM’s interactive campaign for the tournament, eight animations and illustrations were displayed via large-scale advertisements around Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport and the Roland-Garros tennis stadium.

  2. Coda-itsnicethat-list

    When an animation manages to clock up more than 20 international film awards and an Oscar shortlist nomination you can be fairly sure it’s going to warrant taking nine minutes out of your busy morning – nine minutes you might have spent making coffee, or smoking, or chatting to a babe in HR – to watch. Coda is a short film by Dublin-based animation studio And Maps And Plans, which follows one lost soul’s drunken stumble home from a nightclub in the early hours of the morning. What starts as a warmly depicted story about drunk antics quickly transforms into a quiet reflection on life and mortality that will stick with you all day. At the risk of ruining the surprise I’ll stop there, but if you have them to spare, this might be the most wisely spent nine minutes you use all day.

  3. Wong-ping-itsnicethat-list

    I’m finding more and more these days that when an email from Mr Wong Ping lands in my inbox, my day immediately becomes ten times more fun. This is partly due to Wong’s email manner, and partly due to his inimitable ability to pick up on subjects which have never before been covered in animation.

  4. Sean-pecknold-nicolas-godin-orca-its-nice-that-list

    “When I first heard this song, I was like: Whuuuuuuuuu…. this rules. Then I listened to it for a few days on repeat with my eyes closed,” says director Sean Pecknold of his brilliant new video for one-half-of-Air Nicolas Godin’s new release.

  5. Blur-ong-ong-video-its-nice-that-list

    Anyone who’s ever watched the Damien Hirst-directed video for Blur’s Country House will be aware of the band’s guitarists Graham Coxon’s exemplary ability to look very, very uncomfortable. Poor thing, all bespectacled and writing about in a big brash bath that might as well be frothing over with cocaine and New Labour arrogance as with Matey bubbles. So imagine how the poor guy must have reacted to being told he had to dress as a sort of overgrown fuzzy flea, while front man Damon prances about in a large ice-cream cone costume. These are just some of the very surreal capers we see in the brand new video for Ong Ong, directed by Tony Hung, with illustrations by Spencer Wilson and using animation by Amy Sutton, Pete Mellor and Layla Atkinson at Trunk Studio.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.”

  8. Brian-wilson-california-inspires-me-its-nice-that-list-

    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.”

  9. 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.

  10. 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.”

  11. 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.

  12. Artandgraft-thewalk-itsnicethat-list

    I sometimes feel like animators have things pretty tough. There they are, working slavishly away until the wee hours of the morning making still imagery appear to move naturally and by the end of the day what do they have to show for it? About five seconds worth of footage. Gruelling stuff!

  13. 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!