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.
- Submit Saturdays: First impressions and Cover Pages
- A futuristic framework for the retrospective of pioneering “total design” advocate Ove Arup
- Cool off with this week's Best of the Web and who to follow on social media
- Elena Éper's spirited illustrations to make you smile and squirm
- Pencil Bandit and Grey London produce quirky branded stings for E4
- Tommy Cash subverts the tropes of rap videos with a fleshy celebration of the human body (NSFW)
- Pentagram unveils refresh of Mastercard’s brand mark and identity
- Chris (Simpsons Artist)'s surreal but accurate illustrations of creative jobs
- Benedict Redgrove’s beautifully hypnotic film about how a tennis ball is created
- Ian Davis’ picturesque paintings of bureaucratic dystopia
- Photographer Adrienne Salinger’s series of teenage bedrooms from the 90s
- Is it ever OK to work for free?