• Heroooo

    Nishiyama Silk website

Web

Web: The traditional Nishiyama silk company's strikingly modern site

Posted by Madeleine Morley,

Nishiyama is a silk company nestled beneath the Japanese Alps in the village of Ushikubi, and according to local legend, silk production has been rife in the region for 800 years, ever since members of the Genji Clan escaped to the village and taught locals the secrets of silkworms. The story seems more authentic than just being an old yarn: judging by the wooden looms and fairy-tale-like spinning wheels, the company’s weaving techniques are steeped in tradition.

Haute couture houses in Paris and Milan are listed in Nishiyama’s client books, and they’ve probably been attracted by the striking combination of an old art form and the fresh, modern patterns of the fabric. And as a beautiful company needs a beautiful website, Nishiyama’s online presence is just as simple and stylish as their silk. The site is made up of lots of blobby, silky, pebble-like shapes, and all the text is set out like a little poem. There’s even an interactive section dedicated entirely to the silk weaving process, made up of snippets of footage of spinning wheels and chunky wooden machinery weaving up and down.

Scrolling through the sections, you track the transformation of cotton ball cocoons into sleek rolls of dip-dyed silk. Living in the village of Ushikubi 800 years ago, you would have known exactly where your silk came from, and exactly how it came into being. It’s fantastic to see the Nishiyama company transform this old-fashioned and villagey mind-set into something so widely accessible, and which is executed in such a strikingly modern way.

  • 2

    Nishiyama Silk website

  • 6

    Nishiyama Silk website

  • Screen-shot-2014-06-10-at-17.52.16

    Nishiyama Silk website

  • 44

    Nishiyama Silk website

  • 3

    Nishiyama Silk website

  • 5

    Nishiyama Silk website

Oo-xtcya

Posted by Madeleine Morley

Madeleine joined It’s Nice That as a freelance editorial assistant in May 2014 having graduated from Cambridge University where she edited the student newspaper. In the autumn of 2014 she will begin her Masters course at The Courtauld Institute of Art where she will specialise in architecture.

Most Recent: Web View Archive

  1. List

    I’d like to think that somewhere a kind critic got drunk one night and confessed to his typographer friend that “presentations of new typefaces can be kind of boring, y’know.” If so, we have him to thank for the number of the innovative new projects we’ve seen this year, as type foundries and designers alike come up with new and ever more intriguing ways to show off new letterforms; from Commercial Type’s Showcase site a couple of months back, to this cool film yesterday. Not to mention this ace new minisite by independent foundry Grilli Type.

  2. List-1

    Websites have come a long way since the days of Space Jam and the like, and in spite of the elaborate things designers are capable of now it’s often just a slick scroll and some jazzy illustration that will have you coming back to a site again and again.

  3. Main12

    We love sites like these: a simple idea, executed brilliantly and contributed-to by a host of fantastic creatives. From Your Desks is a website set up by Kate Donnelly that invites people in the art world to submit photographs of their workspace, which she then accompanies with a short but sweet interview about what they do. Personally, seeing the detritus surrounding someone’s desk gives me the same building curiosity as seeing inside their bedroom – it’s such an important, personal space and can be surprisingly revealing. There’s nearly 350 interviews on Kate’s site, and below we’ve picked a few photographs of the desks of some of our favourite artists including Adrian Tomine, Maya Fuhr, Christoph Niemann and Nat Russell. Enjoy!

  4. List

    Art in Film is the kind of online resource you don’t imagine is likely to come in especially handy in your life, but you find yourself scrolling through transfixed anyway. Run on a submissions basis by its curator Martin Cole, the set pulls together every imaginable example of an artwork (real or imaginary) included in film or on TV, from the famous scene at the potter’s wheel in Ghost to Lisa admiring Matisse’s Cut Outs in The Simpsons.

  5. List

    It’s a sad fact of modern life that all this time spent staring at screens in order to communicate has the adverse effect of stopping us from actually communicating at all. Fortunately Miranda July has found a solution; an app which allows other people to deliver your messages face-to-face on your behalf. Sponsored by Miu Miu the app allows you to choose the deliverer of your message and to suggest the manner in which they should do so, for example, “confidently,” “longingly,” or with air quotes. Even better the actor, writer and artist also created a short film to illustrate just how effectively the app can work, and true to form it’s chic, hilarious and actually very touching. The whole process has a hint of that 1990s board game Dream Phone about it too, which is a vibe I’m always delighted to channel.

  6. List

    Regardless of how much we love an epic view I imagine the majority of us will never climb Mount Everest, the 8,848 metre high mountain in the Himalayas which is home to one of the most incredible viewing points in the world. Fortunately for us there are web developers out there who can create simulations which are basically as good as the real thing. Almost.

  7. List_2

    Never a brand to risk complacency, Kenzo are pushing the boat out yet again this season to scale the parameters of the online store. They’ve created an elaborate narrative to accompany the online shopping destination of their pre-autumn 2014 collection, cooking up a fictional exhibition of which all but one of the featured artworks is stolen by the show’s star the night before it opens. In this story the exhibition opens anyhow, and the works are replaced with film footage of the thieves – Sudanese-American model Grace Bol and her accomplice – at work, with a sack full of their booty and all.

  8. Main

    When it comes to archives, they don’t get much more impressive than that of Andrea Aranow, the designer and ethnographer who has been collecting samples of textiles that take her fancy since the late 1960s. She’s made snakeskin ensembles for Jimi Hendrix, travelled through the mountains of Peru, China and Japan collecting, consulted designers from Louis Vuitton to Dries Van Noten and even curated exhibitions for the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  9. Main

    Wise words here from Peckham design collective King Zog. They’re back with a new website that will fart up the nose of your website faster than you can say “rainbow gloves.” The lads – a cocktail of Ben West, Jack Slee, Josh King and Felix Heyes – have collected all their work and put it on the World Wide Web the manner of a really, really personal business card. By that I mean that one look at their new site tells you everything you need to know about this lot. They’re some of the only people who can truly pull off funny design while simultaneously being eons ahead of everyone else in the ideas department. Special lads.

  10. List

    Five years ago Dave Tomkins uncovered a huge archive of photographs his Grandpa, Stephen Clarke had taken over the years. With his Grandpa unable to remember where he’d shot these images, Dave was determined to find out more and started reaching out to the big wide world to find out more about the places pictured and what they look like now.

  11. Screen-shot-2014-06-25-at-11.45.40

    It’s Nice That favourite Christoph Niemann has been keeping very busy recently. Between creating a football web essay about Brazil’s World Cup curse for the New York Times, and delivering an incredibly inspiring speech at our creative symposium Here last month, he’s found the time to put together a sleek new website to showcase all of his spectacular work. The site is easy to navigate, and it’s big and bold and bright, and we can’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon hours than by browsing through all of Christoph’s witty GIFs and whimsical illustrations.

  12. List

    “Turn and face the strange” – that’s how David Bowie advised we all deal with ch-ch-ch-changes and we think, as ever, Brixton’s favourite son was spot-on. It’s been more than two years since we last changed up itsnicethat.com and we felt the time was ripe for a refresh. The main change sees us move away from the content grid on the homepage back to a linear, blog-style format, a lay-out with which those of you familiar with our earliest iterations will be familiar. Hopefully this makes it slightly easier to browse the articles and work out what you’ve already seen on the site.

  13. List

    Video games have come on miles since the days of perching at the end of the sofa in our living room avidly clutching a Playstation control and racing Crash Bandicoot repeatedly down the same strip of the Great Wall of China. They’ve come on so far in fact that the kids of today don’t even need controls, apps, or to download any software. They don’t even need to be kids, for Pete’s sake!