• Emiliano-ponzo-hero

    Bookshelf: Emiliano Ponzi

Illustration

Top-notch illustrator Emiliano Ponzi gives us a guided tour of his Bookshelf and five favourite tomes

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

For illustrators like Milan-based Emiliano Ponzi, working with the written word is a mainstay of creativity. For him in particular, the creating editorial illustration for the upper echelons of objective journalism cannot be as simple a task his work lets us assume; indeed, communicating complex notions is rare with such “judicious use of line” and such immediate graphic effect as Emiliano achieves. Surely, this ability to visualise concepts must arrive from an understanding of words unattainable to us mere non-illustrators? Who knows but perhaps his selection of five books for our Bookshelf feature might shed some light?

John Maeda: Laws of simplicity

He wrote what I feel and I feel what he wrote. By the use of simple laws he explains how simplicity and complexity are part of the same subject and they are complimentary. He quotes many examples of successful products that came up from a clear vision. Synthesis is a fundamental skill first as way of thinking and then in the creation of any kind of design. Surgical!
www.amazon.co.uk/the-laws-of-simplicity
www.lawsofsimplicity.com

John Fante: Wait until spring, Bandini

This was strongly suggested by my mother years ago. I took it but I never read it until last year. It is the story of a poor Italian family who immigrated to an imaginary Colorado city. All the family members emotions are incredibly described, you can literally feel them on your skin. It’s a photograph of a wait where everything looks suspended but many things happen inside the plot while waiting for the spring time so they can go outside and start playing baseball again. Touching!
www.amazon.co.uk/wait-until-spring-bandini
www.wikipedia.org/john-fante

Italo Calvino: Se una Notte d’Inverno un Viaggiatore (If a Winter’s Night a Traveller)

This is a great example of  postmodern literature: The main character is the reader that attempts to enjoy the book but, because of different reasons, has to stop all the times and begins other novels. So it’s made by many stories that just begin but never end, It talks about literatures multiple possibilities. I’m curious to know how each story would finish. Brilliant!
www.amazon.co.uk/if-on-a-winter-night-a-traveller
www.wikipedia.org/if-on-a-winter-night-a-traveller

Amélie Nothomb: Métaphysique des Tubes

I did a portrait of her for a magazine so I looked at many pictures of Amélie on the web and I found that she wears a lot of strange hats. This book is a visionary description of a consciousness, we can call her “newborn” or little girl but she felt as the Lord. The evolution of “the man” from just being a lost “tube” in the universe to human being that knows the word by giving a name to objects and people. Cathartic!
www.amazon.com/metaphysique-tubes
www.wikipedia.org/metaphysique-tubes

Gipi: Questa è la Stanza (This is the Room)

It is a comic book by one of the most important Italian authors who is very well known also in France and US. It is the story of four friends from a suburban neighbourhood that find an old garage to play in together as a music band. That room becomes a sort of shelter that protects them from their messy lives outside. With straight dialogues and drawings he represents a frame of happiness/sadness of an anonymous province. Real!
www.coconinopress.it/questa-e-la-stanza

  • Emiliano-ponzo-lead
Portrait9

Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Bookshelf View Archive

  1. Dominic-wilcox-bookshelf-list-int

    There aren’t many designers out there who can count a pair of shoes with GPS tracking, a race against a 3D printer and a stained glass driverless car among their recent projects, but Dominic Wilcox isn’t just any old designer. In fact, the job title “inventor” seems to be more appropriate, given that he spends his days identifying gaps in the objects we use, and experimenting with materials to develop new and intriguing ways to fill them.

  2. 4_int_bookshelf_americasfav2-list

    Brooklyn-based graphic designer Elana Schlenker is not only the creator of “occasional pamphlet of typographic smut” Gratuituous Type, she’s also a freelancer with a magnificent array of colourful projects on her (frankly quite beautiful) website, a very good speaker, an exhibitor at exhibitions in Edinburgh and at London’s own KK Outlet. And she’s won a bunch of awards, too. Her aesthetic is pastel coloured without being sickly, innovative without feeling audacious and involves the kinds of books which just seem to make life nicer.

  3. Stevie-gee-rumble-fish-list

    Illustrator and art director Stevie Gee has a pretty solid place in our hearts; his work is a glorious collection of iconic retro elements, moustachioed men, skateboarding and surfing know-how and the occasional dollop of sleaze for good measure. His Bookshelf, however, secures him in It’s Nice That history forevermore; never before have a classic skateboard, several pairs of silken panties, such a delightful collection of textiles and a cat called Olive featured. His book collection is pretty good too, jumping from vintage erotic comic books to 70s psychedelia is one fell swoop. All hail Stevie Gee!

  4. Gourmand-list-int

    If you’ve passed an independent magazine stand or stepped into a newsagents of late then without a doubt you’ll have some idea of what The Gourmand is. The biannual journal focuses on food in all its guises, and it’s invariably too enticing not to pick up. Founded by David Lane and Marina Tweed, the magazine is something of a pulsating hub for cultural references, with every page bearing the kind of striking imagery that challenges accepted patterns of independent publishing, urging the whole industry forward. You can see why we decided to grab co-founder and creative director David Lane to run us through his five favourite inspirational books from the studio Bookshelf.

  5. Teoconnor-bookshelf-list-int

    If you’ve laid your eyes on a poster for one of Somerset House’s exhibitions recently then you’ve more than likely been looking at the work of Teo Connor’s eponymous east London design agency. Teo, who previously co-founded No Days Off, has since worked on a bunch of chic campaigns for the cultural institution, not to mention projects for Tate, Nike and the V&A. She’s also co-founder of The W Project, which champions women in the creative industries through a series of events and exhibitions, which means she basically ticks every box. Brilliant woman.

  6. Fonshickmann-bookshelf-2

    It’s not very often we have a selection of vintage porn magazines masquerading as a book about the history of cinema on It’s Nice That, and for this special occasion we have Professor Fons Hickmann, founder of Berlin studio Fons Hickmann m23, to thank – he stumbled across the rare finding at a French flea market.

  7. List

    Last week Apartamento’s co-founder and art director Omar Sosa mentioned an upcoming collaboration with artist Nathalie Du Pasquier in his Bookshelf feature, and purely by chance this week we have Nathalie herself running us through her favourite books. What a nice coincidence!

  8. New-omar-list_

    You know how, when going to the hair salon, you automatically and perhaps unfairly expect your hairdresser to be perfectly coiffed? We had a similar sense of anticipation when it came to admiring Omar Sosa’s favourite books – a kind of nervous hope that the man responsible for getting together with Nacho Alegre to co-found Apartamento, an eclectic and deftly-curated compilation of cool characters and the spaces they inhabit, has a similarly intriguing collection of books in his own home too.

  9. Lenka-list

    Artist Lenka Clayton has been a mainstay on It’s Nice That since way back in 2009, whether she’s doing very slow magic tricks, making drawings on a typewriter with friend and collaborator Michael Crowe, or making books about the 63 objects she has removed from her son’s mouth. With such a multidisciplinary practice we knew Lenka would have stacks of wonderful books tucked away, and we weren’t mistaken. “A few years ago I moved to America from England,” she explained, “so I have far fewer books at home than I used to, making this exercise quite easy. The books I chose are the ones that I sacrificed clothes space for in my suitcases.” It seems a good tactic, as these five are a wonderfully eclectic insight into Lenka’s work. Read on!

  10. Unnamed

    As co-founder of London-based studio 8vo, co-editor of Octavo, International Journal of Typography for all of its eight year-long life and now one half of typographic powerhouse MuirMcNeil, you’d imagine that Hamish Muir has built up a fairly comprehensive collection of design and typography-based publications over the 30 odd years he’s been working. Fortunately for you, we’ve done the legwork and gotten cold hard proof of it in the form of photographs of his top five, and it’s even better than we imagined.

  11. List

    Antenne Books is to independent art bookshops what cool kids are to playgrounds – generously exchanging the very best in Pokemon cards from their reserved spot on the climbing frame – except for the Pokemon cards are beautifully made books about art, photography, design and illustration, and the climbing frame is a neat website. They shared five of their favourite out-of-print publications, including some absolute bangers from Ari Marcopoulos and Ed Templeton, leaving us envious and awestruck in equal parts. For their full range, check out their website.

  12. List

    Last week Clive Martin from Vice called him “the David Bailey of grime” which sums up Ewen Spencer’s oeuvre beautifully, really. The documentary photographer has made British youth and subculture his bread and butter, photographing the UK garage scene in all of its gritty glory as well as working for the NME, photographing The White Stripes, making the very brilliant Brandy & Coke and producing a host of books and exhibitions as well. As far as perspectives on Britishness go, Ewen’s is basically unrivalled.

  13. List

    Yesterday marked the launch of the brand new issue of bi-annual hardback Twin magazine, the defiantly substantial glossy publication that clubs fashion, art and culture together through interviews and gorgeous imagery. This issue includes photographs by Petra Collins, an archive of childhood shots of Kate Bush taken by her older brother and an interview with the remarkable Neneh Cherry, so to celebrate we thought we’d have founder Becky Smith show us the five books which have inspired and influenced her. In the process, we learned who her favourite photographers are, whose rare books she’s lucky to have laid her hands on and the unlikely inspiration behind the name “Twin”. Read on!