• 40e

    Miss Ramirez Chair, El Ultimo Grito, 2006. Image © Heini Schneebeli

  • 40

    Miss Ramirez Chair

  • 40f

    Hand of Good, Hand of God, Freddie Robins, 1997. Image © Heini Schneebeli

  • 40a

    Hand of Good, Hand of God

  • 40d

    Wedgwoodn’t Tureen, Michael Eden, 2010. Image © Nick Moss

  • 40c

    The Wedgwoodn’t Tureen

Graphic Design

Crafts Council 40:40

Posted by Rob Alderson,

To celebrate its 40th birthday, The Crafts Council has launched a cracking online exhibition showcasing 40 of the most interesting pieces in its 1,400-strong collection and It’s Nice That was lucky enough to be invited to help create new works responding to some of those selections. We in turn reached out to illustrator (and former student of the month) Sophy Hollington and writer Michael Crowe to create three bespoke new narratives for the Miss Ramirez Chair, The Wedgwoodn’t Tureen and The Hand of Good, Hand of God glove. We were absolutely thrilled with the results and hope we have helped re-imagine some crafty classics.

Here are Michael’s three short stories.

The Miss Ramirez Chair

The beauty of the Miss Ramirez Chair helped to push-start what is now seen as a revolution. To celebrate both the chair’s design and the 6000th anniversary of the invention of the wheel, the Government launched “Project W”, an earnest attempt to attach wheels to anything wheel-free. Initially, great care was taken to find the most suitable, sensible sort of wheels for each thing – hand-carved wooden wheels for chess pieces, Monster Truck wheels for trees, Ferris wheels for skyscrapers, etc. Later it was found that people preferred a more laid back, “any wheels” approach, which packed more surprise and love. The project was and continues to be a terrific success. Lateness has been reduced by 80% (all shoes are now rollerskates) and everyone feels lighter, freer, smoother, as though their belongings aren’t quite so bolted down. Yes, we watch them roll away, but then we watch them roll right back.

Hand of Good, Hand of God

On your first day as a detective you toss your hat at the rack and it… Well well, what’s this? An unmarked parcel sat on your desk. Inside: another parcel. Inside: inside: these gloves. These peculiar gloves. You smile at them. Your smile holds and then gets smaller, smaller, infinitesimally small. You imagine dusting the box for a rather large number of fingerprints. Later. You wonder is this the start of my first case? You nod at your hat. You smell the gloves’ fingertips’ fingertips and a memory of a wave crashing ashore appears. A wave you saw as a child which stunned you. A wave which was identical to one you’d seen years earlier, when you were tiny. Splash for splash, identical. You didn’t tell anyone about that second wave, in case people would think you’d gone mad. They’d tell others, it would spread and spread… You jolt awake from these wavy thoughts: an odd knock, knuckling, spraying on your door.

The Wedgwoodn’t Tureen

I do something so stunningly athletic (a forward roll) that all Olympic gold medals on the planet are reassigned to me. Everyone – atheletes, collectors and inheritors alike – were all perfectly happy handing them over. I melt them all down and sculpt them into one huge Olympic gold medal. I give this symbol of success to you in a lavish, semi-awkward ceremony. Why? Because I think of you as the ultimate winner. It’s also your birthday. You tell me it’s terrifying, that you fear it will topple at any moment and crush you. I shoo it away and I hand you the Wedgwoodn’t Tureen instead. Your face lights up. You marvel at its complexity, its uncommon beauty, its pinkery. You tell me it’s far lovelier than the big ridiculous medal. I tell you it’s only on loan so don’t get too attached.

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. Chloe-scheffe-modern-times-signs-int-list

    We’re struggling to believe that Chloe Scheffe is still a student: her work is incredibly mature, nuanced and smart. She’s studying at Rhode Island School of Design, which in part explains her brilliant output, and her site is a testament to the quality and breadth of her output. Two very different but equally accomplished projects that caught our eye are some brilliant monochrome posters for a show at the college, which need little explanation, and some signage, which needs a little more.

  2. A2-moscow-int-list

    Somewhat lazily I’ve included an image in this post that concisely explains exactly what Moscow Sans is, who’s created it and why – which pretty much negates this whole piece of text. But in truth it was the best example of the typeface in use that I could find, hence its inclusion with the images below. Anyway, rather than repeating the sentiments of this text I’ll just say how excited I am to see Margaret Calvert lending her expertise to this project and reiterate a widely-held view that Henrik Kubel and Scott Williams are some of the finest typographic designers working today. Enjoy!

  3. Artworklove-jeff-koons-int-list

    You’d struggle to make a big, bright, shiny Jeff Koons balloon dog anything but visually brilliant, but Parisian studio Artworklove has surely done more with it than most, making it the star of some beautifully designed invitations to the artist’s show at the Pompidou centre. The colours, the scale and the stock selected work together beautifully and make a nice introduction to what the studio’s been up to since we last posted about them in 2012, when we flagged up some great art direction using a nice Julia Roberts quip. Other cool noteworthy projects they’ve carried out of late include a great identity for French furniture and homeware site La Chance, which takes a simple icon and colour palette and twists the mark into something more dynamic.

  4. Nbstudio-almeida-int-list

    It’s often the case with design work that the final outcome is quite different in scope to the original brief. So it was for NB Studio, which was originally asked by the Almeida Theatre in London for a brand review and refresh. After what the studio calls “an intensive period of immersion and briefing sessions,” the NB team came back with a more wide-ranging proposal – “It was clear then that this was to be a bold re-brand rather than mere cosmetic enhancement,” they say.

  5. Vg_alphabeta_04

    About seven years ago Village Green produced a series of iconic posters for London’s infamous Fabric nightclub… and then we haven’t checked up on them since. Poor form on our part as they’ve been busy expanding, improving and creating work for bigger and better clients. Currently it seems they’re specialising in architectural branding for commercial property developments, cladding the Alphabeta redevelopment in Finsbury Square, London and The Bonhill Building office spaces on Old Street. Of course they’ve done other stuff too; like the identity and exhibition design for Jean Paul Gaultier’s Barbican show and Nike’s 2013 Hypervenom campaign, but frankly there’s just too much stuff to cover in one article. We’ll be sure to keep closer tabs on these guys in future.

  6. Quimmarin-posters-int-list

    Barcelona-based designer and art director Quim Marin has a strong visual sensibility and a prolific work-rate if scrolling through his site is anything to go by. There’s a load of impressive poster and other print design on there, with particularly effective use of some trendy tropes which can often feel stale in less talented hands. “In such a visually polluted environment I try to come up with fresh and memorable designs with a clear aim at essential beauty and equilibrium that, at the same time, will ensure communicative effectiveness,“ Quim says by way of a mission statement, and it’s hard to sum up his work better than that.

  7. Chevalvert-int-list-2

    You wade into Chevalvert’s portfolio rubbing your hands across your eyes, unsure of what you’ve stumbled across. The Paris-based studio was founded in 2007 by Patrick Paleta and Stéphane Buellet and describes itself as being based on an “open, multidisciplinary approach,” which might go some way to explaining why it feels like a cave laden with treasures. So many treasures.

  8. Fantastic-man-list

    Fantastic Man magazine has been redesigned, as shown in its teaser image of its tenth anniversary issue. The magazine’s new issue cover star JW Anderson has shown the new cover on Instagram, which reveals a new design seeing the masthead run vertically and horizontally, instead of its previous preluder horizontal configuration. The cover image also runs to both sides, moving away from its previous white-edged format. We’re excited to see what changes might have been made to the inside of the mag…

  9. Dwp-bikestock-int-list

    This morning I had a puncture that I couldn’t fix and had to get the train to work, so it feels timely to be writing about Bikestock, a range of vending machines full of cycling essentials that can be found all over New York and Boston. The concept is a simple one; inner tubes, spanners, tyre levers tyres and any number of other little bits and pieces that make your wheels turn smoothly are boshed into a vending machine so you can grab them on the go and, more importantly, at any time of day!

  10. List

    Joost Bos is a recent graduate from the Academie Minerva Groningen in The Netherlands where he’s spent three years studying for his bachelor’s degree. Like many of his Dutch counterparts he’s a dab hand with typography both traditional and experimental and has a plethora of printed pieces in his portfolio. This one, Sequence 1, is an exhibition catalogue for a show of artist books at Joost’s alma mater, which perfectly demonstrates his design sensibilities. Immaculately set type is interspersed with hand-drawn elements and bright colours bring intrigue to an otherwise monochrome publication. Like what you’re seeing? He’s available for freelance work right now!

  11. Sam-coldy-penguin-int-list

    Is it just me or is Penguin killing it at the moment? The publishing house only recently celebrated its 80th birthday by launching a range of its classic titles for 80p each, accompanied by a slick website and a poster campaign which has reached even the furthest corners of London’s transport system. And right now, they’re in the midst of a new campaign called On the Page which celebrates women authors and characters in literary masterpieces.

  12. Karansingh-mop-int-list

    The glorious coming together of pattern, shape and colour makes for a joyous experience and that’s why print designers are held in such high regard. Last week we commissioned Animade to turn three eye-poppingly good Pucci x Orlebar Brown patterns into trippy GIFs, this week we’re turning our attention to profiling creatives we believe are among the best around when it comes to working in this area. We are proud to present these #mastersofprint.

  13. Gerard-marin-int-list

    There’s something of a trend going around at the moment for identities using 3D logo-marks, and with this one by Gerard Marin we can see why. Barcelona-based designer Gerard developed the branding, stationery and corporate materials for interior designer and visual merchandiser Neus Ortiz. Recognisability and malleability were at the forefront of his mind for this project, and the flexible “N,” which changes according to its application, prove a neat solution to both. His is an unfussy aesthetic which lends itself perfectly to branding projects – here’s hoping more make their way to him very soon.