• Jrmain

    Job and Roel Wouters: 1234567 (still)

Graphic Design

Our penultimate Here profile looks at the wonderful work of Job and Roel Wouters

Posted by Rob Alderson,

Some say designers are born not made and if so then the brothers Wouters might be an excellent case in point. The Dutch duo have long been favourites of ours here at It’s Nice That with their shared devotion to aesthetic excellence. Job is better known as Letman whose illustrated typography will be familiar to almost anyone interested in the graphic arts. His quirky style has made him the go-to guy for publications as diverse as The New York Times, Creative Review and Playboy as well as fashion icons like Tommy Hilfiger and Dries van Noten and we also commissioned him for the gorgeous Nice screenprint that was released with Issue 5 of our magazine.

In July, Job’s first book was released giving us the perfect excuse to pore over his wondrous abilities all over again.

And to prove there’s definitely something in the Wouters genes, brother Roel is similarly supertalented and was one of the interviewees in our first ever publication. Initially trained as a graphic designer, Roel now works across video, print, digital, installation and performance but as one of the founders of the Conditional Design Manifesto he has come to define his creative efforts under this new umbrella.

“Our work focuses on processes rather than products: things that adapt to their environment, emphasize change and show difference,” the manifesto reads. “Instead of operating under the terms of Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Media Art or Sound Design, we want to introduce Conditional Design as a term that refers to our approach rather than our chosen media. We conduct our activities using the methods of philosophers, engineers, inventors and mystics.”

He is putting these ideas into practice at the Moniker studio he set up with fellow conditional design founders Luna Maurer and Jonathan Puckey and their video work in particular is a fascinating exploration of this new approach.

At Here, Job and Roel will present a dialogue-cum-lecture-cum-performance, dealing with recurring ideas they both deal with in different ways, including craftsmanship vs automatization, conceptual driven design vs style driven design and nostalgia vs futurism.
Three years after the brothers created the Rainbowgun for our If You Could Collaborate project (see the video above), it is a tremendous honour to be welcoming them to our biggest ever event.

Here takes place on Friday and although tickets are sold out we will be documenting the talks in due course.

  • Largeimg-3

    Letman: Playboy

  • Letman7

    Letman: It’s Nice That print

  • Largeimg

    Letman: JFK Magazine

  • Largeimg-1

    Letman: JFK Magazine

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: Art View Archive

  1. List

    Anna Burns is a set designer with a taste for the ambitious. Who could forget her work with Thomas Brown where they created B-Movie inspired installations out of flammable umbrellas? For her latest work Anna has collaborated with Michael Bodiam on a series inspired by nuclear catastrophe and our contradictory attitudes towards it – apocalyptic fear on the one hand and weird fascination on the other.

  2. List

    We’ve already sung the praises of the V&A’s flagship London Design Festival project – Barber Osgerby’s extraordinary reflective installation in the Raphael Cartoons Gallery – but there are some other gems on offer at the spiritual home of the festival.

  3. List

    I have no idea who Mr G.G.Hines is. And yet I am standing surrounded by junk staring at his black leather passport holder. I am transfixed by it; lost in reveries about who he was, where he travelled to and what his handwriting – neat, confident but not fussy – says about him. I am also wondering how his passport came to be here, and the answer to that begins with Dan Tobin Smith.

  4. List

    Three years ago at the London Design Festival, the Bouroullec Brothers transformed the Raphael Cartoons gallery at the V&A by installing a huge textile-covered platform down the centre of the vast room. It became a playful, very human space in the heart of one of London’s most august institutions, and remains one of the most talked-about festival projects of recent years.

  5. Main

    GIFs are usually reserved for that corner of the internet preoccupied with getting a quick laugh out of an easy audience (us included) so it’s surprisingly poignant to see the popular form employed not to show how funny a dog walking on its hind legs can be but to express a more powerful idea. This is exactly what Sofia Niazi has done with her new project Women of WOT. She wanted to utilise the medium to tell the unheard stories of the women forgotten by the War on Terror, but soon found that her project took a unexpected turn.

  6. Main9

    Just when you thought the only time you’d get to see some fruit getting jiggy with each other was the last time you ate a Moam bar, here’s Amelie von Wulffen’s paintings. Amelie’s work is a refreshing, sometimes sinister, sometimes sexual series of water-colour paintings depicting a strange mixture of food and tools interacting with each other as if they were humans – eating ice cream and going to music concerts and the like. As well as reducing mankind down to what it really is – a bunch of ridiculous creatures bumbling around the earth – Amelie’s real success here is bringing dark comedy into the largely unfunny art world, and for that she should be praised.

  7. List

    We’ve long maintained that to really get to know how a creative’s mind works, it’s best to explore their personal work, which often tells you much more than their professional portfolio. Another good example of this comes from London-based identity designer Iancu Barbarasa, who works under the name Iancul, and his terrific new Drawriting project, which “turns thoughts and their letters into visual puzzles.”

  8. Main9

    Co-founders of Dastoli Digital Robert and James were huge fans of Star Wars in the late 1990s, recreating hundreds of images from comics, books and game graphics on Microsoft Paintbrush using the Windows 3.1 operating system. In the run-up to the release of Star Wars Episode VII which will come out on 18 December 2015 they’re releasing an image a day from this seemingly bottomless archive, giving fellow fans a glimpse of their fantastic attention to detail and brilliantly retro colour palette.

  9. List-2

    Anna Valdez is the kind of artist who makes me want to swathe myself and everything around me in layers of tropical prints and geometric patterns and embrace a new sartorial existence as a wannabe art teacher. Her mastery of textiles is so thorough that some of her pieces almost feel like studies, an effect which makes sense considering her academic interests. With a background in anthropology she paints domestic interiors as though they were portraits, with every detail contributing to the overall effect, whether it be house plants, intricately reproduced book covers, woolly jumpers or oriental rugs.

  10. List

    Australian artist Kit Webster is has long been fascinated with the emotional and psychological tricks he can play through the manipulation of sound and light. His new piece Hypercube is a concentric cubic sculpture with a 120-metre LED set-up that can be controlled using specially-created software. The pre-recorded cycles allow Kit to control the viewer’s experience, speeding the cube up to a frenzy and breaking the tension with meditative moments of calm.

  11. Main

    Apologies if this is a slightly dismayed post, but upon thinking I had stumbled across a gem via Nieves’ announcement of some new zines I was excited to be the first to write about Keegan McHargue on It’s Nice That. Alas I was not, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t shout about his brilliance once more.

  12. List

    When I was a teenager I’d have given my right arm for patches emblazoned with the lyrics of my favourite songs. It was the height of cool to be covered in brightly-coloured band paraphernalia (or at least I thought so). German artist Selma Alaçam clearly thought so too as her latest project Heartstrings combines some of her favourite song lyrics from the likes of Fiona Apple and Depeche Mode. The seven woven rugs – based on the traditional kelim, native to Turkey – have been hand-embroidered with bold typographic verses, whose personal importance is known only to the artist. To the rest of us these embroideries are like beautifully ambiguous album covers, enticing you in with their bright, bold colours.

  13. List

    It’s plain to see that Lee Marshall’s artwork is a product of the digital age; his smooth gradients, vectorised objects and figures apparently created in an early version of Corel Draw all evoke the atmosphere of an abstract digital landscape. But Lee’s creations all exist in the real world as paintings, drawings and sculptures, bringing a unique physicality to environments we’d expect to experience on a flat screen. The Norwich School of Art graduate has been perfecting this signature style since his student days, but with an ever-increasing list of group and solo shows to his name we’re expecting more great things from Lee over the coming months and years.