It was only a few weeks ago that we made a list about the highs and lows of the end of the year lists which we were being bombarded with from all sides. Now in true It’s Nice That style, we’re here to bring you ours, which is not only (probably) longer but also (I imagine) much sillier and nicer to look at than any of the other end of year lists you’ve read. Welcome to our Review of the Year 2013! And kicking off our Top 100 most popular posts from the past 52 weeks, we have numbers 100-91 for you to recall, sigh over and then revel in all over again. Enjoy!
100 – Maciek Janicki: Paper City (July 1)
Here’s Maciek Janicki to deliver perhaps one of the most enchanting ways to kick off our Review of the Year, with an animation which might actually have you rubbing your eyes with your fists in childlike enchantment. His Paper City animation, a stop motion film which shows an entire city made of paper unfolding as a tiny car drives through tested the tricky boundaries of stop-motion, not to mention the things you can do with some origami skills, several reams of A4 and patience by the bucketload.
99 – Made Thought: Colorplan for GF Smith (March 6)
Made Thought had eyeballs swivelling over to their website earlier this year when they produced some truly lovely graphic design in the form of GF Smith’s Colorplan series. Their identity included slick business cards, a swatch book and an impressive website, too, in what looked to be an exciting new step into the digital realm for Colorplan. Fantastic design, plain and simple. pat on the back to you, Made Thought!
98 – Steven Spielberg: Obama (April 29)
How’s a roll call like Barack Obama, Tracy Morgan and Steven Spielberg for an all-star cast to blow any idea for a comedy sketch out of the water? Steven Spielberg stole most of the spoof thunder this year with Obama playing Daniel Day-Lewis playing himself in a super slick clip. Worth a watch if only to watch the American president practising his double finger point in the mirror.
97 – Rose Blake (January 11)
It’s strange to think it’s been a whole year since we cooed over Rose Blake’s website update, but indeed it has, and unsurprisingly enough all the brand new work she plonked on there back in January still looks as fresh and ovally as it did back then. The illustrator has carved out a lovely niche for herself since we admired her as one of our Graduates 2009, with a host of exciting projects, from gorgeous observations in galleries to great editorial work.
96 – 150 London Underground Posters (February 19)
With comparatively strict limitations on what they’re allowed to exhibit, you’d think that the London Transport Museum would have gotten bored of putting shows on by now, but the depth and wealth of Transport for London’s enormous archive supplies more excellent collections that we can shake a stick at. Earlier in the year they dug 150 fascinating underground posters out and hung them on the wall for us to admire to celebrate the Tube’s 150th birthday, and the nostalgia-inducing graphic design which they displayed was gorgeous. Timeless characters, experimental typography and rich in references to British history.
95 – Josh Bogdan and Ryan Lasko: The Pixel Painter (July 25)
Oh God, here’s an art and design story to melt even the sternest of ice-cold hearts. 97-year-old Hal Lasko was once a graphic artist in the days before digital took over, but his deteriorating eyesight left him struggling to continue creating images. Until he discovered MS Paint, of course, which allows him to paint with pixels. Josh Bogdan’s beautiful film is a heart-rending tribute to this man’s extraordinary life, and the incredible effect that computers have had on it.
94 – Mark Draisey: British Public Schools (February 6)
I’m wholly unashamed to admit that I love any book, photograph, film or song even mildly concerned with British schooling, which is probably explained by the fact that I’ve spent the better part of my life happily squirming in its clutches. This photo-series about some of the poshest public schools in England by Mark Draisey is a prime example of what I love; croquet on the lawn, stripy trunks and more mahogany than Ron Burgundy would know what to do with. It falls somewhere between Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers and Hogwarts on a scale of one to charming.
93 – Focus Features: Moonrise Kingdom Annotated Script
Wes Anderson ruled our hearts yet again in 2013 – in would be foolish to deny it – and here is one of several reasons why; an illustrated, annotated script of his huge success Moonrise Kingdom, complete with diagrams of the school-play set, photographs of Wes in thigh-high wellies directing the water scenes and various drawings of tunnels and forests. Oh Wes.
92 – Matthew Frost: Fashion Film (February 7)
2013 has been the year of the arty farty affected fashion film, and the anti-version that Matthew Frost directed for fashion brand Viva Vena! does a fantastic job of taking out every single self-indulgent cliché. From the typewriter, little-known 1960s bands and vintage paperbacks to sun-dappled shots, flower crowns and quirky knick knacks, Lizzy Capaln does a fantastic job of bringing the ridiculous muse to life. Piss-taking at its absolute best.
91 – Alex Chinneck: From the Knees of My Nose to the Belly of My Toes
Alex Chinneck has continued to grab our attention this year with the large-scale public art installations that he casually unveils, to uproarious reception from locals and viewers, and then disappears again into the undergrowth to create more. There are few artists around with either the inspiration or the determination to carry out such enormous, impressive works as this one, in which he appears to have slid the entire front facade off a house in Margate, so we can only applaud him.
- Milou Trouwborst's refined, simplistic and melancholic illustrations
- "It was strangely liberating" – Christoph Niemann on creating his new book Sunday Sketching
- Designer Okuyama Taiki encourages you to “play freely” with his experimental posters
- Gijs Henselmans’ illustrations: absurd, gruesome, but always hilarious
- All That Glitters: inside the Barbican’s “vulgar” catalogue
- Graphic designer Fraser Muggeridge talks to us about his favourite books
- Bompas & Parr explores the strange world of sploshing (NSFW)
- Working Not Working reveals the top 50 companies creatives would kill to work for
- Kodak returns to its 1970s symbol, joining the retrobrand bandwagon
- Kodak unveils the Ektra: its first ever smartphone
- Retracing and recreating historic reggae record sleeves with photographer Alex Bartsch
- William Knight's socially conscious portfolio of graphic design