The trouble with Review of the Year is that at some point we have to sit down and write it, and that some point is December, which means we don’t have the whole story yet. Perhaps there have been countless amazing happenings in the twelve days since I wrote this that you know about but my present (your past) self has no knowledge of (weird right?). Just thinking about it is freaking me out. All we can say for sure is that December was a great month for 21 days. After that is anyone’s guess. Happy New Year!
December means Christmas, and Christmas means Christmas specials. Made in Chelsea and The Only Way is Essex taught us so much about how to be better people this year that it made absolute sense to have a festive special of each, just so we all knew how to act over the holidays. Repeat after me: “I am not a shallow husk of a person.” December was also the month of heated political feuds between Nick Clegg and David Cameron; so fiery were their disputes that Nick actually refused to sit next to Dave in parliament one morning. Fierce. We also said farewell to North Korean leader Kim Kong-il, which left North Korea’s nuclear arsenal in the hands of his 28-year-old son Kim Jong-un . Looking forward to seeing how that pans out in the new year.
Web-wise we had a great time marveling at the Shit Girls Say, discovered that Tower Bridge hasn’t always been there, and came over all 1950s with the Secret Cinema. We also held In Progress at the Barbican, which (not that we like to brag) was a fantastic day all round, so much so in fact that we’re already gearing up for next year.
My 2011: It’s Nice That
And so as we survey the wreckage of 2011, from the high water mark of late December, we decided you know what’s missing from this Review of the Year shindig? Why it’s the It’s Nice That team giving their view of what rocked and what rolled during the past 12 months. We completed the questions as a group and so rather than break it up by assigning individual answers to specific people, we stand by our answers as a group. If you know us, have a fun time trying to work out who said what. And so, one last time, loud as you can, how does it go…
What was the best thing you saw in 2011?*
England winning the Ashes, the Miro show at Tate Modern, James Murdoch squirming in front of the parliamentary enquiry and Rupert’s wife attacking the pie-wielding maniac, Frozen Planet, the redesign of Issue No 7, our new studio, more people, someone with a Lonely Planet guide in Hackney Wick and Folly for a Flyover.
Who would you give a Best Person of 2011 Award to?
David Attenborough, Lindsey Hilsum for her amazing reporting and her star turn at our In Progress 2011 conference, Mark Cavendish and everyone turned up to clean up after the London riots.
What was the most memorable thing that happened to you?
As a business it was the new studio, the new-look magazine and the new team-members but individually one of us got a new nephew, two of us went on the student fees marches and one of us was called up on stage by stand-up comedian Stephen Merchant to act out a play about issues and prejudice.
Were you in any (metaphorical/not metaphorical) fights this year? Did you win?
No, 2011 was a year of love (but one of us had a massive argument with someone’s Dad).
What would you take from 2011 and give to 2012?
Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, a mild November, Newcastle Falcons’ six game unbeaten run, Jamie Mac’s fixed back, the extra bank holiday and the studio moustaches.
What were you doing in December?
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!
(Top image from Benjamin Degen)
- Illustrator Rob Flowers shares his treasure trove of books
- My First: Colophon and Sophie Mayanne talk about the themes of their book, Twenty-Two
- Patrick Kyle uses analogue and digital techniques in these pared-back illustrations
- Audrey Weber’s eccentrically enlarged figurative illustrations
- Hanne Berkaak’s deeply moving and sensitive animation tackling self-harm
- The Smudge: Clay Hickson and Liana Jegers launch publication in reaction to US presidential result
- Grope Sans: a very rude typeface by Bompas & Parr
- Japanese graphic designer Ryu Mieno creates type-heavy works fizzing with energy
- The reductive and exacting work of graphic designer Laura Prim
- Why creative education for advertising is stuck in the dark ages
- Leipzig-based graphic designer Anja Kaiser takes us through her portfolio
- Nicolas Jaar releases Network, a book inspired by radio