• Chris-ware-hero

    Chris Ware: Building Stories

Graphic Design

Graphic Design: A look at the graphics nominations for Designs of the Year 2014

Posted by Rob Alderson,

The design world can be a splintered place sometimes but it tends to come together around the time the Design Museum announces its Designs of the Year nominations (admittedly either to praise the lucky few or bitch about the selection!). This year’s shortlists across architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product and transport once again recognise some of the most interesting and exciting projects to have emerged over the past 12 months, and as ever competition will be fierce.

Rather than try to give you a run-down of all 76 nominees, which you can find over on the Design Museum site we decided to hone in on the graphics category and take a look at the runners and riders…

The thrill of these kinds of awards is that they flag up both work you are familiar with as well as things you hadn’t come across before, and because they are nominated by design industry professionals the quality and breadth is genuinely exciting. Of the work we know, it’s great to see Chris Ware’s extraordinary Building Stories nominated along with the M to M of M/M Paris (designed by Graphic Thought Facility and written by Emily King). Both Works That Work and The Gourmand, two of the independent publishing world’s brightest stars deserve their nods as do two museum identities; Marina Willer (who is speaking at our Here conference this year) for her Serpentine branding with Bryan Boylan and Experimental Jetset’s tremendous work for The Whitney.

It’s good to see recognition too for Shaolan Hsueh and Noma Bar’s Chineasy book which harnesses illustrations to teach readers Mandarin, an excellently practical use of graphic skills. Our very own director Alex Bec is among those who put names forward and one of his choices – Rami Niemi’s blisteringly good illustrations for the Art Directors’ Club Annual – deservedly makes the cut.

  • Mtom-covers-gtf

    Graphic Thought Facility/Emily King: M to M of M/M Paris

  • Works-that-work-2

    Works That Work

  • The-gourmand-issue-01

    David Lane and Marina Tweed: The Gourmand

  • The-gourmand-issue-03

    David Lane and Marina Tweed: The Gourmand

  • Serp-spread-image03

    Marina Willer/Bryan Boylan: Serpentine Gallery identity

  • Whitney-4

    Experimental Jetset: Whitney Museum identity

  • Person-singular

    Noma Bar and ShaoLan Hsueh: Chineasy

  • Sun

    Noma Bar and ShaoLan Hsueh: Chineasy

  • Tree

    Noma Bar and ShaoLan Hsueh: Chineasy

  • Rn6

    Rami Niemi: ADC Annual 2013

Elsewhere the graphics category recognises the issue of A Magazine Curated by Stephen Jones, dedicated to Anna Piaggi and the art of illustration and a type family designed of youngsters which was originally conceived at Hastings primary school Castledown.

The visual identities for the FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur- contemporary arts centre (by Jean-Marie Courant, Marie Proyart, Olivier Vadrot) and the Escuyer underwear brand (by Modern Practice) are both shortlisted, as is the graduation project of ECAL’s Thibault Brevet, who created a machine which creates people’s online submissions in the real world.

Last but not least, James Bridle’s Drone Shadows installations are rightly lauded, bringing us face-to-face with the issue of drone use by creating outlines of these machines on our streets.

  • Anna-piaggi-_-stephen-jones-by-gladys-perint-palmer_-2013-copy-a-magazine

    Gladys Perint-Palmer: Anna Piagggi and Stephen Jones for A Magazine Curated by…

  • Castledown_image_1

    The Castledown Type Family

  • Frac-paca

    Jean-Marie Courant, Marie Proyart, Olivier Vadrot: FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur identity

  • Modern-practice-escuyer-identity-logo

    Modern Practice: Escuyer identitiy

  • Drone-shadow-006

    James Bridle: Drone Shadows

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. Emptyfilmposters-itsnicethat-list

    Sure this isn’t the kind of thing we usually post, but the sun’s all blazing and glorious outside our windows today, so we thought we’d be kind and give you something to stare at for the next few hours until it’s time to make your way to the closest beer garden available. You know what these images are don’t you? They’re iconic film posters with all traces of branding and characters removed – the bench without Forrest, a sunset with Simba removed and a deep blue sub-aquatic fade that’s one shark short of of a multi-million dollar blockbuster franchise. These posters are the result of hours of hard photoshopping by French art director Madani Bendjellal, and for making our afternoon pass that little bit faster we owe him our thanks. Thanks!

  2. Faber-modern-classics-itsnicethat-.list

    A couple of months ago, we spoke to a number of book designers about whether they felt you had to read a book to design its cover. Whichever camp you sit in, it’s clear that with something as powerful and evocative as a piece of literature, summing up complex and emotive ideas in a single cover is no mean feat, so we were keen to hear more about how the process worked when designing for Faber’s new series of modern classics. The series launches this week with ten books including Look Back in Anger by John Osborne, Ariel by Sylvia Plath, TS Eliot’s Selected Poems and Self-Help by Lorrie Moore. A further six titles are to be released in June.

  3. Production-type-itsnicethat-list

    It seems to me that half the job when you work at a type foundry is finding the best way to showcase your wares. In an industry now bubbling with interactive websites, weird apps and even the occasional trailer, typeface specimens are an old fashioned means, but as Paris-based digital foundry Production Type proves, they’re often the best.

  4. I-give-an-xpentagram-itsnicethatlist

    Where an “x” was once a kiss, it’s now something rather different – a mark that signifies your voice in the election. This little but very powerful symbol is at the heart of a new non-partisan project by Pentagram, I Give an X, which saw Marina Willer and the team create hundreds of different x marks which they hope people will use as their online profile picture.

  5. Wardheirwegh_itsnicethat-list

    Some graphic design projects seem straightforward; a lovely foil, and Bob’s your uncle! Others demand a bit more attention, however, and for those we call in the likes of Ward Heirwegh. Based in Antwerp, Ward specialises in design for exhibitions, translating complex, abstract concepts into coherent, understandable printed accompaniments. In my opinion this branch of design requires a very specific and quite elusive skill for compressing and transforming information.

  6. Hightide-itsnicethat-list

    If there’s one thing New York design studio High Tide knows well, it’s how to brand a luxury startup. Danny Miller and his team have worked with brands like Warby Parker since they were just a glint in the lens of their founder’s spectacles, then subsequently with all manner of high-flying fashion brands. As a rule they opt for effortless minimalism, but the selection of work below demonstrates the studio’s tailored approach to every new client they take on, whether it’s footwear or fragrance they’re peddling.

  7. List-innocent-sorcerers-image006

    Posters for Polish film never fail to excite; the strange, b-movie quality they have, the bold cut-and-paste aesthetic and the unabashed melodrama make them utterly captivating. So it’s always exciting when Kinoteka Festival rolls around in London, not just to have a chance to see the movies the posters promote, but because of the ace satellite shows of Polish cinema visual ephemera. This year, the festival boasts an exhibition of posters for director Andrzej Wajda’s films. As well as work by Polish artists, international designers such as Peter Strausfeld, Dominique Guillotin, Otto Kummert, Milan Grygar and Erhard Grutter all have posters on show. It’s a gorgeous spread of work, all on loan from the archives of the Film Museum in Lódź.

  8. List-respect_byd_ad-itsnicethat

    D&AD has commissioned a rather playful campaign to promote 2015’s Judging Week, created by design agency The Oldham Goddard Experience and illustrator Marion Deuchars. Marion’s signature off-kilter typographic approach makes a great counterpart to the instantly recognisable black and yellow of the D&AD brand, used across a number of tongue-in-cheek slogans. All in all, it’s a simple, smart and effective solution to what must be a rather daunting brief.

  9. Milton-list

    “I knew that I was obsessed with drawing as a child, and that it was a source of my greatest pleasure. There was nothing else I would prefer doing than drawing. Actually that is persistent to this very day.” So begins The New York Times’ short film looking at the spectacular life and career of Milton Glaser, and if this wonderful clip doesn’t restore your faith in design (and in the same amount of time you’d spend making a coffee, too!) then I don’t know what will.

  10. Atelier25-vagamodes-itsnicethat-list

    Sunny graphic design for a bright Monday morning? Consider it done. Atelier 25 are a Parisian pair of designers – Capucine Merkenbrack Tercé and Chloe – making work for cultural institutes, festivals, record labels and publishers; always with an emphasis on strong conceptual foundations. The duo take a hands-on approach to their practice, often working in physical media instead of heading straight to the computer. This leads to some seriously tactile results and projects often bear the marks of the process that spawned them. This is particularly true in their work for Vagamondes festival, where a moiré of intersecting diagonals is layered colour by colour, highlighting the physical process of lithographic printing.

  11. Cooperhewitt-howposterswork-itsnicethat-list

    We feature a fair amount of poster deign here on It’s Nice That but in the pell-mell rush for aesthetic appreciation it’s rare to take time out to consider how this particular design discipline works. Luckily the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York has forced our hand with its new show How Posters Work. Displaying 125 of the museum’s 4,000-strong collection, the aim of the exhibition is to illustrate how poster designers go about maximising the potential of the medium.

  12. Secret7-itsnicethat-list

    The annual Secret 7” show is always eagerly anticipated and this year’s exhibition – which opens today at Somerset House in London – looks like it lives up to our high expectations once again. The brainchild of Kevin King, the format’s success is tied to its simplicity with seven tracks from seven well-known musicians offered up to creatives from around the world. This year’s songs include Underworld’s Born Slippy, Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer, The Rolling Stones’ Dead Flowers and St Vincent’s Digital Witness and the artists and designers taking part range from big names to young talents. For the time being whose sleeve is whose is kept under wraps, but we’ve spotted a few styles that we can immediately identify. After the show all the sleeves will be sold off for the same price with proceeds going to music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins.

  13. List

    South Korean creative Bohuy Kim splits his time between filmmaking and graphic design. Having trained in film, TV and media at the Sungkyunkwan university in Seoul he’s now the proprietor of his own studio, Printlab where he produces visually arresting work for the likes of Samsung, KIA and local creative enterprises. His impressive portfolio is the result of “rigorous creative exploration,” and, let’s face it, a great sense of colour.