During December the postman made many a trip to the It’s Nice That studio. Recent projects, very kind thank you gifts and illustrated calendars that will keep us occupied and organised in the new year, all slid through the letterbox. As we close up the studio for Christmas, this month’s Things is a mixed bunch of postal treasure; photography books that made us long for the summer; cheese-based illustrations that got us very excited for the cheese and wine season to fully commence; charming artist’s books; and an interchangeable record sleeve with simplistic beauty.
Central Illustration Agency: 2017 Calendar
To welcome in the coming new year, the Central Illustration Agency sent us this sweet little calendar filled with illustrational delights. The agency, whose heritage dates back to 1983 founded by Brian Grimwood “carting a few humble folios around the city”, has grown to showcase some true sketching delights. This flip-through calendar shows its eye for illustrator talents from political portraits by Simon Spilsbury, plants by the aptly named Harriet Taylor Seed and the cheeky drawings of Stephen Collins.
The Douglas Hyde Gallery: Exhibition books
At the beginning of the month The Douglas Hyde Gallery based at Trinity College Dublin sent us a selection of its composed, informative and delightfully designed exhibition catalogues. The longstanding series of books to accompany its exhibitions include numerous artists and designers but are consistently in a petite size just shy of A5. It is a rare treat for artists’ books to be this affordable, and the breadth of exhibitions The Douglas Hyde Gallery appear to be showcasing make it a definite destination to visit in the new year.
Diana Pfammatter and Gaspard Weisenheimer: 2017 Calendar
This red and green Riso printed calendar is the work of photographer Diana Pfammatter and Gaspard Weissheimer, who runs his own graphic design studio and Risograph printers in Basel, Germany. The photographs featured were each chosen carefully by Diana and uses only found photographic slides. The selected images were then printed by Gaspard, who specialises in silkscreen and Risograph prints. Together the mix of processes displays individual images but also a cohesive set as a calendar. This 2017 edition focuses on China: “Land of smiles, nation of billions, superpower and culinary paradise”.
Hannah Alice: Avocet for Bert Jansch
Illustrator Hannah Alice sent us her delightful LP design and drawing for Bert Jansch’s record Avocet. The delicately drawn vinyl sleeve is “a focus on design and function, each track inspired six interchangeable, lithographic bird prints allowing you to customise the record’s front cover. On the reverse of each print are field notes for spotting birds when out and about,” the illustrator explains. Her work has quite rightly been nominated for the Art Vinyl of the Year award.
Clifford Jago: 16.20
This tongue-in-cheek publication was sent to us by cheeky chappy stylist Clifford Jago, and is a very funny take on the mix of analogue and digital displaying the various styling adventures of Clifford. It is fair to describe his work as a little absurd, but in the best sense, as he transforms stunning girls with headdresses made from USB cables, asparagus tangled in their curls, or dressed to wear McDonalds or camera film packaging. A highlight is the interpretation of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting. In his own words displayed in the foreword (typed out on an iMessage) the stylist explains that every time he does a job, “I have the same feeling, the feeling that this could be completely shit or turn out to be completely genius but I’m a pretty positive guy so its mainly always completely genius”.
Make It Red: 2017 Calendar
Make It Red is an international convoy of creativity which for its 2017 calendar has created a diary to remember those we lost this year. Throughout the coming year the calendar serves as a way to celebrate the lives of the well-known people who passed away during 2016. The project comes from the collective which “responds to our world with design sense and clarity. Our collective is driven by popular (and sometimes unpopular) cultures, past, present and future”.
Mads Teglers: Jambon
Antwerp-based graphic designer Stephanie Specht sent us this plush pink photography book she has designed to showcase the photography of Mads Teglers, titled Jambon. The book depicts a trip for the Copenhagen-based photographer to Spain, to photograph Instagram superstar Roxy Lan. Each page is filled with varied portraits of Roxy, out in the countryside, eating ice cream or flower shopping in a cowboy hat, each with a moody uninterested look on her face. As we reach the coldest part of the year it was a welcome treat to flick back through to warmer times.
Rose Blake: Cheese? Yes Please!
The absolutely brilliant Rose Blake sent us this lovely cheese-inspired print this month that had the team gawping (and slightly hungry) with delight at its shiny printed goodness. As the season of cheese and wine is in full swing this month it was a perfect poster to receive with Rose’s signature characters sitting on top of camembert, brie and cheddar. Cheese? Yes Please!
Alongside these design gems we also received a collection of lovely Christmas cards to pin up round our studio, so thank you to everyone who sent us one!
- 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
- Set designer Gary Card on the importance of being a chameleon
- 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