Remember that 90s song that long ago cheesily tried to remind us that the best things in life are free? Janet Jackson in all her glad-rags might have had a valid point (go her with her nice sentiments) BUT also on that list of life’s amazing things are this week’s lovely collection of It’s Nice That things. And aren’t they good – books books and more books… poetry, stories for children, stories for adults an exhibition book and and, um, a cleaning product. Fantastic.
The Billion Project: Replenish
While we have an appetite for beautiful-looking things, we get all giddy over beautiful-looking, environmentally-conscious things. So when Replenish’s reusable cleaning product sailed through our door, in its nicely understated brown bag packaging, we instantly fell in love. Containing a reusable plastic spray bottle and a ‘pod’ filled with concentrated cleaning product, the idea is to just fill the bottle with water each time you run out and you’ll never have to buy another cleaning spray again. Great concept, great design and all in all we think it is pretty brilliant.
Frank Viva: A Trip to The Bottom of The World with Mouse
What is it about mice? See one run across your kitchen floor and you’ll scream the house down yet put one on the front of a beautiful new children’s book and suddenly mice are the cutest things ever. This week the nice people at Toon Books sent us this beautifully illustrated new children’s book written and illustrated by the talented Frank Viva. Telling the story of a young explorer and his best friend Mouse as they set on an exploration to Antarctica, the story is pretty lovely but it’s the illustrations that really set this out as a “oh but it is so much more than a book” sort of book.
Hayward Publishing: Art of Change – New Directions from China
Nicely settling itself on our studio worktop this week is this big red book set to accompany the UK’s first major exhibition to exclusively focus upon installation art from China (held at the Hayward gallery from September 7). Although the subject makes for an interesting read on a Sunday evening, it is the design that we really really love. Folding into itself, at first glance the book just seems like your everyday book, brimming with words yet with no sign of images. But pull out the pages and suddenly you have a huge extended book with collections of photographs all over the shop, ready to enjoy in all their glory.
Richard Milward: Kimberly’s Capital Punishment
It’s all about the design with this limited edition version of Richard Mailward’s brand new book. With its exposed spine and sleek grey casing it is bound to make even the most book-adverse of you excited. Design aside the story is rather wonderful too. Writing his very first novel at the ripe age of 19 Richard’s surrealist style and obvious creative flair might just be something you should invest a little bit of reading time in.
Ugly Duckling Presse: Little Richard the Second and 6×6 #26
Ugly Ducking Presse dazzled us with not one but two beautiful books this week. Rather impressively Little Richard the Second (Gregg Biglieri) was made entirely using an in-house letterpress and with the pages hand sewn, the result is rather special. The second is the most recent edition of Ugly Ducking Presse’s tri-annually poetry magazine. With its rubber band spine, luminous pink cover and general cool shape, our consensus? UDP are very cool.
- Cheeky, irreverent and vivid illustrations by Thomas Hedger
- Brilliant branding and a cracking It’s Nice That collaboration: introducing Unmade
- Director collective Canada creates raunchy, psychedelic video for Tame Impala (NSFW)
- Stylish designs that aim to make online gift-buying as fun as "walking around a concept store"
- Alex Sheridan’s hilarious shots of comedian David O’Doherty in sports memorabilia
- Cult magazine Nova and its nods to “eroticism and extortion” photographed in a suitably 70s setting
- Anthony Burrill tells us about his numerous Etsy WORK HARD rip-offs
- “I wouldn’t recommend trying to make it as an illustrator to anyone”: straight-talking McBess
- Jonathan Barnbrook talks us through designing David Bowie's new album artwork
- Japanese illustrator Nimura Daisuke is back with his charmingly naughty gifs
- Colourful masses with a Memphis aesthetic in Mariano Pascual’s illustrated alphabet
- Making branding with a purpose: what can we learn from the Bauhaus?