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    Tom Edward’s Bookshelf

Illustration

Bookshelf: Let Tom Edwards teach you about the days of yore via his brilliant books!

Posted by Liv Siddall,

I don’t think any Bookshelf has brought me as much joy as this one by Tom Edwards. A long-standing favourite illustrator of It’s Nice That, Tom once walked on his knees across the office floor to shake hands with someone, which was really funny. Seriously though, Tom is one of the best illustrators in London, and he is also holds the crown of being one of the capital’s biggest medieval enthusiasts, letting his passions creep into the Bruegel crossed with Beano drawings that make up his body of work. You can see some of his exciting new work exhibited at Pick Me Up next week.

  • Heraldiccrests

    James Fairbairn: Heraldic Crests

James Fairbairn: Heraldic Crests

I LOVE this book. 4,424 designs compiled under one cover taken directly from heraldry. If I’m stuck for something to draw I just flip through this and something will catch my eye. This is the book I use the most for inspiration. Its a Dover Images book, the shop in Seven Dials recently shut down which is sad : (

  • Gtme

    Ian Mortimer: Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England & Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England

Ian Mortimer: Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England & Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England

If, like me, you want to know what it might have been like to live in Medieval and Elizabethan England then this is probably a good place to start. Obviously nobody will ever know what its really like (maybe Medieval re-enactors do) but Ian Mortimer certainly has a good stab at telling us, taking you through the landscapes, what people were like, what to wear, where to stay and what to do so if you ever do time travel you’d be well prepared with these.

  • Meg

    V. Pritchard: English Medieval Graffiti

V. Pritchard: English Medieval Graffiti

Who knew that Medieval people had graffiti?(Maybe Ian Mortimer should have?) Anyway, I like the thought that the images scratched into stonework of churches and cathedrals are probably the only thing that that particular person has left behind, it gives a real connection to the past if you see one in real life. Especially when you stop to think that somebody stood in the same spot, hundreds of years ago, and took time to carve a pattern or motif into the stonework.

  • Bruugel

    Keith Roberts: Bruegel

Keith Roberts: Bruegel

I always bang on about Pieter Bruegel, but his paintings are just great. I could look at them for hours and still find new things. I like that he used to dress up as a farmer and go and hang out with the people he put in his paintings. One day I will go on a “pilgrimage” to Vienna to see his paintings in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, but until then I guess this book will have to do.

  • Folkarchive

    Jeremy Deller & Alan Kane: Folk Archive, Contemporary Popular Art from the UK

Jeremy Deller & Alan Kane: Folk Archive, Contemporary Popular Art from the UK

This book follows nicely on from Bruegel as, like his paintings, it features people from everyday life. I think it accompanied an exhibition which, sadly, I never saw. The book is a medley of Images put together by Deller and Kane, as it says on the cover it is a ‘celebration of the creative life of Britain’, from crop circles to mechanical elephants to hand made banners by Ed Hall.

  • Tebookshelf

    Tom Edward’s Bookshelf

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Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Bookshelf View Archive

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    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!

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    When we get in touch with the people whose work we admire to ask if they’d like to be involved in the Bookshelf feature, we ask them to pick books which have been particularly inspiring or influential to them in their lives, and this brief might never been more closely followed than by Jessica Svendsen. Jessica is a graphic designer at Pentagram and teaches Typography at both Parsons and Pratt in New York, as well as working on a number of freelance projects which are as remarkable for the degree of research which informs them as for their bold, impactful imagery.

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    Longtime fans of Toro Y Moi will already know Chaz Bundick to be a man with impeccable visual stylings, and a portfolio which stretches way beyond logos and album covers to include album launches turned art exhibitions, screen-printed posters and a heavy involvement with the concepts behind his music videos as well. Today marks the launch of Chaz’s debut album Michael under the name of his dancier side project Les Sins, which we decided made for an ample excuse to get a look at his Bookshelf. And my god it’s a good one.

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    Where some printed publications shy away from British culture as it exists beyond Union Jack flags and Yorkshire tea in floral china, LAW Magazine, which stands for Lives and Works is already knee-deep in the grit and the grime. Now in its fifth issue, the staple-bound bi-annual describes itself as a platform for “the beautiful everyday… A window into the world of the current undercurrent that nobody is catching and which is therefore of greater importance to document.” It’s a kind of Britishness so ubiquitous that you’d have to be wandering the streets with your head in a bag to miss it – one defined by full-suspension mountain bikes, Sunday League referees, Hackney estate maps and Vauxhall Novas.

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    Having founded London-based design studio Build in 2001, creative director Michael C. Place has amassed his fair share of books in his time, with a healthy combination of design knowledge to be found tucked between the spines on the studios (admirably well-organised) shelf. We’ve been championing Build’s work on the site for some time now, so what better way to get an insight into the inspirations behind their snazzy work than by hearing from the creative director himself about his favourite reading material? Between Letraset catalogues, reflections on legend Wim Crouwel and Michael’s mate Blam (who has excellent taste in books) we were not disappointed.

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    “In February 2013, 18 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.” That’s the opening statement on the website of graphic novelist Matilda Tristram, who channeled this painful chapter of her life into a bestselling comic entitled Probably Nothing. We interviewed Matilda a while back on the site and were so intrigued by her story, we had to know more. In this revealing, insightful Bookshelf, Matilda shows us the fantastic books that have inspired her to be one of the most important and engaging graphic novelists working today. Here she is…

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    Yay! Hato Press! We love them. A lot. Neighbours of ours, Hato have spent the last five years collaborating with some of the coolest young creatives and oldest institutions to create impeccably beautiful printed matter and design solutions. A number of the publications these guys have produced are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever had the pleasure of holding/smelling, and it seems that every single thing they do or work on is covered in a glimmering magic dust that is exclusive to only them. Before you go and wet your pants over their multi-disciplinary work on their very nice websites (here and here) check out the books that have inspired them over the years below. Enjoy!

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    Satirical artist and very funny woman Miriam Elia is something of a pro when it comes to books; last year she self-published We Go to the Gallery, a satirical reinterpretation of a 1960s Ladybird book which seeks to help parents explain sex, death and contemporary art to their young ones, complete with a handy glossary of new words to learn. She’s since co-curated an exhibition about Pastiche, Parody and Piracy at London’s Cob Gallery, while other past works include I Fell in Love With a Conceptual Artist… and It Was TOTALLY MEANINGLESS about her relationship with Martin Creed. Hilarious? Yes. Yes it is. Miriam’s Bookshelf includes lovingly weathered books about typography, photography, flesh-eating plants and Butlins holiday camps, giving a neat insight into her brain.

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    John Tebbs is an English gardener who, frustrated by the fact that “many of his working days are held hostage to the weather” founded The Garden Edit in the winter of 2013. His idea was to spend his downtime as productively as possible, creating an online store of beautiful objects which he sourced and sold himself. The resulting curated collection reflects John’s faultless aesthetic, selling “minimal, well-designed products from craftspeople, artists, publishing houses and family-run businesses” alongside a Journal which features short articles by some of his favourite figures about their own horticultural escapades, from rooftop gardens to illustrations of plants.

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    Want to know a surprising secret about self-proclaimed “book obsessive” and Dazed & Confused editor Isabella Burley? She can’t stand big coffee-table-sized fashion books. “I’ve always taken my references from art, pop culture, photography and sex zines rather than fashion,” she told us. “That’s really come to shape the way I approach our fashion content within Dazed.”

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    With 25 years experience in magazine design, not to mention eight years of covering the extensive subject under the title magCulture, it’s a wonder we haven’t already metaphorically burst into Jeremy Leslie’s house and insisted he share his five favourite examples of printed matter right then and there. Instead, we caught him in the build up to The Modern Magazine 2014, the conference which takes place annually in the midst of London Design Festival to shine a torch on the current state of editorial creativity, as well as new directions for the industry.

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    Danielle Pender is the brain at the helm of Riposte magazine, one of the most exciting new publications created to champion the women doing exciting work in the creative industries today, as well as working at KK Outlet, the London outpost of communications agency KesselsKramer, so can you blame us for wanting to have a poke about her bookshelf? Her selection gives a generous insight into the process behind putting together a magazine, from the issue of National Geographic which led her and Riposte’s creative director Shaz Madani to consider a text-based front cover for the magazine (“I’m really happy we had the balls to go with it”) and the all-time hero she dreams of interviewing, with a few other gems thrown in for good measure. She technically stretched her five books to seven, but we let her off because they’re all so damn interesting.

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    I always had a hunch that Bruno Bayley was the kind of guy with a great bookshelf – you can just tell that he’s a hoarder of the weird, the kind of person who would rather stumble upon someone’s diary in a forest than, say, a suitcase full of cash. London-based Bruno is the European managing editor of Vice, which allows him to take his curiosity for the dark corners of the world and pump them out to those who want to know but perhaps can’t be bothered to look. His articles are some of the best on Vice at the moment, so go and check them out after you’ve read his deeply interesting, peculiar top five books. Excuse us while we go and subscribe to the Fortean Times