• Things_big

    Things

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    Ranks London T-shirt

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    Ranks London T-shirt

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    Melissa Price: Monarchy

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    Melissa Price: Monarchy

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    Melissa Price: Monarchy

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    Melissa Price: Monarchy

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    Demo

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    Demo

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    Demo

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    Demo

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    Henry McCausland comics

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    Henry McCausland comics

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    Henry McCausland comics

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    Henry McCausland comics

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    Buffalo

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    Buffalo

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    Buffalo

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    Buffalo

Graphic Design

Things

Posted by Rob Alderson,

Things, things, wherever you may be, you fill our hearts and our heads with glee and we’ll hail you all, wherever you are from and a massive thanks to our postman John. T-shirt, illustration, couple of lovely publications and a right royal surprise make up this week’s collection.

Ranks London T-Shirt Daniel David Freeman

There’s so much t-shirt design – from the sublime to the ridiculous – that it’s rare that anything ever really jumps out at you. However weird half-human, half-bird/reptile beings in smart casual weekend wear stepping out of a picture frame, yeah, that’ll probably do it. Daniel David Freeman is a very talented young man and this shirt for Ranks London combines a surreal whimsy with bang-on execution.
www.danieldavidfreeman.com

Monarchy Melissa Price

Remember those wooden rulers you used to get with all the kings and queens of England on them? Well designer Melissa Price has dragged that principle into the 21st century with Monarchy a beautiful, crisp, colour-coded list of the 41 people to have presided over these fair isles since 1066. With at-a-glance guides to their religion, nationalities and the ways they bowed out, it’s history gone gorgeous.
www.cargocollective.com/melissaprice

Demo Andrew Moffitt and Mark Moffitt

Issue 4 of Australian music magazine Demo winged its way to us this week and a jolly good job it did too. Focussing on emerging Aussie talent it’s really well-designed and well-written, but it’s the photography that really stands out – unusual, diverse and powerful. There aren’t too many freebies that rise above the rest – others could do a lot worse than to follow Demo’s lead.
www.demomagazine.com.au

Unstable Sticklands/Decipherable Sticklands Henry McCausland

We had a bumper response after featuring Henry McCausland’s stunning illustration on the site a week or so ago, and the man himslef was decent enough to pop a couple of his comics in the post. And glory be Unstable Sticklands and Decipherable Sticklands didn’t disappoint, and we’re pleased to report that his charming, narrative style works just as well in black and white, and in long form. Cheers Henry!
www.henrymccausland.com

Buffalo Adrian Gonzalez

There’s something about an inaugural issue that gets our hearts racing – all that promise and potential thanks to the late-nights, design-fights and tightly-skirted deadlines. With more than 150 pages, Buffalo zine out of Madrid packs a weighty punch, but the ambitious approach is vindicated by a cacophony of great multilingual content – including interviews, photo essays and prose extracts. Standing by for Issue Two chaps!
www.buffalozine.com

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

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    It seems that Jacob Klein and Nathan Cowen are incapable of turning out a dud project. From their humble beginnings as a meticulously curated stream of stunning imagery to their present guise as multi-faceted design and art direction agency, the Haw-Lin boys just keep on coming up with the goods. This might not seem surprising to devotees of their original Haw-Lin blog, but it’s surprising how often arbiters of style lack substance. Not so for these boys; their fanatical eye for detail goes beyond simple aesthetic curation, extending into a portfolio of capsule collections for fashion brands, editorial shoots for the most erudite magazines and immaculate lookbooks that manage to add depth and pace to publications that can often be painfully bland.

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    I always think that creating the identity for a design conference is one of the most thankless commissions around – all those attendees ready, willing and able to offer informed and immediate feedback. So when we see it done well it only seems to right to give credit where it’s due, and Build did a fine job for this year’s TypeCon gathering.

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    In the introduction to his exceptional new Erik Spiekermann monograph, Johannes Erler sums up “Spiekermann in two sentences” by way of this quotation: “I’m totally chaotic. I’m so untogether, my left leg doesn’t even know what my right leg is doing. I need order. I need systems. I don’t really do anything without a design grid.”

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    Their website is a combination of fluorescent colours, textures, media and effects so hectic that you can’t help but surrender yourself to it, but it’d be foolish to assume The Royal Studio’s design work is as chaotic as it appears. Behind the madness is a method which elevates their vibrant, contemporary design beyond the realms of trendy and into something actually very interesting, whether it’s an Honest Manifesto which claims that “everyone loves titles and captions” but they “don’t give a fuck about content” (repeated to fill) or a very well-executed poster advertising the studio’s 15-day tour around cities including Zagreb, Ljubljana, Dijon and Porto. The fact remains that Portugal-based Royal Studio are taking conventional graphic design and turning it on its head to see what happens, and we’re really enjoying admiring the results.

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    Of all the design disciplines, typography is almost certainly the least sexy. But Dan Rhatigan is one of the people who is able to talk about type in an engaging, and very human way. Earlier this year the Monotype type director worked with Grey London on Ryman Eco, described as “the world’s most beautiful sustainable font,” as it uses 33% less ink than the likes of Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia and Verdana.

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    Anyone you know a downright sourpuss? Treat ‘em to a link to work by Hungarian designer Anna Kövecses. Here at It’s Nice That we give high praise to work that is candy-coloured and cute – as long as it never falls under the tasselled umbrella of “twee.” Anna’s work is a perfect example of that as beneath the childish exterior lies a wealth of design knowledge and style.

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    In the year-and-a-half since we first featured Belgian designer Vincent Vrints on the site his fortunes have risen with the quality of his work. We were always enamoured with his canny ability to create aesthetically astounding imagery and merge it with equally appealing layouts, but he’s refined his process and embraced some new digital techniques resulting in a portfolio that floats between the retro and the ultra futuristic.

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    Google Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums and almost every book cover design that appears either depicts someone hitchhiking or it has the aesthetic of a grotty travel diary of someone who’s been “finding themselves” along a motorway for a month or two too long. Kerouac’s novels don’t even need covers, right? They’re stand-alone pieces of literary genius. Big applause is needed then for Copenhagen designer Torsten Lindsø Andersen who has taken the rulebook of second-rate Kerouac book design and thrown it out the train window on to the track where it belongs. These ambient, sterile designs he’s proposed for the author’s back catalogue are the perfect fit to the words within: weird, unpredictable, drunk and unique.

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    I am a big believer that every magazine should be able to sum up what it does in a few words. New title The-Art-Form does just that with the pithy statement that it’s “a limited edition publication about art and artists.” Issue one features six artists – Ian Davenport, Peter Liversidge, Rana Begum, Dan Baldwin, Michael Reisch and Paul Insect – and each has been asked 13 questions ranging from why they make art to their favourite place. The answers vary not only in tone and subject matter (as you’d expect) but also in form, so while Ian has provided handwritten answers, Michael, Dan and Rana have created paintings, drawings and sketches in response to the questionnaire.

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    Over the last few weeks we have been exploring how Shillington College are revolutionising design education through their own model of practically-focused graphic design tuition. We talked to the teachers about how they put together this new kind of course and to those employers who have found the college to be an invaluable resource of young design talent. To round off this series of features, we went along to the London Graduation Show a few weeks ago to chat to some of the students about their experiences, so rather than hear it from us, best hit play and hear it straight from them…

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    It’s been a couple of years since we headed over to Sweden to celebrate the work of Stockholm studio Research and Development but in that time art directors Daniel Olsson and Jonas Topooco have kept the great work coming. They’re a versatile pair who pride themselves on working closely with their clients to produce design work that plays to their strengths without losing sight of the brief in a blaze of self-indulgence. Anyone who can make a publication for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency look this interesting is always going to get in our good books.

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    Anyone who designs a clock that reminds you to “have a nice day” must be a good person, and it turns out Joe Cole Porter is not just nice, he’s also incredibly good at what he does. His work is the perfect balance of well-informed and actually fun. How many times have you watched through your fingers at corporate brands trying to be fun and ending up just being boring with a healthy dose of wacky? Exactly. They should take a leaf out of Joe’s book and produce design that is cheerful and colourful but intelligent enough to get the job done at the same time – a bit like a friendly builder, or a cheeky plumber. Some of Joe’s most exciting stuff is his record sleeve design, and we hope to see a little more of that in the future.

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    Five years ago when we first discovered Swiss designer Mathias Schweizer (thanks to Côme de Bouchony) he was an incredibly elusive fellow, with no online presence to speak of and little work to be found anywhere on the internet. Since then he’s been nothing short of prolific, producing exhibition identities, posters, publications, typefaces, solo and group shows as well as out and out experimental pieces. In fact the one thing that seems to define his work is experimentation; with classic design rules broken all over the place in his vast portfolio.