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Graphic Design

May Review

Posted by Will Hudson,

In an attempt to keep you updated with the best of what has fallen through our letter box, here is our slightly irregular review.

The Worst Hotel In The World

Written and Designed by KesselsKramer, Published by Booth-Clibborn Editions
Anyone who can successfully live off being the proud owner of the worst hotel in the world is obviously doing something right. When Rob Penris, the owner of The Hans Brinker Hotel in Amsterdam hired KesselsKramer, he couldn’t have made a better decision. The book charts the history of the two working together and the campaigns that followed, many of which you will have seen (or heard of) before. By no means the worst book in the world and well worth a look.

We Make Magazines.

Edited by Andrew Losowsky
I don’t know enough about it to comment intelligently but publishing is in a pretty dark place. With more and more titles retiring from the shelves of our local news stands it’s a fairly depressing time, that is of course until you open the pages of We Make Magazines and gorge yourself on the sheer number of independent publishers doing something exciting, from Carl’s Cars to Varoom they’re all in here. Designed by Jeremy Leslie and illustrations from Jean Jullien there’s little to argue with, highly recommended.

Ornamental Conifer

Screen prints
A central London studio offering a hands on approach to print design, lovely stuff.

Sam Blunden

Self promotion pack
Simple and effective, this self promotion pack from London based graphic designer and art director Sam Blunden had us straight on his site to see the rest of his work. You should have a look as well.

Wait & See Catalogue

Designed by
It’s not often a degree show catalogue humbles you and your efforts when you were in their shoes. A highly accomplished piece of design, this catalogue for the Lincoln School of Art and Design is an impressible two colour job. Designed by Simon Mortimer, David Marsh and Tom Lovell.

Your Golden Opportunity Is Coming Very Soon

RJ Shaughnessy
It’s hard to go wrong with a nicely bound hardback book containing 37 black and white photographs. It’s also hard to describe how beautifully RJ Shaughnessy has managed to make scratches, scrapes and bumps on roadside objects look. www.rjshaughnessy.com

Journal of Science

Martin Fengels
Journal of Science boasts a bit of a challengingly academic title, but one that urges the reader to explore further. In it Martin Fengels exhibits a set of photographs of mysterious objects that he sees acting as everyday ‘photographic readymades’. His ideas are summed up beautifully in the final sentence of the introduction with a quote from Andre Breton “Whoever steers the ship of photography safely through the virtually incomprehensible maelstrom of pictures will seize life once more in his jaws, as if turning a film backwards.”

Millie Scarlett Davies Self Promotion

It’s that time of year when we get quite a lot of post from graduating students and we love looking through it all, especially when it’s as well considered and put together as Millie’s. What’s more is that she’s not even graduating until next year which makes it that little bit more impressive. One to watch.

Simon Oxley

Definitely the first time we’ve had dead fish through the post, not sure if we want it to be the last? Simon Oxley is a designer, photographer and illustrator who has spent the last 10 years in Japan and kindly sent us a selection of photographs, illustrations and dead animals.


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: Advertising View Archive

  1. List

    Like police officers getting younger, feeling estranged from Radio 1 is a sure sign that you’re getting on a bit. But even I – from the rarefied perch of my early 30s – can appreciate the brilliance of this promo for the station’s Even More Music Month. They had the good sense to commission animation duo Nicos Livesey and Tom Bunker, who created 30 seconds of trippy music-themed madness complete with gurning lollipops, bopping pineapples and an infernal rock-band playing on a spooling tongue. It’s fun, it looks great and it gets its message across in a half-minute energy burst, even if disappearing into Fearne Cotton’s mouth is slightly terrifying.

  2. Main

    It’s time to play Spot the Creative here in this fantastic video from Rotterdam design studio From Form. I was going to say that it was an animation, but that’s the beauty of this film – it’s totally not. By using clever, olde worlde-style fairground aesthetics they’ve conjured up a mechanical set with which to promote the annual Reasons to Create conference.

  3. Glazer-list

    Fresh off the press trail from Under The Skin, Jonathan Glazer has just finished work on an intensely physical advert for Canon. The spot, called Gladiator Football, focuses on the annual Florentine game of Calcio Storico, a brutal combination of cage fighting and football that sees two teams pitted against each other in a sandy ring, beating the crap out of each other in order to win a cow.

  4. List

    If I’m being completely honest for the first ten seconds of this new Guardian ad, I thought it was going to be frustratingly saccharine. But what starts out seeming like just another cutesy, family-orientated spot packed full of adorable little children making a mess of their middle-class parents’ homes, quickly develops into a beautifully structured bit of film, suggesting that we’re all influenced by The Guardian’s weekend offerings, as person after person engages uniquely with their cultural and culinary content; attending the same shows, cooking the same Nigel Slater recipe and even having a crack at making the same bird house. Which sums up the weekend I’m about to have perfectly. Fetch me my tools!

  5. List

    Film4 has been one of the UK’s foremost production companies since its inception in 1982, responsible for titles like Trainspotting, Paris, Texas, Hunger and This Is England among many others. They’re also the UK’s number one film channel, screening films for free since 2010. But we’ve always just liked them for their weird TV spots. When they launched their free service four years ago they had Lucy Liu, Ewan McGregor, Gael Garcia Bernal and Judi Dench dressed up in all manner of strange outfits making fools of themselves. Now they’ve grown up a bit and have a new look to show off, but the ads are no less enjoyable.

  6. List

    It’s been nearly a year now since Breaking Bad ended although its die-hard fans remain evangelical in explaining to literally anybody how they really should have seen it by now. Maybe this will distract them for a while, as Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have reunited for this super six-minute promo to mark Audi’s sponsorship of Monday’s Emmy Awards. We find the duo running a slightly creepy pawn shop where they encounter Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who is trying to pawn her Emmy statuette after drunkenly buying an island because she was jealous of Celine Dion. There are lots of nicely sly nods to the pair’s previous incarnation, the merits of supporting actors and comedy vs drama, and there are (so I am told) a few neat Breaking Bad in-jokes too. The high-production values help of course but it’s the script that sets this apart.

  7. Scclist

    If Quentin Tarantino made ads, they’d look like this. The scene is a dark, chintzy bar. Our protagonist wears a studded denim jacket and glitzy gold earrings. There’s a song in the background about Little Red Riding Hood, and I think we all know who’s the Big Bad Wolf.

  8. List

    There has been a lot of discussion about brand stories recently, but it’s important to differentiate between vaguely extrapolated marketing gimmicks and genuine humdingers of revolution and exile, fire and earthquakes. BACARDÍ boasts a heritage that includes an astonishing array of interesting tales, and they’ve drawn on this rich reserve to create their very own graphic novel.

  9. List

    There was a time when it was all about fitting in, running with the in-crowd and following the masses. But over recent years we’ve all come to realise that it’s much more interesting to dare to be different and that weird and unusual can be so much more exciting.

  10. Main

    The word “sumptuous” shouldn’t be thrown around willy nilly, but in the context of a new Johnnie Walker whisky ad featuring Jude Law lounging on what could be the world’s most expensive antique boat, lolling about on the sapphire Mediterranean, it’s totally acceptable. You may well have seen the Johnnie Walker ad in collaboration with Mr Porter going around the web last week, a 6-minute visual feast that is infused with style and money and a Talented Mr Ripley-vibe. Tom Cockram, a photographer we hold very dear to our hearts, has put all the behind-the-scenes shots from this ad that was directed by Jake Scott up on his site, and I’m tempted to say that I’m enjoying these even more than the ad itself.

  11. Ifvlist

    Do I love this ad campaign more because it’s French? Probably. It’d be super cool from anywhere though. Intermarché – a big supermarket chain in France – decided it was time to save an endangered species from the rubbish bin; ugly duckling fruit and veg. In the UK a whopping 40% of greens don’t reach our shelves simply for being a bit unfortunate looking and globally we waste $750 billion worth of food each year. Ouch.

  12. List

    If you watched any of this year’s World Cup you’ll most likely have noticed all the players strutting about in pairs of weightless neon boots. If, like me, you don’t really pay attention to that kind of thing, then you may not have known what they were. Luckily this stunning spot from ManvsMachine grabbed my attention for long enough to inform me that they were Nike’s latest Mercurial Superfly boot, capable of eviscerating a giant marble army of footballing warriors with their superhuman speed. But more important than my education in high-performance footwear was my appreciation of the phenomenal skill of Mike Alderson and his team at ManvsMachine whose ability to turn pure fiction into a believable, 3D-rendered reality is nothing short of breathtaking.

  13. List

    Remember the Speedo-clad old dude strolling casually through beach-bronzed beautiful people in Wieden + Kennedy’s hugely popular Southern Comfort spot a few years back? Course you do (and it’s still worth a watch in case you were wondering). Anyway Young Gun is the latest spot in the campaign and we think it’s another winner. If you’ve ever stood incandescent with rage as a barman holds up the entire queue showing off their “moves,” then you’ll enjoy this.